Last night, my insomnia got a bit of amusement for all the hours it puts into making my nights all the more dreadful. A book that starts with a discussion about Nirvana, segues into streetwear, art collaborations and ends with Pharell and Anna Wintour talking fashion, Jay-Z & Kanye West and Mad Men? This book is a loose dissection of all the musings that contribute to the reasons I write. Pharrell conversational style makes it all the more appealing that I finished it within a 5 hour timesspan.
Arguably one of the most influential people of our time, Pharrell’s autobiographical work is not aboutcelebrating the life and times of a tastemaker’s career. It is an inspirational journey from the odd guy
out becoming one of the largest figures in contemporary culture (from his contributions to music, fashion, art and design). Through whimsical interviews with other people he himself considers icons, we learn about how the spaces, places and minds around today’s culture process their achievements. All individuals who have a leading hand in the markets in which Pharrell brings change with his prespective. The book showcases Pharrell’s enlightment of the things given to him and how they essentially set out his journey to success, from his start as D.P.S with his childhood friend Chad and Shea.
Place and Spaces I’ve Been is another notch of ingeniuty on Mr. Williams belt. Segemented in such an innovative and creative way, through detailed discussions constructed on stock paper, the narrative glows as a story of truimph without sharing any real dispear. The fragmentation is so pristine, one may forget all the time and years of work these people had to sacrifice to sit atop of the fields. In between those sections, there are pictures on high gloss paper, that allow you to relax and absorb all the epiphanes and wisdoms of people like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and many more. The contrast of paper and photo to word ratio the best of both worlds in a generation that relies more on the aesthetics of visuals than engaging in words.
It is a multidimensional journey that Pharrell introduces from his childhood days, “As a child I would see things on television and dream. I wondered what it was like, being in that two-dimensional world behind the screen.” Through those two sentences we learn why Pharrell has contributed a fingerprint to everything that is regarded as cool. As simple as it may sound it is because he is unafraid to re-imagine what is given at face value. Even in blueprinting his life achievements with some of the world’s greatest people, there is an overlying modesty in the ability transform culture more than there is about making money off those achievements. Something only the man who said, “Wealth Is Of The Heart And Mind. Not The Pocket,” could master.
Today’s successes comes from an ideology of know-it-alls, who can dabble in any atomsphere they are placed in. Pharrell uses his martian-like awkwardness coupled it with creativity and discipline to contribute to everything under the sun. If you were unfamiliar with how far his influence has reached this book becomes your third eye. It’s prose also spews the effortlessness it takes to become who you you dream by just allowing it to take shape.
“Timing is everything. Pressure Erodes, bears down on something, and before you know it, there is going to be a diamond in there…”
It is a motivational kick that does not come from the mundane, do-gooders on Career Day or the parent who is so far removed from the happenings of today. But rather the voice(s) that shifted a generation without being boxed into the traditional idea of success. The book showcases the plight of the influenced becoming the influencer. As the student will one day become the teacher it is a testament to the Others of the world to continue learning and growing.