CULVER CITY, California — Pharrell's got beef, and his recording relationship with Justin Timberlake might be over because of it.
"Me and Justin are good friends and I wanna work on his album, but there are political issues with where he's signed," Pharrell said recently, referring to Jive Records. "I can't get into it, but all I'm saying is Justin is my boy, he's like a little bro to me, but I can't really ... the company that he's with ..."
"Thought y'all had me, huh?"
Pharrell refused to elaborate, but the beef likely revolves around his protégés, the Clipse, who've been unsuccessfully trying to leave Jive since the label swallowed them through a merger with Arista.
"Pharrell and the label heads got into spats," the Clipse's Pusha T told MTV News earlier this fall (see "Mixtape Monday: Game Says He's Done With G-Unit (Again), Clipse In Label Limbo"). "Pharrell was like, 'Listen, you're not going to get this music. You don't have no type of marketing plan for my group, you don't know nothing about them. Why don't you let them go?' Sh-- got personal."
Jive had no comment on the situation.
Although Pharrell refused to give specifics, he brought up the dispute again when asked about his successful recording relationship with Gwen Stefani.
"You know what it is — Jimmy's my friend, so I'm there for him. Jimmy Iovine over there at [Stefani's label] Interscope, he's my friend, he's good to me," Pharrell said of the Interscope Geffen A&M chairman. "Unlike some of those other labels. Man, I ain't even gonna say other labels — it's like one other label, honestly, just one label."
Pharrell then added once again that it's not a dispute with Timberlake, with whom he's collaborated on several hits. "I just want to make that clear before you guys do the sound-bite thing, 'He don't wanna work with you,' " the producer said.
Pharrell's album, In My Mind, featuring appearances by Pusha T as well as Jay-Z, Daddy Yankee and Slim Thug, was recently pushed to a February release.