At this point in his career, it’s difficult to name an artist that Pharrell hasn’t worked with, so when MTV News caught up with the super-producer recently, we were curious about his relationship with three of the most dynamic — and very different — members of Odd Future: Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt.
If Tyler, The Creator is on the “completely off-the-wall” end of the spectrum, then it’s safe to say that Frank Ocean falls on the opposite end, while Earl rests somewhere in middle.
“[Tyler's] not as totally turnt up as when you guys see him but he is the same person,” Pharrell said of what the public sees, versus what he gets. “It’s not fake, and his mom…that’s been probably an adventure being his mom [raising him]. And probably a wonderful experience because he’s funny…but I can only imagine the stuff he was doing in junior high school. He’s hilarious.”
Frank Ocean, on the other hand, is a known introvert especially compared to Tyler and his antics, and Pharrell explained that his work on Channel Orange included some effort to have outsiders connect with him intimately. “I think, more than anything else, it was a matter of making sure people didn’t misunderstand him because he is a complex individual. He’s not your average everyday person. He’s an introvert, so he’s in his head a lot.”
As Ocean works on his official sophomore project though, things have changed a little. “When he did his first album, he knew who he was, but the world didn’t know who he was,” Pharrell added. “So now he gets to make an album with people knowing who he is. I haven’t been in the studio with him for a while, but I went in with him when he first started [on the album] and I’m assuming that his aspirations are the same…to supersede what people know of him, in a good way.”
And as mysterious as Mr. Ocean can be, Earl Sweatshirt, one of the youngest members and most talented lyricists in the Odd Future crew, also had the Internet in a frenzy in 2011, with Complex even doing an investigative piece to find out more about his stint at a Samoan boarding school. His official debut has been titled Doris, with no release date set as yet, and Pharrell had no trouble describing him.
“Earl is sick. I worked on a song on Earl’s album, Chad and I actually, and Earl is very different,” he said, without hesitation. “He’s had a very different childhood too. He had gone away for a second. It’s a deep story and I think it’s affected him… in a wonderful way, because I think he’s coming back in a great way. He too seems to be much more of an introvert, but he’s not shy or timid.”
“I don’t know if he addresses [going away],” Pharrell said of the content on Earl’s new material. “He doesn’t on the songs [so far]— we did two songs and one of them is going on [the album], I think it’s called ‘Burgundy,’ then there’s another one called ‘Feet’ or ‘Foot.’ You know him… he picks the wildest names ever and he’s dead ass too. He’s dead serious.”