Between designing Louis Vuitton’s menswear collections, producing and performing hit records, and starring on the cover of GQ’s September issue, Pharrell Williams has also somehow found time to author a new book. Carbon, Pressure & Time: A Book of Jewels, which releases on September 26 through Rizzoli, explores hip-hop culture’s ongoing obsession with extravagant jewelry and offers an up-close look at Pharrell’s own legendary collection.
In this exclusive excerpt, Pharrell and longtime friend Tyler, the Creator have an intimate conversation about their respective introductions to the jewelry game, their favorite pieces of all time, and how they stay motivated creatively.
Pharrell: What’s up bro. How you doin’?
Tyler: Living it.
P: I know that. What’s that music sounding like?
T: I gotta crazy one comin’ very soon. Very soon.
P: What’s going on man?
T: Livin.’ Waitin’ on you, man. Not like for this call, like waiting for the new shit that was supposed to come out ages ago. You playin’.
P: No, I’m not, I’m not, I’m out here in Paris, I just ended up doin’ twelve N.E.R.D records.
T: Can’t wait man!
P: Listen, you’ll have something to ride to. I mean, look, like I told you, they’re big choruses, but you know, out of nowhere, I’ll just come out of nowhere with the three-bar, crazy-nuts chords that go three-bar to four-bar to eight-bar. It’s good bro, it’s good. This is like that feeling that I felt when we made In Search Of…. I won’t sit here and tell you that they were hits. I knew it was different, and I knew there won’t be nothing out there like this. But I’m talking about the feeling. I wanted to do everything. I wanted feelings. I wanted the motherfuckin’ great composition. I wanted great chords. I want to use chords I never used before, and not just the dreamy ones. The ones that I’ve never done, that I fuckin’ hated. But using them in ways to get to other chords where the changes are such a release. And then, lyrically, the harmonies here…all the songs just have rainbow harmonies.
T: You got me. I need to hear one of these.
P: Please. When do you come here? When are you coming?
T: Dude, I don’t know. I’m so busy, man. I keep thinking, oh, imma go to London. I’ll go to Paris for two days. I’ll go to Japan for a week. And I know I’m not going no-fucking-where. I was editing from 11:00 a.m. to midnight last night. I didn’t leave my motherfuckin’ house. Everyone came here. Finishing, but it’s, it’s some good shit comin.’ You’ll hear it. People gonna love it.
P: That means imma love it, too.
T: It’s one of those, like, everyone I play it for is like, ‘play it back, please!’ Okay…what the fuck was this Zoom about? I mean, you got my number. You coulda just…