The knowledge: Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams / July 2012

Hip hop star Pharrell Williams may be a successful pop culture icon, but he's a kid at heart. In this article Pharrell discusses "i am OTHER", his visionary YouTube channel, and shares his 10 favorite things to play when taking a break from the limelight.


I always loved racing games as a child, and this one is the ultimate — it's pure escapism. And I don't like to brag, but I'm kinda good.


It's hard to describe why I like Go-Karts, but that's actually what I like about it; the part you can't put into words. Trying to explain the magic kind of defeats the sparkle of it all. The truth is, I'm a big kid. I don't remember growing up. I'm not sure I've become an adult yet, actually.

The truth is, I'm a big kid. I don't remember growing up. I'm not sure I've become an adult yet, actually.


I played this a lot last year but I had to stop. I realized I was playing Angry Birds in all my free time. It was an addiction. People would call my name once... twice... three times, and I just didn't hear them. When that's happening a couple times a day, you know it's time to put down the iPad. I like being in control. There are only certain things in life you let go for.


Again, it's about escapism — a getaway. I have a home theater that I watch it in. The effects are different, but it's still good.


This is the record that hooked me into hip hop. I first heard it in 1989. I was over at my friend Shay Haley's house and his cousin brought over the cassette — he got an early copy when he was in DC. I listened to it on repeat. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before; it was out of this world. It still is.


I watch reruns of cartoons on Boomerang and the Cartoon Network at night. I love the old old ones from the '50s like Looney Toons and Tom and Jerry, but also newer stuff like The Smurfs and, of course, The Flintstones and The Jetsons. My absolute favorite show is Chowder. (I think I have a couple of T-shirts.) It's about a chubby kid with a funny set of friends. He lives in a very interesting world; the backdrop is like wallpaper, so wherever he goes, it doesn't move.


Lucky Strike is a local spot on Miami Beach that my friends and I like to go to. It's just good fun recreation, though I'm not a very good bowler.


This film is just ingenious, the whole thing, every line. It may be the funniest movie I've ever seen in my life.


Donny Hathaway is an incredible Motown artist from the early '70s. I love listening to his album Live while driving around my hometown Virginia. It's colorful and vivid, yet calming. His writing was incredible. It was very real and inspiring to me. The women loved him. You can hear them screaming out in the recording.


My friends and I share funny videos whenever we stumble across them, and we watch them over and over again. It's addictive. Online video is such a great way for people to express themselves. That's why I really appreciate the opportunity to start a channel on YouTube, 'i am OTHER.' It's meant to be an outlet for people who are super creative. It has all original content, episodic shows ranging from documentaries to comedy to art and music. My team and I select everything ourselves — we all have to like it. We want to make a serious and significant splash.

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