20 years ago, Pharrell Lanscilo Williams introduced the world to what is now known as the Neptune’s sound with Noreaga’s “Superthug”.
The sound continued its wave throughout the early 2000’s and has been incorporated into a plethora of music catalogs including Justin Timberlake’s “Man of the Woods” that recently released.
However, when he’s not cranking out tracks in the studio, Pharrell continues to push humanitarianism through different avenues such as sneakers, music, fashion and now sports. During the Super Bowl, adidas Football and Pharrell seeded an HU football cleat to key NFL players such as Chad OchoCinco, Von Miller and Deandre Hopkins to OG rapper/football coach Snoop Dogg.
But something about these Football cleats stood out more than anything we’ve ever seen before. The cleats read “Liberty and Justice” – a phrase that is incorporated in the pledge of allegiance to represent the idea that every person is created equal. In today’s world of political mess, inequality is more obvious than ever and athletes such as Colin Kaepernick, Von Miller as well as the Patriots, have all taken a stand against inequality especially in the past year.
We sat down with Pharrell to go further in depth about the cleats and why he chose to work with adidas:
“I like to look at adidas as a company that specializes in perfunctory design. The product performs and is designed with function in mind. It’s an honor to work with a team like that. But Most importantly, our morals are aligned. They believe in equality.”
“To see these players wake up everyday and go sustain these clashes and collisions that are comparable to a car traveling 30 miles per hour for something that they believed in since they were kids and not allow the political chatter to distract them – that’s amazing.”
Pharrell explains the idea behind the cleat and why Liberty and Justice is the chosen phrase.
“When they first approached me to see if I’d be into creating some custom cleats, I said yeah of course. Mind Body and Soul – you’re risking everything and these players are risking it all. My idea was very simple – Liberty and Justice for all. Every step that they take. I wanted something that was simple, but I wanted something that made a statement. I give the praise to this particular scenario to the team.”
Liberty and Justice, is it a nod to the football protest that is going on?
“The Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem… when those things come on, we as black folks when we say we’re proud, it’s because we’re proud of the progress and the possibilities for things to get even better but I believe in the power of now. I believe that these football players expressing themselves right before the game is a beautiful thing. They’re exercising their Liberty and their Justice for All. With adidas, the fact that they understand that – that they’re willing to stand behind these players and exercising the power of now is amazing”