Pharrell Williams explained why he made Pusha T watch “Joker” during the “It’s Almost Dry” sessions.
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The rapper’s frequently mentioned the movie, Joker in the making of the album but Pharrell recently explained the significance of Arthur Fleck in relation to It’s Almost Dry. During a recent interview with Complex, where he also discussed the return of Something’s In The Water Festival, he explained how he got Pusha T outside of his usual comfort zone. “He’s so disciplined about the version of himself that he had chosen to give the world all these years. Each of us has 64 notes, and he picked an octave to say, ‘OK, this is the only thing that I will give to the world.’ And I wanted him to play outside of those things,” Pharrell said.
One of those things happened to be the maniacal cackle heard on the album that bears similarities to Arthur Fleck’s laugh. Pharrell explained that Push’s laugh was an important aspect in rounding out his character across the project. “Like, that laugh that’s on the album, I’m not making that up. He’s not acting. That’s literally who he is. He’s so karma-based that he loves when karma comes back to strike. It tickles his soul like a little child. So when you’re hearing him say those things, I strategically placed those laughs where those bars are, because those bars hit you the same way that karma hits him, and he laughs. So I wanted people to know that about his personality,” Pharrell continued.
From there, he explained that the character of Arthur Fleck portrayed in Joker resonated deeply with his perception of Pusha T. However, King Push was apparently unfamiliar with the film so Pharrell forced him to watch it in its entirety.
“For me, I’ve known who Arthur Fleck was all my life. It’s him,” he said. “And he hadn’t seen Joker. That’s the funny thing. I had to get him to watch it. He hadn’t even seen [the movie], and when I got him to watch it. I was like, ‘Bro, you know this is you, right?’ And at first, he thought I was kidding. I had to tell him I wasn’t kidding. He’s watching the shit that he does, and he’s like, ‘Oh, this is me.'”
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During the process of making It’s Almost Dry, the two would have the film on mute in the background in order to align the energy of the songs with specific scenes.
“Literally, we really did look at Joker. We looked at it the whole time and just kept it on mute, and if a beat didn’t match it, it didn’t make it. If the verses weren’t maniacal enough, it didn’t make it. And if I couldn’t find a good place to put his guttural laugh… because he does this thing where he laughs high-pitched in a loop. He does it until he’s out of breath. He loves it, and there’s nothing better than that,” Pharrell concluded.
Pusha T is expected to perform at Pharrell’s Something In The Water festival which takes place from June 17 to 19.