Watch Pharrell’s Moving Speech on Opening Your Eyes to Injustice at 2017 VH1 ‘Hip Hop Honors’
Pharrell was right in the middle of introducing the legendary Hype Williams to the stage to accept his Game Changer trophy at the 2017 VH1 Hip Hop Honors ceremony when he made a point to deliver a brief speech about the dangers of turning a blind eye to injustice. It was a somber, but necessary moment in a night filled with celebrations.
"So for everybody... everybody at home right now watching this and acting like ya'll don't see what's going on out there, you gotta open your eyes," Pharrell began. "Open your eyes. You keep saying you don't see what's going on on television—what's happening to us—open your eyes. And if you look like I look, then you know how we got here. But we're here, and we're not leaving. So what are we gonna do? And for everybody else in this country, the human condition is important. Don’t think because they’re coming at the African-Americans and the Jewish community and the Hispanics that it can’t be you too just because you look like them. They're using you."
He continued, "You should understand ’they’ can change their minds and it might not be about Black, White, big, skinny or small. It could be about facial features. It might be about hair color. Don’t act like they didn’t do that before.”
Pharrell briefly apologized for his speech coming during the introduction speech for Hype's Game Changer award, but continued to emphasize the importance of seeking justice for everyone. “This is where we are right now. Me, I'm just a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, little musician. Like little small, tiny musician, but I'm African American," he said. "African means that’s what in me, American means thats where I am right now. So if this is where I am and this is America, it’s for liberty and justice for all."
Check out P's moving speech for yourself below.
See Photos of Jermaine Dupri, Master P and More at the 2017 VH1 Hip Hop Honors