He makes a powerful statement with the song and the accompanying visual. The video proudly features and spotlights the achievements of over a dozen black entrepreneurs. It includes Issa Rae, Nipsey Hussle, Tyler, The Creator, Robert Hartwell, Six Sev, TyAnthony Davis [Founder of Vox Collegiate Junior High], Vincent Williams [Founder of Honey’s Kettle], Iddris Sandu, Beatrice Dixon [Founder of Honey’s Pot], Arthell & DarnellIsom[Founders of D’ART Shtajio], Neighbors SkateShop, Alrick Augustine, Denise Woodard [Founder of Partake Cookies],Chace Infinite [Founder of Harun Coffee Shop], Chef Alisa[Founder of My Two Cents], Debbie Allen [Founder of Tribe Midwifery], Angela Richardson [Founder of PUR Home], Miss Bennett Fitness, Black and Mobile, Trill Paws Dog Accessories, Third Vault Yarns, and “The First Black Valedictorian of Princeton” Nicholas Johnson. They all make cameos as title cards introduce their accomplishments. Over a slick and soulful bounce, Pharrell carries an uplifting and undeniable affirmation punctuated by his instantly recognizable high register. This anthem arrives at just the right time.
Pharrell also joined forces with TIME for a very special cover project entitled The New American Revolution. He personally curated a series of essays and conversations between Black leaders that explore America’s oppressive past and visions for a more equitable future, with perspectives from Kenya Barris, Imara Jones, Naomi Osaka, Tyler, the Creator, and more. To bring this dialogue to the forefront, he unites the likes of Yara Shahidi and Angela Davis in once-in-a-lifetime interviews. Hank Willis Thomas contributed the cover art.
About the issue, Pharrell wrote, “In assembling this project, I asked some of the most qualified people I know in every field—from Angela Davis to Tyler, the Creator, to Representative Barbara Lee—to talk with us, and with one another, about the way forward. I wanted to convey a vision of a future filled with the artists, creators and entrepreneurs who can fulfill the promise of this country’s principles.”
For the third annual year, ComplexCon takes over the greater LA area. Set in Long Beach, California, major brands and celebrities flooded their convention center to witness spectacular musical acts, speakers, brands and art. Over the two days, 360 Magazine visited various booths – Puma, Champion, Reebok, Pink Dolphin, 1800 Tequila, Cadillac and more. Reebok’s exclusive ComplexCon shoe, the R58 stunted vibrant colors and introduced all three logos shown for the first time.
Takashi Murakami, contemporary artist on the host committee, sprinkled his aesthetics across the summit (in addition to a collaboration with Drake’s OVO). 1800 Tequila partnered with artist Adam Lucas and streetwear designer Nicky Diamonds for custom-made vintage denim jackets which were raffled at this year’s program. Attendees waiting in line for the McDonald’s installation were treated with Mcnuggets and fries before choosing patches to press onto free backpacks and shirts.
Recording artist Tinashe was a 360 favorite. The urban singer performed hits “Company” and “2 On.” Other performances included Lil Baby, Nav and T-Pain while the crowd also bopped to headliners Rae Sremmurd and Future. Duo Sremmurd surprised fans with a special appearance from rapper Tyga.
ComplexCon(versations) topics revolved around today’s thought on politics, culture, fashion and music. Billboard producer of the decade, Pharrell Williams was a host due to his creative sense on the latest pop culture trends. Tommy Hilfiger spoke on his relationships with Hip-Hop and the connections between music and fashion. Jaden Smith and Yara Shahidi discussed growth out of chaos and how youth should address political issues. Rapper and icon, Nas, spoke on the behind-the-scenes of film, “Belly” and how it changed Hip-Hop and Hollywood.
The PUMA Galleria saw sneakerheads excited to check out the 90’s vibes in the Toys, Tech, Tracks and Trophies sections with line ups for the limited RS-X Toys custom sneaker works by JBF Customs and Alexander John inspired by 90s Tech and Mix Tapes respectively. The artists also did live custom designing demos at the courtyard. All pairs were sold out in minutes. PUMA also unveiled the upcoming collaboration pack with Hot Wheels – the RS-X Toys Hot Wheels that release on December 1st.
Special guests Kali Uchis, A Boogie Wit a Hoodie, Yo Gotti and Nipsey Hustle all came out to promote and sign the limited-quantity bootleg tees designed by Chinatown Market. Each tee design were inspired by each artist. YesJulz and her 1AM radio crew continued with their live broadcast from the PUMA Galleria and interviewed the artists mentioned above plus a whole lot more. Also seen were Emory Jones, Upscale Vandal, Karrueche and Victor Cruz, among the many celebrities who dropped by.
To celebrate the launch of Cadillac’s newest vehicle, the XT4, Cadillac & Nas dropped a one-of-a-kind Cadillac crest piece and gold chain filled with yellow diamonds, black diamonds, rubies and sapphires. While Nas was signing custom Cadillac/Nas/Complex Merch he surprised a lucky fan by giving the chain to them, creating a once-in-a-lifetime moment with the most coveted drop at the event.
DJ Akademiks and A Boogie wit da Hoodie battled it out during a live episode taping of “On the Sticks,” the new interactive gaming series from Complex and Xbox. The two played NBA 2K19 with A Boogie wit da Hoodie emerging as the champion. The series launches Friday, November 9 on Complex’s YouTube channel.
Virgil Abloh headlined ComplexCon(versations) to a packed house of 700 fans. He was joined on stage by emerging designers (b).stroy, comprised of Brick Owens & Dieter Grams, as well as Ev Bravado and Rhuigi.
Nas, Big Boy, Jeff Staple and Tinashe stopped by the HBO barbershop experience that was promoting the new series “The Shop.” Capitol Records’ James Davis, Njomza, BJ The Chicago Kid and Marc Byers joined artists Nick Grant and A Boogie wit da Hoodie for panel discussions at the booth.
Balvinhit the floor checking out the booths, posing for photos with fans, copping exclusive merch and more.
As part of Adidas Originals main event at ComplexCon, the brand joined forces with creative partner Pusha T to present a journey through three connected environments, reimagining a retro bank vault and penthouse office, to unveil a limited edition EQT Cushion 2 collaboration. Answering the popular demand for more cultural experiences, the mogul sat with 12 aspiring artists from Los Angeles for an opportunity at the adidas Originals Sound Labs Grant for musical development. Only five musicians made the cut after two days of listening sessions and now local LA semi-finalists Sareal, Lorine Chia, Ice Cold Bishop, Indiigo and Rugby Wild will continue the application process for the grant that will result in a winner in the first days of 2019. Also, King Push was joined by adidas Originals partner Pharrell Williams, who released pairs of the elusive adidas Originals N.E.R.D HU NMD and 50 pairs of never-seen-before PW HU P.O.D. System exclusive for the conference. Winners of the Friends and Family HU P.O.D. System pairs got to meet Pharrell as a special treat from the icon and Adidas Originals. And finally, Adidas Originals launched its new Los Angeles-focused social identity @AdidasLA alongside rap legend and creative ambassador Snoop Dogg. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Doggystyle, the brand partnered with Snoop and LA’s World Famous VIP Records for a special pop-up experience. Snoop himself made a special appearance and signed 25 pairs of adidas Originals P.O.D. System sneakers that had been customized by LA artist Gregory Siffs.
Reebok closed out the weekend with its limited-edition Futsal Fusion R58 drop and the final silhouette of the the R58 Series, the Sole Fury Floatride. Lil Baby stopped by in celebration of the drop, purchasing the first ten pairs for lucky customers in line before customizing shirts for his whole crew.
Karen Civil introduced film narrator Pharrell Williams at Universal Pictures’ special screening of THE GRINCH Saturday night ahead of of its upcoming release.
GUESS JEANS U.S.A. x PLACES+FACES debuted at ComplexCon ahead of its global launch. Unique items such as reflective tees, photo-vests, cargo pant and tracksuits were the first to go. J.Balvin, Teyana Taylor, Made in Tyo (Tyoko), Olan Prenatt, Trill Sammy, Christian BULL1TRC, and Premium Pete all stopped by GUESS Jeans U.S.A. to pick up the goods.
Zen, a new e-commerce experience celebrating sneaker culture with a unique blend of commerce, storytelling, community, and events that launched at ComplexCon, gave away to lucky winners hundreds of pairs of rare kicks including Nike Air Mags seen in ‘Back to the Future,’ Undefeated Jordan IV, Nike Dunk SB Low Diamond Supply Co. “Tiffany,” all Supreme Nike SB Blazers and Dunks, and Adidas Chanel Pharrell Hu NMD.
Becky G bounced around on the giant inflatable art installation from FriendsWithYou Art Collective at the POPSockets booth.
Steve Aoki joined Kim Jung Gi for selfies in the Find Your Grind infinity room.
At McDonald’s Project Connect booth, exclusive designs by influencers Joe FreshGoods, Elise Swopes and Richie Lewere added to jean jackets, jerseys, long sleeve tees and book bags. Also at the booth, Teyana Taylor hosted a first-ever tasting of the new Triple Breakfast Stack for a lucky winner. Hosted by Kenny Burns, Lena Waithe, Don Benjamin and Marcellus Bennett dropped in to enjoy the drops, live DJs, McDonald’s McNuggets, world famous fries and soft drinks.