Ten years ago today, Pharrell released his debut solo album In My Mind, and to celebrate, Tyler, the Creator posted an inspiring and deeply personal Instagram statement on how the record changed his life.
He describes trying to hunt down previews of the album "ON VARIOUS GERMAN SITES" before hearing the full album, and how it resonated with him. "BEING 15 BLACK NOT REALLY 'INTERESTED' IN WHAT THE MAJORITY OF MY PEERS WERE INTO, IT MADE ME FEEL SAFE," he writes. "I WAS OPTIMISTIC, ALWAYS DAYDREAMING AND SETTING GOALS SO I FELT YOU WERE DIRECTLY SPEAKING TO ME."
Tyler also writes about how, despite Interscope Records co-founder Jimmy Iovine's belief that In My Mind "DIDN'T WORK," it led Tyler to found his hip hop and fashion collective Odd Future in the summer of 2006. "IT SEEMS LIKE AT A CERTAIN AGE, IDEAS [and] ORIGINAL THOUGHTS ARE NO LONGER A THING. I DIDN'T FALL INTO THAT CYCLE."
He ends the letter by thanking Pharrell for being a father figure in his life through his music as well as in real life. "I'M NOW A YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR ALL BECAUSE I BELIEVED YOU WHEN YOU SAID I COULD BE... I NEVER HAD BROTHERS,UNCLES OR MY FATHER AROUND SO THANK YOU FOR BEING THE MALE FIGURE I GRAVITATED TO. ALLOWING ME TO EMBRACE BEING DIFFERENT AND TRUSTING MY IDEAS."
Read Tyler's FADER cover story here, and watch the video for Pharrell's In My Mind track "That Girl" below, a song which Tyler says in his letter he's still unable to top.