Pharrell & Janelle Monae Talk Historical Context Of 'Hidden Figures' Film


Grammy Award-winning artist-producer Pharrell and singer-turned-actress Janelle Monae not only brought their magic to the new film 'Hidden Figures,' but they also brought it to Atlanta's own Mean Streets Studio as they hosted a unique listening party for the movie's soundtrack. The listening session followed an advance screening of the film at the Regal Cinemas in Atlantic Station.

Media, music executives, and key influencers were treated to great food and music as DJ Drama, Don Cannon, and DJ Sense hosted the soundtrack listening party.

Celebrities in attendance for the screening and listening event included Usher, Ludacris, Big Krit, DC Young Fly, Migos, Jasmine Guy, Carl Payne and more.

During the listening session Pharell and Janelle Monae took time out to discuss the film's purpose, story and mission.

"I became obsessed with figuring it out and making it a personal duty of mine to make sure these women's stories were hidden no more," said Janelle.

"For once it wasn't three African American women who were best friends or hanging out for the weekend," said Pharell as he explained that the film has true historical context.

Pharrell also took time to breakdown a few of the soundtrack's songs.

'"Run It" it's about... so it's the 1960s and being black in the 1960s was super tough, and being black and a female in the 1960s is even more tough. The reason why is because on the NASA campus they had bikes, but if you're a woman you didn't wear pants and you didn't wear shorts. You wore skirts and dresses. So it wouldn't be that bad if the bathroom was down the hall. But if you're an African American woman the bathroom is all the way on the campus which is essentially a 30-45 minute ride roundtrip rain or shine," said Pharrell.

'Hidden Figures' tells the true story of mathematicians Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson and Katherine Johnson, who all served as the brains behind America’s race against Russia to put a man in space. The women quickly rose the ranks of NASA and were known as “human computers". The film features Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as the legendary trio.

The film also stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Maria Howell, Karan Kendrick and Donna Biscoe, and was shot on various locations throughout Georgia.

Make sure you run out to the theaters on Christmas day and see the film that chronicles the story of the African-American women who helped win the Space race!

Both Pharrell and Janelle Monae expressed that the film not only tells the untold story of unsung black women in NASA, it also tells the story of the African American woman and her historical journey through civil rights.

Major shout out to Pharrell for putting his golden touch on the film’s soundtrack.