Pharrell & The Neptune Pay Homage To Clarence Avant On “Letter To My Godfather”

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From The Black Godfather Netflix documentary soundtrack.

Today, June 7th, Netflix released a documentary, The Black Godfather, honoring the music industry legend, Clarence Avant. Deemed the “Godfather of Black Music,” Avant’s influence on R&B, soul, and pop has been tangible throughout his multi-decade run, materializing in collaborating with the iconic Bill Withers and founding of Sussex Records Inc.

Given the 88-year-old’s undeniable impact on music at large, with a focus on black music and culture, it’s fitting that the documentary received an equally impactful soundtrack. Heading the decorated tracklist is none other than Pharrell Williams with The Neptunes at his side on “Letter To My Godfather.”

Paying direct homage to Avant, “Letter To My Godfather” distills varying samples — including, ironically given his own penchant for sampling, “Blood On The Leaves” by Kanye West — and finds Pharrell on his auto-tuned tip. Relatively new ground for the legendary artist, Pharrell’s use of auto-tune plays beautifully with the dynamic The Neptunes production.

Listen to “Letter To My Godfather” below:


Zach H