"I'm African-American," Pharrell says. "African means that's what's in me. American means that's where I am right now. So if this is where I am and this is America, it's with liberty and justice for all."
The annual ceremony celebrates influencers from the '90s era who revolutionized and changed the game of hip-hop culture, but it was Parrell's compelling call to action that stole the show.
"For everybody at home right now watching this and acting like y'all don't see what's going on out there, you gotta open your eyes," he 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're we gonna do?"
Not a murmur came from the onlooking crowd.
"And for everybody else in this country, the human condition is important," he continued. "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. You should understand that they could change their minds, and it might not be about black, white, big, skinny or small. It might be about facial features. It might be about hair color. Don't act like they didn't do that before."
Williams apologized for hijacking the moment and referenced "Game of Thrones" protagonist, Jon Snow.
"And I know it kinda sounds like hijacking the moment and on my Jon Snow sh-t -- and I might be, because they keep talking about a wall," he said. "The enemy is this decisive mentality. It's on this side of the wall, guys and girls. It's already here, OK? Because the white nationalists -- they're walking toward your future. What you gonna do?"
"I'm just a tiny, tiny, tiny, little musician...but I'm African-American," he concluded. "African means that's what's in me. American means that's where I am right now. So if this is where I am and this is America, it's with liberty and justice for all."
Williams along with Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande and others will perform at the Charlottesville benefit concert -- A Concert for Charlottesville -- on Sunday. Donations made at the concert will be collected to help benefit victims of the violent protests that occurred back in August.