When we caught up with him among the inaugural hoopla, Usher made us a promise: new music very soon. Maybe the record could be a Pharrell Williams/ Neptunes production, because a photo of Usher, Skateboard P and Maroon 5′s Adam Levine collaborating in the studio recently hit the Net. “It’s a little bit of everything,” Usher said of what they’ve been working on. “Pharrell has his Web site where he lets you come inside his world and lets you know what’s happening. A few pictures did leak online, just to let you know what he’s been working on. There’s some synergy between all of us and the record we’re working on is gonna be an incredible record. I’m a fan. Adam is incredible — far beyond what I even fathomed.
“[The studio session] was a loose thing,” Ush added. “[Adam] came in, picked up a guitar and went to work.” Usher and Pharrell obviously have a rich history of working together. “U Don’t Have To Call” was a blockbuster, but the Atlanta crooner says he isn’t looking to “yesterday” for inspiration — his sights are on right now. “We want to create music like you never heard before,” Usher explained. “Once we create something in the studio that everybody is crazy about, then we try to beat that. Once we create another one, we try to beat that. It’s like we’re challenging ourselves in the moment, as opposed to chasing what’s in the past. Although ‘U Don’t Have To Call’ is always a great reason for us to come back again — it was more or less a celebration.”
Previous Usher Neptunes’ Work
- I Don’t Know feat. P. Diddy
- You Don’t Have To Call
8701 (Australian Import)/U Don’t Have To Call (VLS) (2001)
- You Don’t Have To Call feat. Ludacris (Remix)
Wifey (VLS) (2004)
- Wifey feat. Pharrell
YEAH! (CDS) (Import) (2004)
- Sweet Lies feat. Vanessa Marquez
I Heard A Rumour (VLS) (2005)
- I Heard A Rumour
Don’t Take It Personal (VLS) (2006)
- Don’t Take It Personal
Only One (VLS) (2007)
- Only One feat. Pharrell
Flash (CDS) (2008)
Tough times call for tough measures, according to N¤E¤R¤D. Pharrell Williams and company recently premiered their next video, the somber “Sooner Or Later,” from 2008′s Seeing Sounds, and the trio said the daily headlines inspired visuals for the track. “We were talking about how the stock market crashed and how the world economy is so terrible, so the [directors] came up with this concept right around this same time,” Williams explained of the clip. “Next thing you know, we’re here [on set].” The Malloys are the directors behind N¤E¤R¤D’s “Sooner Or Later” clip. The brothers, Emmett and Brendan, have helmed videos for the White Stripes (“Icky Thump“) and the Black Eyed Peas (“Don’t Phunk With My Heart“).
For “Sooner Or Later,” the pair put a broom in the hands of Pharrell; the image is decidedly working-class and quite a departure for the flashy Billionaire Boys Club enthusiast. Meanwhile, bandmates Chad Hugo and Shay Haley got placed on mopping and janitorial duties, respectively. “Sooner Or Later, it all comes crashing down,” Williams sings on the song’s chorus. “Crashing down, when everyone’s around/ I bet you would’ve paid up or you’ll cash down.” “Rob & Big” star Rob Dyrdek makes a cameo in the clip. Williams produced the official anthem of Dyrdek’s skating crew, “Hoppin’ Over Fences.” The MTV star is optimistic the video will help ease the concerns of fans that are being hit hard by the slumping economy. “Hopefully, we’re letting everybody know it’ll be OK,” Dyrdek said.
Check out the brand new Chester French Blog on www.chesterfrench.com and don’t forget to check out their Biography cuz there are some infos you didn’t know about them.
Originally, we played shows around campus with three of our friends, Justin, Fuj, and Damien. After doing this for a little over a year, we both became involved with an on-campus recording studio called QSS. We learned how to engineer and, eventually, produce. Since it was now just the two of us and we couldn’t really play shows that way, we focused our efforts on writing and recording what we hoped would be an undeniably classic album. That task consumed the remainder of our college years and, just as we were about to graduate in 2007, some demos we had sent out caught the attention of Kanye West’s manager, Don C. Don gave our demo to Kanye , who flew us out to L.A. and offered us the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to continue Chester French full-time after graduation. That same week, some of our other favorite artists heard the demo, including Pharrell, Ryan Leslie, Pete Wentz, and Jermaine Dupri.
Each of them seconded Kanye’s enthusiasm for the project, but after meeting with Jimmy Iovine we ultimately decided to partner with Pharrell’s label, Star Trak, and Interscope Records to release the album. We graduated from college on June 1, 2007, and after doing some more work on our album in Boston and Milwaukee (where Max and D.A. are from, respectively) we moved out to L.A. with our college buddy/super producer MG aka MGenius aka Mathias Gordon. We met lots of great people in L.A. like Scott Vener, Talib Kweli, Travis Barker, Clinton Sparks, and Asher Roth. But we also spent a lot of the time away from home, touring with Pharrell’s band, N¤E¤R¤D and Common , among others. After a year of fun in the sun, we were tired of paying rent while always being on tour and so moved back to our homes in Milwaukee and Boston (though Max moonlights in New York City). Now we’re preparing to finally release the album that we’ve been working on this whole time, Love The Future!
Jay-Z’s been busy lately, recording verses for DJ Khaled, the “Notorious” soundtrack and Young Jeezy’s “My President” remix. But that doesn’t mean the Brooklyn wordsmith is ready to release The Blueprint 3 just yet. Typically, when Jay has a project in the works, it only takes him a few weeks to wrap it up. This time, though, there’s been no rush. “For me, the process of making an album is difficult with so many things going on,” Jay told MTV News backstage at his “Eve of Change” show. “And me, I wanna make it beyond and above. I’m gonna take my time with it. I don’t have any quotas, and that’s a good thing. It may be too freeing. It’s a good thing and a bad thing. You know, I think I need some restrictions. ‘Cause if I had restrictions, I would have done it in three weeks. I would have made what I believe to be a great piece of art.” According to Kanye West, the album’s rumored sole producer, the music recorded so far for BP3 is “phenomenal.” West spoke with MTV Base in November and reiterated Jay’s claim that the album could have been released.
But after the positive feedback for “Jockin’ Jay-Z” and T.I.’s “Swagger Like Us,” Hov decided to keep cooking up tracks. “We went in, and we [did] the whole album,” West explained. “He wanted to do a few more joints, so he kinda pushed it back. Now we’re gonna go in and just work on some more records. So I got some more stuff to kill it with! I think [Jay pushed the album back because] ‘Swagger’ just did so incredible. We wanted to go up [and make sure] everything was on that level.” In addition to “Jockin’ Jay-Z” and “Swagger Like Us,” the Jigga Man said his “Notorious” track, “Brooklyn Go Hard,” is also slated for the album. “I actually recorded a lot of records already,” Jay said. “You know, all those records that leaked [online] were on The Blueprint 3.” The Blueprint 3 is believed to be Jay-Z’s last contractual album due to Def Jam, his current recording home. The rapper, who served a three-year term as the label’s president, signed a new $150 million contract with Live Nation over 10 years. It remains unclear, though, which company will distribute albums for Jay-Z under the Live Nation deal.
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