Chester French, Max Drummey, left, and D.A. Wallach are earning buzz as a band to watch. Go to the duo’s Web site and you can scoop up an entirely free “athletic-themed” album. The idea is that you’ll be so impressed by the free stuff, you’ll feel inspired to buy the band’s official debut album, “Love The Future” (Star Trak/Interscope), which came out last month. “We’re doing something that’s never been done by a band before,” says lead singer D.A. Wallach. “It’s great because when you put out free music, people can spread it around as much as they want. And right now as we’re just trying to expose ourselves to more people. Every new supporter helps.” The band has even come up with a fancy name for its fans: “VIP Concierge Service.” So who are these two clever, skinny dudes who jokingly claim to “put in a lot of burn at the gym”? Wallach and Max Drummey met at Harvard, but found music to be more interesting than their studies.
Fortunately for them, sought-after producer Pharrell Williams liked what he heard and signed the group to his label. So far things seems to be working out for Chester French (named for sculptor Daniel Chester French, though the group is sick of explaining). They won a place on Rolling Stone’s “Artists to Watch” list in 2008. HBO’s “Entourage” showed some love for their catchy single “She Loves Everybody.” “Right now we’re on the first tour bus we’ve ever had,” says Wallach. “We were driving around in a van for the past year and a half and it’s a real luxury now to be able to sleep while we’re driving.” The band spoke to CNN about the challenges of navigating a rapidly changing industry, getting punched by a pretty girl in a music video and why the Beach Boys have nothing on them.
Pharrell hinted at turning his attention back towards The Neptunes, renewing his focus on hip-hop production, last night (May 12) while backstage at BET’s 106 and Park. “We got a lot of new treats,” Pharrell told XXLMag.com, with Shay and Chad Hugo nodding in agreement. “I know I’ve been out doing the rock n’ roll thing, but know that the empire strikes back.” First up will be Clipse’s third studio album, ‘Til The Casket Drops, which Pharrell admits to providing a “sizeable amount” of the beats, including the collabo with a certain Harlem rapper. “The feature with Cam’Ron is pretty serious,” said Shay, breaking his silence, with Pharrell concurring, “Cam blacks on that.” However, the Virginia super producer was decidedly against a hip-hop direction for a next NERD album. “If you were to ever go on the road with us, and see 80,000 people jumping at festivals, you’d know that there’s room for a hip-hop element — but those kids wanna jump,” said Pharrell. “And we’re absolutely hooked on it.” “It’s got more steroids in it,” he said of the trio’s more rock-oriented sound, adding, “but hip-hop is definitely one of the shots.”
They talk about the Cam’Ron collaboration “Popeye“.
NERD has been at 106 & Park to attend the BET Awards nomination show.
Best Group:The Roots
Three 6 Mafia
The-Dream & Pharrell Williams reportedly are lending their helping hands for singer Brandy’s sixth studio album which hasn’t had a title and release date just yet. R&B female performer Brandy won’t slow down when it comes to her career in Hollywood music industry as she reportedly is working on a new album, which will be her sixth. Aiming for what is best for the upcoming record, she is said enlisting helps from music greats The-Dream and Pharrell Williams. As for The-Dream, the music producer reportedly will pen some songs for her. Pharrell, meanwhile, will hit the studio together with the songstress once she gets back from her on-going tour in the U.K. It is not known yet on what color of music Brandy will bring on her next album. And since production of the album is still in its very early stage, there hasn’t been title for the project just yet. In related news, Brandy is said to have also been working on a collaboration album with her singer brother Ray J. The set reportedly is tentatively titled “R&B.”
Last month, Harvard-grads-turned-rock-stars Chester French released their premiere album, “Love The Future.” They also made a few “colorful” additions to their online store. Alongside records, t-shirts, and stickers, dedicated fans can now purchase the “ENDURANCE Package,” which includes a work-out session with band members D.A. Wallach and Maxwell C. Drummey ’07 and a game of two-on-two basketball. The “Slumber Party Package” (you provide the sleeping bags and cartoon-themed pillowcases) features breakfast for the family prepared by the band, as well as a serenade of your mother on the ukulele. The “African Safari Package,” costs $75,000. FM interviewed the dynamic duo on their innovative marketing scheme, their new album, and their life as rock stars.
1. Fifteen Minutes: What was the inspiration behind your newest additions to the online store?
D.A. Wallach: We thought it would be cool if our supporters could buy stuff directly from us. On the bottom end we’re offering something comparable to iTunes, our digital iTunes. We wanted to give people as many options as possible…We wanted to give stickers, t-shirts, records. Put down 20 bucks on a record and you actually get some cool stuff with it.
2. FM: How about the more unconventional packages?
D.A.: Fortunately we’ve had a lot of interest in these packages. In addition to making money, we’re also starting a movement. We’re gonna fight childhood and adult obesity, with one endurance event at a time. And since there are two of us we might be able to do two endurance events at a time some day.
Lindsay Lohan has issued a public plea to hip-hop producer Pharrell Williams to get in touch after he failed to return her phone calls. The actress/singer is working on her third album and revealed earlier this year (09) that the NERD rapper/singer had offered to help revive her music career. Lohan told Interview magazine, “He’s an amazing guy. He’s only been really kind to me whenever I’ve met him. He said, ‘I’d love to make a great record with you, but I want to take you out of all the elements that you’re used to. Let’s go away. Let’s go somewhere nice where you can be focused, and let’s make an album there.'” But Lohan has been snubbed and now she’s begging Pharrell to contact her, reports Usmagazine.com. She says, “Pharrell, please call me back!”
Check out this awesome video of Pharrell and 702 in the studio back in 2002 recording 702’s first single off their 3rd album “Star“. Pharrell discuss how he came up with the beat and the 80’s style for the video shot. Thanks To Sylk.
702’s “Star” Studio Session Part 1
702’s “Star” Studio Session Part 2
702’s “Star” Studio Session Part 3
702’s “Star” Studio Session Part 4
702’s “Star” Studio Session Part 5
Remember this picture off Sugar Ray with The Neptunes in the studio back in 2003 , well if y’all been wondering what happened with that collaboration her is an explanation of Sugar Ray’s frontman Mark McGrath.
“Back in 2003, the writing was on the wall for bands like us,” frontman Mark McGrath says. “Radio was changing, music was doing what it does, it was just going through a cycle. We weren’t selling a lot of records and we were like ‘You know, maybe we should take a break from the grind of recording and touring and see what else is out there. We tried to get away from the Sugar Ray sound on our last record — we even worked with The Neptunes on a couple of songs — trying to reinvent ourselves but it didn’t really work for us,” McGrath admits. “But now we’re like ‘Let’s give them a straight down the center, summer, sunny Sugar Ray song’ and I think ‘Boardwalk’ really embodies that. From the title ‘Boardwalk’ to the sound of the song, the harmony, the acoustic guitar, the lyrical content — you’re going to hear the song and go ‘Wow, that’s Sugar Ray for sure.'”
Sugar Ray will release its first full album of new material in more than six years with Music For Cougars on July 21st. The band has already scheduled supporting tour dates for the summer. Check them out below. Their new label, Pulse, suggested recently they take a little money and just make a fun album.
In 2007, rapper Skillz called her “hands down” the eye candy of the year in his ’07 Wrap-Up freestyle, and was a regular on the blogs. But, as of late, she’s been rather quiet. Aside from a role in the upcoming “Next Day Air” film and a stint on the new version of “90210,” we haven’t seen too much of the 24-year-old cutie. However, she recently showed up in Complex magazine for a short interview and spread, in which she clears up rumors about her links to rap stars and what kind of man she likes. According to London, her alleged ties to rappers are just rumors. In fact, she has just a handful of friends. “Most of those are rumors,” she tells the mag. “I don’t have a lot of friends. Most of the friends I have, I’ve had since high school.” London does have a few rap friends, and when they need her, she’s there.
She appeared on a past Clipse mixtape, and that’s simply because the Star Trak crew are family. “I’ve been knowing Pharrell and them since I was really, really young,” London said. “They’re like family to me. Pusha is definitely my brother.” So, what kind of men does Lauren look for? Well, for one, definitely not a rapper. “For some odd reason, I like a man in sweatsuits,” she gushes. “Obviously, you want your man to look good in a suit, but I like when men look comfortable and the swagger just stands out of that. “Don’t be thirsty. Be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t mention anything about Hollywood and you’ll be OK. I don’t want to hear about your jet or your car. Be emotionally stable. I’m interested in a guy who’s a lover of God, a lover of music, a lover of poetry, a lover of women…” London continued.
Music Video Appearance : That Girl, Frontin’, Drop It Like It’s Hot, From The Chuuuch To Tha Palace.
First thing that comes to mind when you think about Robin Thicke: How did the offspring of singer and actress Gloria Loring and “Growing Pains” dad Alan Thicke wind up with so much soul? There’s no easy answer, but the 32-year-old singer-songwriter has become a consistent presence at R&B radio, as well as an in-demand music producer. The “Magic” singer called to chat up his co-headlining tour with Jennifer Hudson, which plays the Dodge Theatre on Tuesday.
Question: Do you like working behind the scenes with other artists?
Answer: I really don’t like making music for other people. I’m an artist first. You make your own music and you don’t have to compromise. Anytime you work with other people, you have to make sure it’s right for them. I’ll only do it when I’m inspired: Lil Wayne, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Usher – they inspire me easily.
Q: Your last album came out six months ago, and you’re already nearing completion of your next disc. That seems quick.
A: It’s all a question of the exhibition. I look at my albums like exhibitions of paintings. When the songs are completed, then it’s time for the exhibition. And each exhibition is different. The next album won’t have anything to do with the last album. They don’t have to be connected in nature. They’re about what I’m saying and how I’m feeling at the time.
I would like to appologize once again for having the site closed, we had too many people online at once so the site had to be shut down for a while. Here is the Official Tracklist off Busta’s „Back On My B.S.“ and a preview of the Neptunes Track „Kill Dem feat. Tosh“.
Click here to download the snippet.
Busta Rhymes – Back On My B.S. (2009) (May 19th)
01 – Back On My B.S. Intro / Wheel Of Fortune (DJ Scratch)
02 – Give ’Em What They Askin’ For (Swizz Beatz)
03 – Respect My Conglomerate feat. Lil’ Wayne & Jadakiss (Focus)
04 – Shoot For The Moon (Focus)
05 – Hustler’s Anthem 09 feat. T-Pain (Ty Fyffe)
06 – Kill Dem feat. Tosh (Neptunes)
07 – Arab Money feat. (Ron Brownz)
08 – I’m A Go And Get My… feat. Mike Epps (DJ Scratch)
09 – We Want In feat. Spliff Star, Show Money & (Ron Brownz)
10 – We Miss You feat. DeMarco & (Jelly Roll)
11 – Sugar feat. (Jelly Roll)
12 – Don’t Believe ’Em feat. Akon & T. I. (Cool & Dre)
13 – Decision feat. Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, John Legend & Common (Dr. Dre)
14 – World Go Round feat. Estelle (Jelly Roll)
The UMA’s will be held on the 17th of July 2009 in New York City and will be attended by more than 2,000 Artist, DJs, producers, promoters, record labels executives, celebrities from the world of music, radio, TV, sports and music fans from across the country. True to tradition, the public will rule and stars will rejoice with them. WE VOTE FOR THE WINNERS! Thanks To Lestina.
Best R&B Act 2009 (USA & UK)
Voting Is Live Now At www.urbanmusicawards.net.
I think we all remember that saying; “a tattoo is for life, not just for Christmas”… no wait, that’s puppies. Well anyway, it seems NERD frontman Pharrell Williams has grown tired of his ink, deciding to go under the laser to have them permanently removed. Recently here for the Future Music Festival, Pharrell sent ladies nationwide into a spin, and we’re pretty sure more than a few of them were quite partial to his tatts, so it’s a surprising move. It’s been a long time coming, however, with Pharrell having said all the way back in early 2008 he was interested in getting them removed. “It’s going to be pricey, but fuck it, it’s worth it,” he said at the time.
“There’s an institute called the Wake Forest Institute in North Carolina for Regenerative Skin Treatment. It’s basically like getting a skin graft, but you’re not taking skin from your ass or your legs. These guys actually grow the skin for you.” In the end Pharrell opted for the more traditional – and, apparently, rather excruciating – method of laser removal. “Laser treatment bitches! Extra crispy. See, no skin graft here, just pure laser pain,” Pharrell joked. “This is our own version of Mythbusters! Laser is the new primer.”
SB: Of the artists featured on the mix tape and the album – who was the most exciting to collaborate with?
CF: When we lived in LA, [we did a song with] Pharrell, and JD rapped on it. That was especially cool, just because they both tried to sign us. We went with Pharrell, but JD’s been a cool guy, a class act. We asked one time. He said, “of course I’d get on the mix tape.” It’s great to have both of those guys be a part of the project. We also did something with Mickey Factz and Janelle Monae. We’ve been friends with Janelle before any one of us got signed. We wanted to collaborate for a long time.
How do you think being signed with Pharrell verses being signed with Kanye West, changed the sound of the final product?
The album wouldn’t be any different. There may be different pressures, maybe to fit in to [Kanye’s] crew. He and his artists work very closely. [I get the] vibe that they shop at the same places and go everywhere together.
[Star Trak’s] dope, super fun. One thing we benefited from Star Trak is complete autonomy to make whatever music we wanted to make. Pharrell has been very encouraging [to build our] own personality, doing our own thing. It’s a gift and curse – amazing to have an artist like Pharrell to give you the opportunity to be that person’s step-child… but we’ve def done our own thing.
Justin Timberlake, rapper Lupe Fiasco and singer Kenna are teaming up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, in an effort to raise awareness for the worldwide water crisis. “My dad almost died as a child from waterborne diseases in Ethiopia, and he had talked to me about digging a well there, and I thought, ‘I have too many friends who would be concerned with the subject of clean water. Maybe I can help out,’ ” Kenna told Elle magazine in a recent interview. When asked about his motivation to hike up the 19,000-foot peak, Lupe Fiasco joked, “Part of the motivation is beating Kenna to the top. Sabotaging his tent, taking the lining out of his coat, lacing it with ants or something like that.” Kenna said there’s a bit of friendly competition with Timberlake when it comes to training for the mission. “I refuse to work out with him, because he’s way fitter than I am,” Kenna told Elle. “I’m training in secret.”
Timberlake is training like a pro, according to GQ. “I’ve been training four times a week to get my VO2 [oxygen consumption] levels up to expand my lungs,” he told the magazine. “We’ll climb for a week straight, carrying 30 pounds on our backs. It’s going to be intense, but it’s going to be so rewarding. Plus, we’re going to be ready for it.” The mission will bring the three artists to the highest point in Africa, which boasts breathtaking views and three inactive volcanic cones. Though the climb is popular among tourists, the altitude and low temperature make this a difficult and dangerous trek. Those who make the climb typically suffer from shortness of breath, headaches and discomfort due to the limited amount of breathable oxygen. The three are set to embark on their journey this fall.
Pharrell Williams celebrated the launch of his new ecofriendly-fabric company the other day, which turns recycled plastic bottles into textiles. “We want to do everything from high-end luggage to high-end denim, to university caps and gowns to Parks Department uniforms,” says Pharrell.
Promo video for Pete Rock’s last solo LP, NY’s Finest – one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2008. The video includes interviews with Kanye West, Timbaland, Pharrell, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier…
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