Fresh from doing his bid, Gucci Mane has been steady on the recording grind, leaking a few loose tracks and mixtapes since his release from the clink. But he’s currently thinking about his next official studio release. The Atlanta-based rapper has recently announced his third studio album, ‘The Appeal,’ the follow-up to 2008’s ‘The State vs. Radric Davis,’ tentatively scheduled for a September 28 release – the same release date as T.I.’s ‘King Uncaged’ and Young Jeezy’s ‘Thug Motivation 103.’ “I feel good about this new project,” he said in an interview. “I think this one’s going to be bigger because the last album, I put a lot into it, I put my heart into it, and this one right here, I think it’s a good representation of where I’m at now musically, mentally.
It’s just where I’m at. I’ve grown a lot, and I think I expressed it really good musically and I just want everybody to hear it and see what everybody think about it.” Gooch also shed some light on which producers provided beats for the ‘The Appeal,’ stating that the album features instrumentals from Swizz Beatz, Wycelf Jean, Pharrell, Drumma Boy, Zaytoven, Fat Boy and Shawty Redd. “It’s the combination of people that I’ve been working with for the last six, seven years, and the new people that I been want to work with,” he explains, stating that he made six records with both Swizz and Pharrell. “I actually made hit records with them.” Gucci’s last album, ‘The State vs. Radric Davis,’ was released in December 2009, selling 89,000 copies in its first week, debuting at No. 10 on the charts and becoming his best-selling release to date. ‘The Appeal‘ is the second in a trilogy of albums from Gucci, with the third tentatively titled ‘The Verdict.’
Gucci Mane – The Appeal (Georgia’s Most Wanted) (2010) (September 28)
* Recorded Six Tracks
As part of the production duo The Neptunes, Pharrell Williams has won Grammys, helped to sell millions of albums, and become the face of nerdy cool in hip-hop. More recently, Williams has branched out into fashion and art, designing sunglasses and modeling for Louis Vuitton, working with Paris boutique Colette, as well as launching his own clothing line, Billionaire Boys Club, a footwear line, Ice Cream, and partnering with textile firm Bionic Yarn. Last year he collaborated with artist Takashi Murakami and jewelry house Jacob & Co. to create The Simple Things.
A cupcake, a bag of Doritos, a bottle of Heinz ketchup, a Pepsi can, a sneaker, a condom, and a bottle of Johnson’s Baby Lotion—encrusted with 26,000 rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds inside the mouth of a Murakami sculpture—shown at Art Basel in Switzerland. Oh, and he still finds time to make music: Last month,Interscope released the soundtrack to the animated comedy Despicable Me, which Williams co-wrote, and this fall, he will unveil his fourth album with his group N*E*R*D, which includes Shae Haley and Williams’ Neptunes cohort Chad Hugo. As the name of the alt-rock trio suggests, the 37-year-old Williams is a connoisseur of cool, but not a slave to it.
What is less known about Williams is his interest in science—specifically, the brain. He recently became fascinated with the work of Dr. V.S. Ramachandran, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Ramachandran, director of the university’s Center of Brain and Cognition, has been called one of the “hundred most prominent people to watch” in the 21st century by Newsweek magazine. Still, it would be difficult to imagine two less likely collaborators: one is a pop-music icon, the son of a handyman and a schoolteacher from suburban Virginia who now rolls around Miami in an Enzo Ferrari. The other is a neuroscientist, born in India and educated at Cambridge. What could they possibly have in common? A lot, as it turns out. But in the following conversation, it’s easy to see how both men feed off of each other with the thrill of discovery, and take mutual pleasure in zigging while the rest of the world zags.
Renaissance man Pharrell Williams fills us in on the story behind his custom motorcycle by iconic American company Harley-Davidson. Always having something up his sleeve, this latest development comes as no surprise as we’ve now seen Pharrell have his hands on everything, from music production, to tank chairs, to bikes. The video was directed by Travis Satten. Enjoy!
Interviewing Pharrell Williams is like winning a 25-minute shopping spree in the Mall of America: you’re grateful for the opportunity, but it’s a lot to cover in limited time. With clothing and jewelry lines, art exhibits, teen-aimed web sites and more on his plate, being an A-List producer/musician is only one element of his creativity. Several hours before the interview, the stakes were raised: this writer was told that the whole N*E*R*D braintrust of Pharrell, Chad Hugo, and Shay would all be on the phone. You know, the same N*E*R*D that virtually changed the landscape of urban music by fearlessly re-introducing the Pop/Rock aesthetic to a fanbase that was used to hearing The Neptunes (the duo of Hugo and Pharrell) craft gems for rap/R&B stars like Jay-Z, Ludacris and Mystikal in years prior.
In the interview below, this writer embarks on his shopping spree with dozens of stores surrounding him and but one shopping cart clutched in his hands. Continue reading to see N*E*R*D chop it up about their memorable live performances and their upcoming album Nothing, while Pharrell explains his youth initiatives, clowning Diddy on camera, and co-executive producing The Game’s R.E.D. album with Dr. Dre.
HipHopDX: First I would like to congratulate you guys because N*E*R*D’s Seeing Sounds was HipHopDX’s “2008 Non-Hip Hop Album Of The Year.” So what direction are you guys going in with Nothing?
Pharrell: It’s more of a movement. It like the hippie mentality, except ours is different. It’s not like Birkenstock’s and granola bars. It’s more like flowers and Ferraris. You know, we think [there is] room under the sun for everyone. That’s the only way for everyone to get along. It’s just the times…there’s so much going on in the world right now. We just want to document it. We’re like news reporters. Humankind is on the brink of another…going through another phase. We have very serious advances in technology, like the iPad. And then we have very serious faulty situations and issues for the environment, like the [Gulf Coast] oil spill. So for us it feels a lot like the late ’60s or early ’70s, so that’s kind of most of the sound of the album but then we have stuff we ain’t used to.
Superstar DJ trio Swedish House Mafia reckon they have created a new musical genre with their summer club track One (Your Name). Featuring Pharrell on vocals it’s their first official release and they believe it’s a totally new sound. Producer Axwell is one third of the group: “It’s a new genre we made up, we’re calling it brave – it’s not rave it’s a little bit more ballsy than that so that’s why it’s called brave. “We thought of that five minutes ago. We like it a lot.” Dance ‘supergroup’ Swedish House Mafia is made up of DJs and producers Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso. Between them they have worked with and remixed Madonna, Temper Trap, Pharrell, N*E*R*D, David Guetta and Miike Snow.
On top of all that, Sebastian Ingrosso has produced tracks on Kylie’s new album. Pharrell has collaborated with Swedish House Mafia on One (Your Name). Axwell told Newsbeat they came together as a group naturally: “We didn’t decide to team up so it’s not like we’re a manufactured boy band. It’s been an ongoing process from 2000. “We’ve all been friends, sharing knowledge about music, working together and then we started DJ’ing together and started to take it more seriously.” He admitted they have been overwhelmed by the interest in them: “The demand has been massive so we’re just following the monster of Swedish House Mafia, just tagging along.” Pharrell who lends the vocals on the track has worked with Axwell and Steve Angelo in the past.
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