Pharrell Williams insists his rock outfit, N*E*R*D still isn’t concerned with achieving blockbuster commercial success. As one-half of production duo The Neptunes, his outer-space aesthetics and genre-fusing beats have helped yield plenty of hits (and a few Grammys) for practically every bold-face name in today’s pop landscape.
But as frontman of the rap-rock leaning N*E*R*D, he and the band have remained a commercial underdog, despite being led by one of the biggest hit-makers in music. The trio -– comprised of Williams, fellow Neptunes member Chad Hugo and Shay Haley –- are back with their fourth album, “Nothing,” after adding — and dropping — a new member. Late last year, the group announced it was were recording a new disc, originally titled “Instant Gratification,” the follow-up to 2008′s “Seeing Sounds,” with female singer Rhea.
They toured with the spunky vocalist, her presence adding a strong, sexy girl-power edge to balance Williams’ trademark raspy falsetto. It was assumed she’d do for the band what Fergie did for the Black Eyed Peas: shift its cult following to pop gold. But the idea didn’t last too long. “We were taking a chance on having a girl as like a fourth member for a second. It was fun. We did a really great album. But it was good and for us good isn’t good enough,” Williams, 37, says in his usual cool demeanor. “So we stopped, took a break and started over.” The scrapped project led to the creation of “Nothing,” released last week and debuted at No. 20 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, after logging first-week sales of 20,000 copies.
Alyssa Bernal was just your everyday, ordinary teenager until Pharrell Williams came across the singer/songwriter’s YouTube videos. Since then Alyssa’s been sharing her talent with everyone, but still had time to chat with Kidzworld.
KW: When you first started posting videos of yourself on YouTube, what was it like having complete strangers admire your music?
Alyssa: It was really neat! It was cool to think people thought I should sing for a living. It definitely brought my level of confidence up, too.
KW: Did you always know that you wanted to be a musician?
Alyssa: Well I always dreamt of doing it for a living but I never thought I actually had a shot! My goals were often just having the courage to sing and play in front of a crowd.
Malice – Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked Freestyle (10′)
Now that Miami-based artist duo FriendsWithYou has teamed up with Pharrell, the sky’s the limit. Literally. For the partners, working closely with Miamian Pharrell Williams — the protean being who dominates every aspect of pop life here — has helped their already chipper mood. Both in their 30s and Miami homeboys, they’ve been on a roll lately. The benediction of Pharrell has, of course, changed the course of FWY. “He has helped us so much with merchandising, our artwork, the films and branding we want to do,” says Borkson. “His dreams are so big, and he under- stands how we want to put our dreams into play.”
Pharrell has been a long-time fan of their work — he first met them in 2007–though their collaboration began fairly recently when Pharrell needed an over-the-top car for a music video. Borkson and Sandoval created a groovy-woovy effect on a 1960 Rolls-Royce, wrap- ping the car in their trademark psychedelic colors–sort of middle- period Peter Max meets the American spawn of Takashi Murakami. The way tricked-out car, christened “Magical Explosions,” appeared in the video for “Hot-N-Fun” that was shot in the California desert. FWY went on to do other imagery for N*E*R*D, from tour videos to art for the official website: on the site, a somber three-eyed face in black suddenly erupts in a barrage of post-Kenny Scharf iconography, the face pulsating like a nuclear reactor in meltdown mode.
“I don’t want to be super-Lupe-Fiasco-lyrical and n***** don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about” — Soulja Boy in XXL Interview. In response to SoulJa Boy‘s recent comments, Lupe Fiasco delivers some good ol’ fashioned super lyrical music for the folks (like myself) who don’t need a dance to go with their hip hop. “So don’t be scared to take the Super Lu route, Top 5 Alive and I’ve only got two out. School you on your history, I’ll tell you what you bout, fight for all the right things and let the Huey New out. Pharrell, what these n***** talkin’ bout? Two man Big Pun, a one man Slaughterhouse, a two album Jay-Z, a one n**** Wu-Tang, a younger hungry Mos Def, a conscious rappin’ Lil Wayne”
Step into the recording studio with up-and-coming singer-songwriter Alyssa Bernal and Lifehouse’s Jason Wade, as they discuss how their duet Hold Me Tight came to life. “I just loved her voice,” says band frontman Jason. “We sang both of the choruses out there together in the same mic-room, kind of an old-school way of recording.”
Alyssa Bernal & Jason Wade – Hold Me Tight (Behind The Scenes)
Neither Shepard Fairey nor Pharrell Williams seems to be afraid of a hyphen. The artist-designer-branding wizard and producer-musician-designer-entrepreneur-style icon, respectively, are two of the most influential genre-hopping creative forces making their marks on pop culture right now. The two initially teamed up in 2000 when Fairey designed rap-rock outfit N*E*R*D’s now iconic brain logo. On the eve of the drop of their funky futuristic fourth album, Nothing, Williams and Fairey got together for a tête-à-tête.
Shepard Fairey: It’s great to see everything you’re doing now. You’re kicking ass. So I know you skated a lot when you were younger. That was a big thing for me, too; it was what opened my eyes to creative cultures. You grew up in Virginia Beach, which was a big skate town. Do you think it was skateboarding that initially got you into what you are into musically and artistically?
Pharrell Williams: Yeah, because at the end of the day it attracted so many people of different cultures that you were bound to learn something from each other because you all have something cool in common, and that unified us as kids. And I thought it was amazing as a child that all my friends were so different, listening to all different kinds of music.
Here is a much better quality of Rhea’s new band Jealous Lover ‘My Motorcycle’ performance which will be available on the Game ‘True Crime: Hong Kong’ next year, you can get below the mp3 of the performance, thanks to Tha_G.
Jealous Lover – My Motorcycle (Live On Activision E3)
“Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked,” all defining words from the soon to be released memoir of Gene Thornton a.k.a. Malice of the Clipse, hip-hop superstar from Hampton Roads, VA. A revealing look into the “coveted” life of a Hip-Hop Star, the words of Gene Thornton offer his inner most thoughts and accounts of his life, his religion and his family. Chapter by Chapter, he bares all as if releasing a journal to the world finally clearing his mind, heart and soul. If you ever wanted to know what really happens outside of the industry spotlight, this memoir is as real as it gets.
No sugarcoating….No exaggerations……Pure unedited thoughts of a God fearing man torn between life’s temptations and his conscious. From the streets to the lavish life, one thing has remained the same, his family and his God. Gene Thornton leads you on a thought provoking journey that may very well change your thinking and impact your life as he reveals the reality that all the fame and riches didn’t fix his problems, but rather bring him to many gut wrenching realizations. “Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind and Naked,” could not better describe the testimonial of Gene Thornton a.k.a. Malice of the Clipse. A must read that you will not put down until the end!
Are you ready for the TRUTH!?…..
The men behind N*E*R*D are serious about solving the world’s problems. Forget the doom and gloom — with their latest album, Nothing, hip-hop group N*E*R*D is lightening up and aiming to cheer up a world plagued with violence and poverty. “There’s so much negativity in the air right now and I felt like, when this album came out, we wanted it to be like a flower to a sweet girl — to the world — because there’s so much negativity in the air, there’s so much war,” explained music producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams.
“We’re killing our kids and the other kids that we don’t kill are killing themselves because they’re being bullied and I was like, the world kind of needed a Hallmark card a little bit.” That doesn’t mean creating the album was an easy process. The group initially recorded 20 tracks before scrapping them and starting again from scratch. “Those particular records didn’t sound like a true representation of what N*E*R*D is about,” said group member Shay Haley. “I thought a few of the records were good, a lot of them I didn’t really care for, some I personally hated. I would literally go and have some heated battles with [Pharrell] about how I think we should take a different direction.
It was a frustrating time for us. We weren’t necessarily in sync.” The lost songs will, however, eventually have an audience once the group can agree on what to do with them. “We’ve sold some of the records already,” Williams said. “I want to leak some though,” chimed in Haley. “I think some are worthy of being leaked.” “But I think that might be the demise of our friendship,” he responded to Williams, laughing. “It wouldn’t be the demise of our friendship,” retorted Williams, “but I would definitely fight him back.”
Take one look at Pharrell Williams‘ resume — or scroll down his Wikipedia page — and you’ll see that he’s accomplished a lot. But Williams, who is one-half of the genre-bending production duo The Neptunes and frontman for rap-rock trio N*E*R*D, said there’s still so much more he wants to achieve. Williams, who has created hits for Jay-Z, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, said he’s interested in producing tunes for country artists, too: He said he and Spears are “going back and forth” about work on her upcoming CD, and after scoring the soundtrack for the animated 3-D movie “Despicable Me” this year with Hans Zimmer and Heitor Pereira, he’s planning to do more such projects.
Williams wrapped up a national tour with virtual band Gorillaz on Wednesday. The rapper-producer also is busy promoting the latest N*E*R*D album, “Nothing,” out this week. Williams said before finishing the new CD, the band decided to eliminate the songs from the early recording process. “We started out doing one thing and we scrapped it all and decided we wanted to do something different. So we stopped everything and we started with nothing — and that’s what we titled the album,” he said. Williams said the unused material could make its way to another record.
Skateboard P explains how Daft Punk returned a 10-year-old favor, and his hopes to work with Eminem in the future. As far as he can tell, there’s no particular reason Pharrell hasn’t worked with Eminem yet. “I’d love to work with Eminem,” Pharrell told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “I’d love to do it. It just hasn’t happened yet.” In past years, Eminem has been notoriously picky with his collaborations, but if Recovery is any indication, this would be the perfect time for Skateboard P and Slim Shady to team up. In addition to Rihanna, Eminem also enlisted the help of Lil’ Wayne, Boi 1da, Just Blaze, P!nk and Kobe for what his manager, Paul Rosenberg, called a “more accessible” sound.
As for Pharrell and N*E*R*D’s somewhat less-expected collaboration with Electronic duo, Daft Punk, Pharrell says “Hypnotize U” was essentially a favor for a favor. “I remixed ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’ for them like 10 years ago so that was a great feeling to do that (and) to work with them again,” Pharrell explained, adding that he’s open to other producers creating music for him and N*E*R*D. While the deluxe version of the album Nothing includes 14 tracks, Pharrell said he Chad and Shay are planning on filming 10 videos for each song on the standard edition “We were just thinking about the music for the most part,” he said. “But then like once you, you know, heard the whole body of work, you’re like, ‘Man, we got to do something (more).’”
While Checking out the Nothing credits, you can see that N*E*R*D didn’t quite got rid of Rhea, she’s credited for having background vocals on ‘Victory’, ‘I’ve Seen The Light’, ‘Life As A Fish’ and ‘Sacred Temple’ among other guest appearances such as T. I. on ‘Party People’, Nelly Furtado on ‘Hot-N-Fun’ and Swizz Beatz (Uncredited) on ‘It’s In The Air’ and SpyMob member Brent Paschke is playing the guitars on ‘I Wanna Jam’ while Jason Carder is doing the trumphet on almost every tune. If you’re wondering who The Muffin Girls from ‘The Man‘ are, that are just some random girls who gave background vocals reffering to Muffin as a Girl and as we already know ‘Hypnotize U’ is produced by Daft Punk, check out the full scans and the reviews below, thanks to Borsboom for the scans.
N*E*R*D – Nothing (2010)
01 – Party People feat. T. I.
02 – Hypnotize U
03 – Help Me
04 – Victory
05 – Perfect Defect
06 – I’ve Seen The Light
07 – Inside Of Clouds
08 – God Bless Us All
09 – Life As A Fish
10 – Nothing On You
11 – Hot-N-Fun feat. Nelly Furtado
12 – It’s In The Air feat. Swizz Beatz (Deluxe Bonus)
13 – Criticism (Skit) (Deluxe Bonus)
14 – Sacred Temple (Deluxe Bonus)
15 – I Wanna Jam (Deluxe Bonus)
16 – The Man (Deluxe Bonus)
17 – Ride That Thang feat. Fam-Lay (Amazon Bonus)
18 – Fuego (iTunes Bonus)
Well, I’ll be damned. How long have we waited for this to leak ?? Like almost 10 years since Chad Hugo played the demo of Nothing Else performed by Latrelle for JT while thinking of the Bridge for the song from the JT DVD’s. There is no Bridge on this version but this definitely is one of my favourite Neptunes production they ever did! And another Latrelle tune leaked this week produced by The Neptunes from Latrelle’s first album back in 1998 recorded when she was only 17 years old with the good old Neptunes Sound titled I Need U, right we’ve heard this before, yup the Chris Brown demo from a year ago, you can get the tunes below, big props to MzMunchie.
Here is finally the full version of Pharrell’s Hoppin’ Over Fences from Rob Dyrdek’s Street Dreams, thanks to forum member JesseZav I’ve managed to edit the tune from the Street Dreams DVD from the end credits, enjoy.
Pharrell – Hoppin’ Over Fences (Street Dreams OST)
From the popularity of their first single “Hot-N-Fun,” featuring Grammy-winning artist Nelly Furtado, as well as experiencing their live performance last Thursday, N*E*R*D’s near decade of rampant success is no fluke. After an energizing opening set, including the mesmerizing follow-up single “Hypnotize U” as well as the hit that started it all “Lapdance,” the incredibly talented, and surprisingly humble, Williams and Haley welcomed SDentertainer backstage to band’s dressing room for a quick interview surrounded by a handful of their friends and colleagues.
SD Entertainer: How did you guys approach your fourth studio album Nothing differently than the others?
Haley: High. High off of life.
SDE: What’s your favorite part of making an album and the whole process?
Williams: My favorite part of making music is… Moving people. Being a positive reinforcement.
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