Life On Neptunes
Forty stories above Miami, The Neptunes’ Pharrell Williams is living the high life— surrounded by a mess of Murakamis, a closetful of kicks, and enough Vuitton trunks to sink a steamer. Mayer Rus takes stock. The view from Pharrell Williams’s penthouse makes an unequivocal statement: “I am monarch of all I survey.” Topped by a frosted-glass dome, the empyrean apartment floats 40 stories above Miami. A gargantuan great room rises the full three levels of the space, which pivots around a white spiral staircase. Bold contemporary art lines the walls, and sybaritic delights—an outdoor pool overhung with an improbable vine-covered trellis, a supersize purple crocodile Hermès bag—can be found at every turn. But the coups de théâtre are the massive window walls, which provide a breathtaking panorama over the city, across Biscayne Bay and Miami Beach, and out to the Atlantic.
Looking fit in a tiny black bikini, actress Paula Patton enjoyed some fun in the sun with her equally hot hubby Robin Thicke in Miami Beach, Florida on Sunday, July 10th, 2011. The couple shared some smooches while swimming around in the beautiful blue ocean before exiting hand in hand. Paula has been in town for almost a week participating in the American Black Film Festival alongside stars Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and Robert Townsend . The Jumping the Broom beauty was on hand to help honor actor, comedian, director and writer Keenen Ivory Wayans during the closing ceremonies last night. Paula and Robin, who have been married since 2005, are parents to one year old Julian.
Updated: June 3rd
La Biennale opens this weekend in Venice so bbcicecream.com came back to see the sculpture Pharrell designed for the GLASSTRESS show. The show is in Venice for 6 months so you have plenty of time to try and make it here. ‘Inside Out’ is located at the Berengo Centre for Contemporary Art and Glass in Murano. The sculpture is of 2 angel skeletons. One is just over 6 feet tall and the smaller one flying behind it is about 18 inches. Both were hand made by Berengo Studio in Murano.
“So many of us often wonder what if…
Most of these wonders have to do with the idea of what people’s lives would be like if they made different choices. Since I was a little boy my wonderous curiosities were based on fictional things that television offered. My mind was crammed pack with creatures fit for a child that were often funny, designed for youth and usually a profitable franchise like cartoons. Even still, I couldn’t stop thinking about angels.
Seemingly human with wings.
The perfect representation for man’s sojourn in this dimension.
A way to conceptualize his aspirations and goals.
The moment his feet left the ground all who watched considered him on his way…but to where?
Maybe the why of it is something that each of us must discover alone. The why we aspire for higher. Perhaps my good friend Dr. Ramachadrian, from the University of California, San Diego, has the most simple explanation: “Apes reach for fruit while man reaches for the stars.” But then again, everyone races to answer that question which is why I wanted to take on the more difficult challenge: how?
When discussing it with my colleagues they reacted as they often do—with a wordless brow lift and subsequent whispers that I was “taking it too far this time.” Like no concept in existence is crazier and alien than mine. It’s as if I’m addicted to them sucking the life and air out of my curiosity, but never my enthusiasm. That cannot be touched. How could it? Thoughts are fourth dimensional just like the unit of awareness known as self or spirit. It’s all akashic substance disseminated among the ether.
By definition ether means the upper regions of space, the clear sky, the heavens. Funny enough, because of its super thin consistency and transparency, the ether is thought by most to be non- existent. Hahaaa…that which is the truest in form is transparent. We as a society live by that metaphor, but quite often we limit our truths to semantics instead of allowing these ideas to be applied to nature. That is where I find my peace, my mind, my air. Uninterrupted air. It feeds nearly everything with the exception of plant life. It’s typically an unappreciated sign of life. That’s actually the case with all things, including ideas. All good ideas need air. Some sort of openness to what is possible. All great and egregious concepts start with the openness of air.
And then it dawned on me…
I’ll take a subject that I’ve often pondered about in various ways since I was a child.
I would focus on the “how” by bringing it to fruition.
It had to be clear and transparent.
It had to have a physical representation of man involuting his “openness” or “air” to the possibility.
We met the people from Venice Projects who operate one of the finest glass blowing shops in Murano and also did the Glasstress show during the 54th Venice Biennale. It was important for it to represent what the inside body of an angel (Greek for the word “messenger”) looked like. The blowers captured exactly how I saw these angels in my mind. I am beyond pleased and impressed with the results.
All I wanted to do was present an idea that was clear, transparent and with the posterity that only the breath of man could offer.”
Pharrell Williams gave The Trippple Nippples the thumbs up after a special performance at Trump Room last night. The multi-talented creative is in town putting together a documentary on Tokyo Culture for which Trippple Nippples are deservedly featured. Let’s face it – if The Trippple Nipples were from any where other than Japan they would be huge by now. Underground party icons for the past few years, they have evolved into a full-on live band experience, touring in throughout Asia as well as Europe this year. I am so happy they are getting the recognition they deserve from media outside of Japan.
The web and social media have allowed musicians to express and promote themselves in a way that never before existed. It has allowed brilliant musicians to be discovered and heard. Alyssa Bernal is one of those musicians. When she decided to post her talent on Youtube back in 2006, it changed her life forever. After the quick success of her Youtube music channel, registering hundreds of thousands (to then millions) of views, Bernal was discovered by Pharrell Williams, an icon in the industry.
The recognition came full circle when she was offered a deal with Star Trak Entertainment /Interscope Records. She relocated to London for 2 months to record her debut album with one of her favorite producers, Martin Terefe.
Terefe has produced songs for Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall, Train, and more. What is amazing about Bernal is that even with all her new success and multiple opportunities, she still keeps her family and her fans actively involved and engaged. This past October, Bernal released her self-titled EP. Although the 3-track EP is as powerful as a full-length album, it still leaves us wanting more. Her voice is beautiful, natural, and real. Each track has its own unique qualities. The song “Hold Me Tight” is an incredbile duet with Jason Wade of LifeHouse. Now, Bernal has reached half a million subscribers on Youtube becoming the 24th “most subcribed to” musician on the site.
HypeTune.com is offering a stream of Bernal’s EP which you can check out here. Like what you hear? Click the link above the music player to purchase the EP on iTunes. Also, check out her pages and watch some of her best videos. HypeTune.com has an EXCLUSIVE video interview with Bernal below. She gives them a glimpse into her progression, her projects, and offers some great advice for up-and-coming independent musicians. Check it out! Get on the hype.
HypeTune.com Exclusive Interview With Alyssa Bernal
Here is one of the most anticipated Neptunes Tracks of this year, featuring no other than our forum member Tyler, The Creator and Pusha T. on the tune ‘Trouble On My Mind’ from Pusha’s new mixtape Fear Of God Part 2: Let Us Pray coming August 23rd on G.O.O.D. Music/Decon/Re-Up Gang. This is everyones dream right there, to have a tune produced by The Neptunes, I still can’t believe Tyler been in the studio with The Neptunes. This tune right here are the freaking Neptunes I’m talking about, very inspired by the 90’s oldschool Rap/Hip Hop with the live drums sample kit, it’s on repeat! Can’t wait for the Official Video.
“omg god. you guys have no fucking idea. like, this is crazy. im a legit stan. and the beat. pharrell was fuckign with some drums and i was like do this and that, use this, add your voice with that UHHH sound. then he did some keys and i was like nah, do the other way. then chad did the guitar part. then i told chad to add like something, like brass or some shit, he added the horns. then i went and added the strings, cus i thought it was missing something. pharrell had a flight to catch so he left, and chad went in the other room. so i arranged the instrumental in pro tools how i wanted to rap to it, just with the strings during the hook, and yeah…..”
– Tyler, The Creator
Pusha T. – Trouble On My Mind feat. Tyler, The Creator (The Neptunes)
The second Neptunes Track of The Cool Kids debut ‘When Fish Ride Bicycles’ ‘Get Right’ just leaked online on GreenLabelSound’s Facebook where you can stream the whole album entirety there. The Cool Kids debut album, “When Fish Ride Bicycles,” has been in the works for the past three years. Countless delays and label troubles have forced the duo, consisting of Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks, to continually postpone the record, leaving in their wake an EP, “The Bakesale” (2008) and two mixtapes,”Gone Fishing” (2009) and “Tacklebox” (2010). All worth of potential, but discarded, album cuts. But on July 12, “When Fish Ride Bicycles,” will finally see the light of day, released exclusively to iTunes by Mountain Dew’s imprint, Green Label Sound.
The Cool Kids recruited notable names for “When Fish Ride Bicycles.” The Chi-Town natives’ debut album features guest spots from Ghostface Killah to Blink-182 drummer, Travis Barker. Chuck said he was really excited about “Gas Station,” which features Bun B; and raved about working with The Neptunes, who produced two album cuts. “When I walked in there,” Chuck said about collaborating with The Neptunes, “the first thing I said was, ‘Yo, I want [Clipse's] “Doorman” and I want the beat from “Grindin’” together as a baby. And [Pharrell] was like, “That’s what you do, dog. I’m trying to do something else.” And I’m telling you, I didn’t want to hear that; but now when you listen to the record with those two songs the shit is like balanced.”
Even though “When Fish Ride Bicycles” is finally seeing its release, The Cool Kids have no plans to slow down. Chuck hopes the follow-up album, “Shark Week,” will be out by Christmas time, and perhaps even drop a third record next summer. An ambitious undertaking, but perhaps it’s the group’s way of making up for lost time. “I’m not really gonna stop. We’ve got so much stuff to do, so many songs we talked about, so many things to record,” Chuck said. “I want to be a band that people haven’t seen. I don’t want to be the next shit. Everybody wants to be like, ‘Oh it’s the next big thing.’ Fuck them. I don’t want to be them. I want to be us. And I don’t think what we’ve done has been done yet.”
The Cool Kids – Get Right (11′)
The Cool Kids – Summer Jam feat. Maxine Ashley (11′)
Pharrell has inspired a new generation of young rappers including Diggy Simmons. When Rap-Up caught up with him on set of his video for “Copy, Paste,” the 16-year-old rising star shared just how much of an influence Skateboard P has had on him.
“I started looking up to Pharrell before I really started getting serious with my music, just like on a fashion level,” said Rev Run’s son, while hinting of a collaboration on his debut album. “He’s just been really supportive and now we’re at the album, so you’ll see if he contributed.”
Diggy, who’s currently on the “Closer To My Dreams” tour, cited Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan, and Kanye West among his favorite MCs right now. While he’s yet to meet ‘Ye, Jay-Z had some encouraging words to say when they crossed paths. “Jay watched me perform and he said he liked my stage show, so I was like, ‘Wow.’ That was a big co-sign to me. It felt good that he liked it.”
Noreaga breaks ‘em off with a little preview of the Remix and speaks on future plans for the original. N.O.R.E.’s “Finito,” featuring Pharrell Williams and Lil’ Wayne, has grown its own legs since it leaked to the web. But in the wake of its release, Noreaga explains that he’s pleased with the response and plans on dropping a music video in the next few weeks. “’Finito’ is out there doing very, very good. I’m overwhelmed with the love, so instead of me sitting around and celebrating, I’m just staying in the studio because ‘Finito‘ wasn’t ready.
When you heard that version of ‘Finito,’ it was rough, it wasn’t ready. It was leaked. Hacker motherfuckers.” The latest addition to Busta Rhymes‘ Conglomerate family previews the Remix in a new video clip, and explains that the original is about to pick up even more steam. “The record is doing phenomenal. It’s actually getting spins in places I never thought of, and it’s doing things on its own,” he continued. “Hopefully, a video will come in three weeks, we’ll go for adds as well.”
Noreaga – Finito feat. Pharrell & Lil’ Wayne (11′)
Pharrell Williams & Barney Waters
Pharrell Williams is exploring Japan - as the star of Palladium’s Fall/Winter 2011 campaign! The 38-year-old musician and producer is teaming up with the boots brand to “venture into the subterranean tunnels deep below” Tokyo, while also uncovering the city’s vibrant subcultures. “As a brand that explores urban environments, Tokyo has always been on our list” explained Barney Waters, Palladium’s VP of Marketing. “We’re excited to partner with Pharrell as he is the logical choice to lead this Exploration. He is connected to Japanese culture and will bring a credible perspective to what’s going on there.” Pharrell’s trek to Tokyo will be captured in a short film along with a gallery of images shot by photographer Peter Sutherland.
Palladium was founded in 1920 to make tires for the fledgling aviation industry. Tires were made by layering canvas bands underneath vulcanized rubber. Palladium’s expertise was so advanced that soon the majority of Europe’s aircraft were using Palladium Tires. After World War II, with aircraft manufacturing screeching to a halt, the demand for tires decreased dramatically. Palladium decided to open a plant in Pont De Cheruy, France, to start producing footwear that was as hard wearing as their tires.
In 1947 the legendary Pampa boot was born, and the functionality, comfort and durability were so outstanding that the French Foreign Legion adopted it for their use. The Foreign Legion put the boot to the test in the harsh desert conditions of North Africa, and throughout the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains. Today, the original design, classic lines and time tested utility are as relevant as they have ever been. Combining over 60 years of authenticity with modern manufacturing, premium materials and cutting edge styling, Palladium boots are ready to help you explore your street, your city, or the world.
It sure takes lots of musical guts to take on one of the most loved and influential rock songs of the last twenty years. But that doesn’t deter Yuna from covering one of those classics she loves and make it her own. Check out her beautiful, heartfelt and accomplished acoustic cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”.
The Malaysian singer has been performing the song during her live shows and encouraged by positive feedback from fans she decided to record it. Watch the video after the break that includes a quick cameo by Pharrell Williams in a quiet, working moment. Yuna and Pharrell have been spending time together in a Miami studio so we can only guess what that will lead to at this point.
Yuna may be new to most of us, but the singer is already a household name in her home country of Malaysia. In 2008, Yuna released her self-titled EP in Malaysia and the single “Deeper Conversation” became a massive success and went on to win the title of Best English Song at the 2009 AIM Awards, Malaysia‘s national music awards. Yuna swept the ceremony, also garnering Best Pop Song and Song of the Year for her Malay song, “Dan Severnarya“. Yuna released her debut EP, titled “Decorate,” in the States last March, which I highly recommend. It is a warming collection of beautifully-performed acoustic tunes that will leave you breathless. Download Yuna “Decorate” on iTunes.
Yuna – Come As You Are (Nirvana Cover) (Official Video) (03:25 ->)
Pharrell & Yuna In Miami
Kenna, set to release his new EP “Land 2 Air Chronicles 1: Chaos & The Darkness,” is strategically syncing up the record’s sure-to-be publicized release with his clean water passion project, Summit On The Summit. In the video above, the musician says that he isn’t driven by fame and fortune–or, more accurately, his aspirations for fame and fortune aren’t terminal. Instead, he wants to use those benefits to help leverage philanthropic ventures, and, thank goodness, put his money where his mouth is.
Summit On The Summit started out as an adventure trek a few years ago, when Kenna and a handful of friends tried to reach the peak of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. It has since become a highly publicized event with big names in entertainment using the climb to raise awareness for clean water initiatives around the world. As you’ve read on Act, the global water crisis is in dire need of attention and action. There are a staggering one billion people in developing countries who have no access to drinkable, sanitary water. As founder, Kenna served as a trip leader at last year’s trek, successfully helping Jessica Biel and Lupe Fiasco (among others) reach the peak. If the video below is any indication, this year promises bigger plans and a few surprises.
This isn’t the first time Kenna has been recognized for his social cause efforts. A sampling: He earned an honorary mtvU degree last year for being a socially engaged, positive role model in the entertainment world; he contributed songs to the Download to Download: Haiti and Music For Relief benefit albums; and he took a UNHCR trip to Ethiopia, where he was born, to understand firsthand the effects of the global water crisis. “All of you who show me love and my music too… I love and respect you. Music soon. Land 2 Air II in production now. >I|I<” – Kenna
While Game’s ‘The R.E.D. Album’ was being considered a major thing itself, the attachment of Dr. Dre’s name to it, develops the potential of it turning into a headlining event. As if it wasn’t enough, the rapper out of Compton added Pharrell Williams to the production lineup and that explains why he is so excited in the buildup to his fourth studio album’s August 23 release.
In a quick word with MTV News on the shoot of his ‘Pot Of Gold’, Game said, “This album is the most incredible album of my career. First, I’m back with Dr. Dre, which is a bonus and dope for me. Second, executive-produced by Pharrell, co-executive-produced by myself and Mars.”
The rest of the production team is quite impressive as well, with names such as Hit-Boy, Lex Luger, Cool & Dre and Maestro. And to change the flavor a bit, Game also invited artists like pop singer Nelly Furtado, rap ace Lil’ Wayne and veteran Busta Rhymes for features on R.E.D. Game’s first album ‘The Documentary’ was powered by Dre, but after his public feud with Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment-signee 50 Cent, the legendary beatsmith and Game went their separate ways and no further musical collaborations took place between the two parties until now.
However, in 2009, pictures of Game, Dre and Snoop Dogg working in the studios surfaced on the internet, leading to speculation that the two parties may have reconciled their differences, which later turned out to be true. Dre on The R.E.D. Album looks like a sure thing, but there are still question marks on the Detox-star’s level of involvement. Will he be doing full verses or just the hook? All will be answered on August 23, when the new disc hit the stores.
“Just got to Tokyo, should be a fun few days. Getting to see a few old friends as well as meeting some new interesting young people who are pushing the cultural envelop. Stay tuned…” – Pharrell
The spring-summer issue of Vogue Hommes International profiles Pharrell Williams, the ridiculously talented gay-friendly rapper, fashionista, designer and environmentalist. “For me, comfort is essential,” Pharrell tells the magazine, describing a wardrobe full of oversized jeans, army fatigues, truck driver caps and “hundreds” of sneakers. “I’m an absolute fan of Ralph Lauren. I don’t even count the Purple Label and Black Label clothes in my closet anymore. I have a weakness for the Japanese brands Comme Des Garcons and Watanabe.
Updated: July 5th
It was about time to see the best producers in the world together in one room to work on some muzika, apparently it will be a Missy Elliott session for her upcoming seventh studio album ‘Block Party’. “me @missyelliott and pharell all in one studio what could be better. let the magic begin” Can’t wait to hear the magic they did !
Listen to a song by Pharrell Williams and try to put it into only one category. Impossible, considering the producer and performer mixes sounds and genres effortlessly, right? So it’s no surprise that when he created a liqueur, he also made sure it would cross boundaries. Available in strawberry or peach, this non-dairy, vodka-based drink (12.5 ABV) can be served on the rocks, mixed for cocktails or deliciously baked into cupcakes, pastries and more. The choices are endless…and all delicious. “Inspired by royalty, I created this silky drink to celebrate the beautiful, independent and sophisticated women of today. It is a truly elegant experience for the modern day queen and her court of friends.” Says Pharrell, thanks to MartianSky.
Whether it’s conceiving best-selling albums or designing fashion and furniture (not to mention judging the Wallpaper* Design Awards), Pharrell Williams knows a thing or two about making a creative mark. So you can expect the new Pharrell Williams Youth Center to be quite the launch pad. In what he calls a bid to ‘make the world a better place’, Williams has teamed up with Miami-based architect Chad Oppenheim to create a visionary centre that ‘inspires to aspire’, incubating the creative talents of tomorrow and offering children a place to escape to and dream.
A freshly unveiled rendering shows a series of rectilinear volumes that appear to hover above the ground and nestle among the trees of a stretch of land in Williams’ home town of Virginia Beach. Expected to break ground in 2012, the project now has the backing of Kiehl’s (largely thanks to its sustainability and the musician’s own eco reputation), which will support his own charity From One Hand to Another in its fund raising efforts. In a transatlantic chat, we caught up with Williams and Oppenheim to find out more.
Wallpaper: What inspired the project?
Pharrell Williams: I wanted to provide people with the same opportunities I got. My teachers didn’t let me go until I had realised my potential. They taught me to fight my way out of a paper bag. Children need guidance and creative discipline and someone to be there when they fall. They also need a safe haven. At the moment, arts organisations across the US are having their funding cut and we can’t let that happen. There’s so little regard for creative skills. Where would we be without design?
Chad Oppenheim: We’re taking matters into our own hands.
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