“Some of the biggest names in music/entertainment were on hand to attend the 2012 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Celebs who posed it up outside on the red carpet included singers Usher, Justin Bieber, Brandy, Miguel, Monica and Robin Thicke; rappers Wiz Khalifa and Swizz Beatz; and many others.”
Posted: May 16th
Pharrell x Massappeal.com Interview, Drives Thru Santigold’s Samsung Concert, Mentions Lydia Paek The First Time
I’ve posted a while back about a possible new I Am Other Artist signee called Lydia Paek and Pharrell mentions the first time Lydia in a Interview, check it out below.
Mass Appeal snagged a few minutes with artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Pharrell Williams minutes before the Virginia native blessed the stage at Irving Plaza last night as a special guest of Santigold. Santi was tapped by Samsung to headline their Samsung Mobile Present concert series. The concert was a celebration and promotion of the Korean electronics giant’s massively popular phablet (that’s phone and tablet) the Galaxy Note, which is so huge, you can barely grasp it with one hand. Santigold performed a set of songs from her first album Santogold and rocked out new songs from Master Of My Make-Believe, her follow-up.
We spoke to N*E*R*D leader and Billionaire Boys Club creative director Pharrell in a second-floor dressing room above the stage at Irving Plaza while Santi and her voluptuous dancers opened their set. Skateboard P proceeded to amp up the audience even more when Santi brought him out to perform The Lonely Island’s “After Party.” The party anthem was a nice nod to the Lonely Island’s frontman and Saturday Night Live digital short filmmaker, Andy Samberg, who was also in attendance. Thanks to Reidkid and nerd0016.
Mass Appeal: Can you talk about your musical-relationship with Santigold?
Pharrell: We collaborated on a couple of things before. She hopped on this B-side, a song called “Soldier” for N*E*R*D, and then we did something else together too, “My Drive Thru.”
Can you also talk a little about your #IAmOther campaign?
P: It’s just a legion of kids who are happy to be different; we celebrate our differences and our creativity; that’s all it is.
Speaking of differences, what are your thoughts about Barack Obama coming out in support of gay marriage? A lot of your fans are gay, young kids.
Any thoughts or feelings on that?
P: I make music for human beings, so… I think the President addressed human beings. I make music for human beings, we all do! All of us musicians make music for human beings. There’s differences all across the board but, you know, you have a life! You’re a human being. I hope that answer will suffice because, to me, at the end of the day, we’re all humans. You don’t gotta like everything! Live and let live, man!
Music is a bridge that brings people together and the stuff you’re doing is bringing millions of people together, not just with music but with science and your work with the community. Now, when you were growing up in Virginia, did you feel like you were different from your peers? You were into skateboarding, you were making art [you were seeing sounds], you were also interested in music. There probably wasn’t that many people around you into the same things. Did you feel ostracized being different?
P: No, not really. I mean, being different you’re gonna encounter opinions on what people feel is appropriate, what people feel is inappropriate, like just on a basic level of agreement. Whether you like something or you don’t: to each his own.
What about when you’re traveling? What are some of the differences or hassles you’ve encountered when you’re traveling? You’ve spent time in Asia, in Tokyo, Hong Kong. [You even have a book with Rizzoli about your travels]. Have you ever been to India?
P: I’ve not been to India yet. I was meant to go a couple of years ago but then we had a change in plans and I just didn’t go.
What new artists are you listening to? There’s so many, but who’s on your radar?
P: [Pauses, listens intently to Santigold on stage below us] I dunno! I am just thinking of the show right now! There’s so many dope ones, though! There’s Kendrick Lamar, there’s Buddy (that’s one of my guys; he’s out of Compton), there’s Maxine Ashley, there’s Alyssa Burnell, there’s Lia Burnell, there’s Lydia Peck.
Where’s she from?
The West Coast.
How would you describe her music?
You guys will see! She’s special!
Lydia Paek & Tycoon – Party (Beyonce Cover)
Pharrell Williams is widely known for his music, which spans his work as a producer with everyone from Jay-Z to Britney Spears, to his own band, N*E*R*D. His listeners might not be as familiar with his art collection, but Mr. Williams is a fan of contemporary sculptors and painters such as Takashi Murakami, whom he collaborated with for an installation at Art Basel three years ago, and KAWS, whose work harnesses pop-culture figures like SpongeBob SquarePants (”I was the one that sent him into that SpongeBob zone,” Mr. Williams says) and the Simpsons. Mr. Williams shed light on some of his favorite artists in an interview with the Journal.
The American artist has riffed on pop-culture subjects from Louis XIV to Michael Jackson’s pet chimpanzee Bubbles. It is his torn-from-Marvel-Comics depictions of the Hulk that attract Mr. Williams. “When there’s a slight twist on the things that we know to be normal, they really stand out,” he says. “Those are some of the best things to me.” Asked which artists he’d like to work with next, Mr. Williams responds, “for sure, Koons, at some point.”
The subject of a retrospective at the Tate Modern (and recently exhibited at Gagosian galleries around the world), the British artist’s renderings of surgery, part of his “fact paintings” series, are another favorite. KAWS “I don’t have the most eclectic in taste buds for art. I like what I like,” Mr. Williams admits. “With KAWS, I felt like he had this very interesting take on pop culture.” Emmanuel Perrotin, who represents Mr. Williams and whose new gallery in Hong Kong opened with a KAWS solo show, is one of many people Mr. Williams introduced the artist to.
Posted: May 9th
“Left coast rapper Mann recruits Pharrell signee Buddy to assist on this standout track off Mann’s new mixtape, FreshMANN on Varsity. Buddy handles verse numero deux as well as hook duties which seems to be Buddy’s new found talent. Idletime is on the way. Enjoy..”
Mann – YN feat. Buddy (12’)
And another legend has past away, Donna Summer – the Queen of Disco died this morning after a battle with cancer. Summer was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old. Sources close to Summer tell the singer was trying to keep the extent of her illness under wraps. TMZ spoke to someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago who says she didn’t seem too bad. In fact, they’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on. Summer was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to superstardom in the ’70s with iconic hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” R.I.P.
EW did a review of Curren$y’s fifth studio album ‘The Stoned Immaculate’ that features also The Neptunes produced tune ‘Chasin’ Papers’ which is the best tune of the album according to EW, check out below the whole review, thanks to nerd0016.
The Stoned Immaculate – Reviewed by Ray Rahman.
After building up a catalog of cozy, weed-friendly albums most artists would be more than happy to rest on, the prolific Curren$y punches things up on his second effort of the year (yes, the year) — and it might be the crossover he’s been on the cusp of for months. Behold the burnished production and radio-friendly guest roster (Lil Wayne, Estelle, Wiz Khalifa, Wale) and marvel at the overdue collab with Pharrell Williams, who knows exactly how to soundtrack his host’s sleepy flow. But don’t get distracted by all that fancy; at its core, The Stoned Immaculate still has the hazy comfort-rap heart that made Curren$y an underground must in the first place. B+
Neptunes-aided Chasin’ Papers
Single What It Look Like
Here is one of the two Neptunes tracks ‘Twisted’ featuring Pharrell of Usher’s seventh studio album titled ‘Looking 4 Myself‘. Usher previewed a snippet of the tune on MTV yesterday in the video above dancing to the tune, I personally thing that is freaking monsta right there, with that old-school spare drum beat and and that little sample with ‘play it back’ and those lyrics, ‘Twist It To The Left, Twist It To the Right Twist It Like U Love It, Twist It All Night’ genius… Usher told MTV News‘ Sway Calloway the song is a “nostalgic record” that reflects the album’s ambitious aim to represent the variety of musical experiences that have impacted the R&B superstar.
” ‘Twisted’ is more of a nostalgic record, so when you think about the classic R&B record, we managed a way to modernize it, even though that’s very relevant,” the singer said. “You hear records like Cee Lo, you hear Bruno Mars and also Andre 3000, and that sound is very relevant in this time. So this was kind of our way to tie it all together and give you something different that you probably wouldn’t normally get from me.” Can’t wait to hear the full version, in the meantime, I’ve managed to edit the little snippet from the video to a 3 minute tune for the iPod, check it out below. Looking 4 Myself is due June 12th. Thanks to EclecticE.
Usher – Looking For Myself (June 12th)
Usher – Twisted feat. Pharrell (12’)
Congrats on your latest project Echo Boom, Cris. Walk us through making that album and some of the inspiration behind it?
I wanted to make a project that personified the young generation of today which I am very much a part of. People my age are not put in a box, and are expressing themselves as individuals who defy stereotypes and classifications. I wanted to make music that represented all of those who are inspired by all types of music and art. Today young people are influencing politics, corporations, and the environment. Echo Boomers very important to society and culture right now, and I want my peers to recognize that.
Your music definitely blurs the lines between a few different genres, who are some of the artists you grew up admiring and listening to?
First and foremost would be Bob Marley. I wouldn’t be an artist if I never heard his music. I also love Sting and the Police. They were able to blend Reggae and take it to another space by incorporating punk, rock and pop. Taking reggae to different spaces is something I am always trying to strive to accomplish. I also respect John Mayer and Dave Mathews a whole lot. I’m a big fan of the Fugees and Wyclef, I think they mastered incorporating acoustic folk music over boom bap hip hop drums. I listen to a lot of Marvin Gaye as well, he’s a big influence on my soulful side. All of these artists have made a profound impact on my approach to song writing and production.
Pharrell Williams & Chuck Brown
Chuck Brown, a pioneering musician known as the “Godfather of Go-Go,” has passed away at the age of 75. The jumpy, live, organic and bouncy genre has a long been a staple of DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) parties after being originated in the nation’s capital in the mid-’60s. Brown, a wild performer throughout his career, is best known for penning and performing the R&B chart-topping hit “Bustin’ Loose” in the late ‘70s with his band The Soul Searchers. The song might be unknown to many in younger generations, but the melodies and beat will certainly be familiar to hip-hop fans as it’s the primary sample in the 2002 Neptunes-produced Nelly smash “Hot In Herre.”
The Washington Post confirmed that the deep-voiced Brown, who learned music composition during in early stint in prison, passed away on May 16 at Johns Hopkins University hospital in Baltimore. The paper reported that the artist had been hospitalized for pneumonia earlier this month and he had to postpone a series of shows due to illness. Go-go, while still localized, has received more attention in recent years due to the embrace of local rappers like Maybach Music Group’s Wale. Brown’s iconic work will surely live on in the region and well-beyond throughout the music world. “I’m sick that we lost Chuck Brown. So honored that I got a chance to meet him. RIP to the Godfather of Go-Go” said Pharrell.
Excitedly attending the press event for her new network television home, Kelly Clarkson was spotted working the black carpet at the Entertainment Weekly & ABC-TV Upfront VIP party on Tuesday night (May 15). Joined by Robin Thicke, the former “American Idol” winner looked stunning in a v-neck colorful knee length dress and nude platform sandals as she flashed a big smile for the awaiting photographers.
Kelly and Robin will be taking part in a new singing competition reality show named “Duets” along with Lionel Richie and Jennifer Nettles. The show will follow the four stars on the road in search of singing partners who will get the opportunity to win a recording contract with Hollywood Records. 30 year-old Clarkson seems thrilled to get the chance to help other music hopefuls, saying, “The simple fact that I get to go out and find two people I believe in, sing with them every week and help them accomplish their dream is an amazing thing I can’t wait to be a part of.”
“Still Trained to Go” – Fam-Lay Talks His Career, From Star Trak To Tyler, The Creator
“Hmmyessirr…” As Pharrell launches i am OTHER today, let’s all take a moment to reflect on the Star Trak era. Sure, you might be most familiar with “Milkshake” and “Grindin’,” but as any Trakkie will tell you — and Neptunes stans really are as devoted to Star Trak as Trekkies are to Star Trek — Pharrell and Chad’s old label was home to some of the brightest talent that never shone. Countless artists got stuck in the Corrupt Music Machine’s cogs (*ahem*) under the Neptunes’ watch, but none was as promising as Fam-Lay. Today, Fam is free from contracts and bullshit, back on his grind with new music in the works. RESPECT. sat down with Fam to talk about that new-new, but also to rehash the past decade of his turbulent career. Below, he speaks on how industry politics held him back, why Tyler, the Creator Tweets him on the reg, and why Star Trak still ain’t dead.
You’re definitely an artist that a lot of people know, but they don’t really know that they know. Is that a fair thing to say?
Makes sense, man.
Do people recognize your face? ‘Cause I know they recognize your songs.
Not too much, man. I don’t get a lot of people recognizing my face.
But still, you’ve got fans. I see you on Twitter.
My Twitter’s doing okay. [Laughs.]
I know you’ve had a crazy, epic saga of deals, but I was wondering if we could go through that a little bit, let the people know how you first linked up with Star Trak and how you came to where you are today.
It’s been a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t change one thing. Pharrell, he real, fam. We grew up in the same neighborhood. We were like childhood friends. He was talking about music back then, and you gotta know, from Virginia, you got a better chance of hitting the lottery [than making it in the industry]. We didn’t take it seriously. He was like one of the only dudes that really took music seriously to the point where he felt like he could break through.
He was doing shit for Teddy Riley back then and he would come down to my neighborhood just to visit. At that time, I used to rhyme just jokingly. We used to do like snapping on each other, joking, rhyming and shit. I started getting okay; a few people started telling me I was getting alright with it. I just took my chance one day and just made a record. I still remember the shit, it was a funny record.
I ran into [Pharrell] at a club on my birthday one night and he was like “Yo, I heard you rapping, man.” Shit caught me off-guard; he said, “Yo, let me hear something right now.” Like I said, it was my birthday, I’m drunk, and he want me to rhyme for him right now on the spot. He was like “Yo, just come to the studio and see how that shit works. I really want you to hang around.” I started hanging around and started getting closer and closer.
From then on, I just started coming around and just making records, and as this is happening, the Neptunes are blowing up. It kept getting bigger and bigger, so it came to the point where instead of shopping it to people, don’t it make sense for me to go with them, ride with the team? I ended up signing with Star Trak, which was something I wanted to do anyway.
What year was that, that you signed with Star Trak?
This was around ’03, ‘04.
They basically booked you up and signed you for an album, right?
Pretty much. The Clipse had a deal with Elektra. The Neptunes didn’t have a label at this time. I don’t even think their intentions were to get a label. They were just trying to put out artists and produce more people. Shit happened so fast, man, it grew so fast. The same thing I just told you about me, they did the Clipse the same way. They just snatched them up and was like “Yo, you can come to our label.”
So who else? It was you, the Clipse, Rosco [P. Coldchain]…
His name was Justin. I can’t remember his last name. Like Timberlake, but I can’t remember his last name. He was the guy in “Lapdance,” if you remember. White kid.
Lee Harvey. So we been grinding, man. Back then, like I said, before they grew to the point where they had enough power to go out for themselves, they were shopping us all at different places. Up in Atlantic, everywhere – Universal, trying to get shit going, DreamWorks, Interscope. It made sense to ride with them. So, as all this goes on, Clipse do they thing, pretty much smacked it out the park. Again, I’m fuckin’ coming from this little town, and I’m like the first guy from this area that shot to go nationally, or make a real mark.
I’m just gonna tell you a quick story about “Rock N’ Roll” that you might like. Clipse came out, [and Pharrell said to me,] “You ready to produce your shit? Like, what you wanna do? Let’s go.” So you know me, like I said, I’m coming from a small town, and Virginia shit is kind of crazy; it’s weird. We in the middle; some people fuck with the South, some people fuck with the North. And Hampton Roads, where I’m at, it’s like a military town, so there’s people from everywhere. It’s like a melting pot, for real. I felt like the people didn’t know how I really got down. So when it was my time, I didn’t want to be another regular dude. I wanted to show mothafuckas that I could really rhyme.
You know, if you ever met Pharrell, the nigga’s a fuckin’ X-Man. Him and Chad, they’re musical X-Men. One of them’s a genius; the other’s a sorcerer. You pick which one is which. When it comes to music, these mothafuckas are incredible, and always [have] been.
Curren$y discusses his collaboration with Pharrell, which is set to feature on his forthcoming album ‘The Stoned Immaculate‘, among other things. Skip to 10:30 for the details, thanks to Reidkid.
Adam Lambert – Kickin In (Live At MLB Fan Cave)
Adam Lambert – Trespassing (Live At MLB Fan Cave)
Thanks to Reidkid & KOtik.
Posted: April 30th
Here is The Neptunes track off Rye Rye’s debut album ‘Go! Pop! Bang!’ that comes out on May 15th. The tune is very Sri Lankan/Indian influenced which reminds me of M.I.A.’s Bird Flu, which is freaking awesome ! Check it out below, and make sure to get it on iTunes where you can also preview Rye Rye’s whole album, including the Christian Rich produced tune ‘Dance’ that is also available below for a preview. Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music at iTunes, thanks to Borsboom.
Rye Rye – Shake Twist Drop feat. Tyga (The Neptunes) (12′)
Rye Rye – Dance (Christian Rich) (12′)
Rye Rye – Go! Pop! Bang! (2012) (May 15th)
Usher revealed to MTV that he will be offering fans a sneak peek of exclusive performance footage of his first two singles, “Climax” and “Scream,” as well as the never-before-heard track “Twisted” produced by The Neptunes during “MTV First: Usher on Wednesday. This special event goes down Wednesday, May 16, at 7:54 p.m. ET on MTV, when the man himself, Usher Raymond, will be on hand to introduce the footage and the new single. Stay Tuned for more information, thanks to BlueSky2308.
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