So The Fader wrote a story about our Grindin’ Forum how frequent users went on to lead global cults of their own such as Tyler, The Creator, M.I.A., Drake, Janelle Monáe and other. It is pretty much incredibly insane even getting mentioned in an article, but to write a whole article about Grindin’ is simply speechless.
I can’t stop repeating myself, but The Neptunes.org’s forum, Grindin is one of the most talented Forum that has an above average amount of talented people who will blow up and already succeed in their goals with a lot of talented contributors and readers who have risen to become world famous. The Fader picked four of the forums’ users—producer Matt Martians, artist manager Shiv Pandya, rapper Remy Banks, and video director Shomi Patwary—reflect on their time spent lurking and learning. But before you’re going to check out their story below, this my side of the story.
I’m probably the biggest Neptunes groupie there is, and the reason I’m telling you that is as follows. My name is Milan Stanković, 33 years old, born in Serbia, Belgrade, also known as Mika aka DJ Freakiii, graduated with a Computer Science degree and speak English, German, Swedish and Serbian. My biggest passion is the Music, especially from The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Mr. Carmack, and that’s why I’m running a bunch of (Fan)sites dedicated to them.
It all started back in 2000, when almost everything The Neptunes did turned to gold. So I’ve been writing down all the songs I liked on a piece of paper, so I could download them later at a friend’s house via Napster and I’ve been wondering why the hell this dude Pharrell is always featured on these bangers I liked. I’ve found out about The Neptunes after buying Jay-Z’s ‘I Just Wanna Love U (Give It To Me)’ by reading the booklet, and I’ve immediately started googling the hell outta it on Napster and the next year on KaZaA.
In 2001, that’s when I’ve found out about the Internet Relay Channel (mIRC) and that there is a Neptunes channel called #theneptunes on eFnet where bunch of people shared their rarest Neptunes Music that’s been released til then. That’s where I’ve met the owner of #theneptunes called Melladon aka Melvin Kendall together with the homies Icyblaze, PimpNERD, Matty2phat, Frosty, TennieBoper, ChaseChad, AlSween, Kweli (Aaron), CheLa, Markwilly, DJ Reflex, Torzka, Mari, BabyMilo, Patrick Pryor, Jada, Volks and many others.
Y’all should know that mIRC was the place to get your stuff via the DCC (Data Compression Conference) with the File Servers, when we haven’t had any upload sites like Zippyshare etc. and the mIRC channel is still alive but with like 3 users online at Rizon. I remember exactly when N*E*R*D’s ‘In Search Of…’ leaked, we had like 100 users in the room which was freaking a lot (but the record is still back in 2003 when Clones leaked, we had like 200 users in the room), where everyone queued to get their copy of the album. I pretty much knew after N*E*R*D’s debut those guys were my passion and would change my life.
The next year StarTrak Ent. came online in 2002 with their legendary Star Trak Forum and their Beats Section where everyone showed their best Neptunes Bites, shoutout to Chicago’s finest Patrick Pryor, AlSween, knurrknurr, NaBru aka the real Thicke, that’s when I started doing Neptunes Fakes, because it was fun. Then I’m getting this email by this dude called Jean-Luc from Paris, France who just started a Neptunes Fansite called Grindin’.free.fr which was all in French, and he asked me If I would like to help him out by updating the site regarding Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams.
Jean-Luc has been on the Star Trak Forum where he’s seen me posting about The Neptunes Newest Stuff. Everytime a new Neptunes Track leaked, I’ve immediately posted the Information on the Star Trak Forum like “All Saints – Black Coffee feat. Pusha T. (The Neptunes Remix) (01′) #theneptunes eFnet”, and only the true die hard Neptunes Fans knew what’s it about the #thenptunes eFnet. And I said to Jean-Luc of course I would love to blog for a Neptunes site, and after a while he bought the domain theneptunes.org and the rest is history.
I’ve never managed to meet Chad & Pharrell, but I was at their N*E*R*D ‘Fly Or Die’ Tour when they were performing in Stockholm, Sweden. Back in 2006, the Grindin’ Forum was born with Jean-Luc and Me and then Mari took over and bought the domain. The mIRC channel started getting empty slowly and we all transferred to the forum. The one thing I was good at, (besides doing fake tunes and editing stuff, which you probably have pretty much something I made on your PC whether if it’s a Neptunes or Timbaland track, I’ve edited it) was finding stuff on the net, so I’ve managed to collect the most rarest Neptunes Tracks there ever were and still is and started to leak them slowly track by track year by year, and sometimes, there were some ‘kids’ *cough* managers’ that could trade with me for The Neptunes Tracks #vulnerable #bigwhitespaceship #newglasses #bootknockilization to name a few.
The funny thing about it is, even the management of The Star Trak Entertainment didn’t know about all those tracks that I’ve been leaking and thought I’ve might have been working for them. There is this tradition on the Grindin forum, where I’m giving rare Neptunes Tracks every year for Christmas and new years eve to this day. And as you already know Tyler, The Creator, Drake, M.I.A. Tinie Tempah, Diplo, and many other VIP’s have all been posting and lurking on the forum and some of them still do, but you already know that. And I think that’s about it, and I also have to mention that nothing of this would have happened If there wasn’t Jean-Luc, so salute to the master!
You can read The Fader Article Here.
PS: Here is a lil’ treasure I’ve been working on as I wrote this cuz y’all asked for it.
Debuting on Skateboard P’s OTHERtone show on Beats 1 Radio, Pharrell and Busta mix the legendary Brooklyn emcee’s Jamaican roots and a some Middle Eastern tinged production for ‘Master Race’. It’s not clear if ‘Master Race’ will appear on Busta’s long rumored ELE 2 album but he’s once more being creative, comparing gun blams to Waka Flocka Flame and letting foes know he doesn’t play by putting a potato on the gun as an old-school silencer. Check out the tune below.
In the last episode of OTHERtone, Pharrell shared another gem of The Neptunes Basement, a previously unreleased Neptunes track from 1997 by Tammy Lucas. 7 years ago, Tammy has been Interviewed by NJS4E, where she talked about her relationship with The Neptunes and having them producer her debut album when she got a record deal. The Harlem girl moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia where the hit maker Teddy Riley set up shop when Future Records was born.
Soon they discovered The Neptunes at a talent show Teddy Riley gave at Chad & Pharrell’s high school. TL: “I was a judge on the panel, I voted for them & I knew they would win because they were so original; Pharrell’s energy was dynamic back then & when I heard Chad’s chords it was Love at first sound. I told Ted I wanted them to write with me on my album & a new music family bond was created. ‘BLACKstreet – Tonight’s The Night‘ was the first song we all wrote together”. Teddy Riley continued to be in such high demand that Tammy became a mentor/big sister to the new comers.
TL: “In fact the entire 5+ years I lived in V.A. both of my apartments were T.Lucas Music/Neptune headquarters. The Neptunes were straight out of high school when they started coming by almost everyday to write music, listen to & talk about music (eat my food & use my phone lol) but I really didn’t mind. They were loaded with raw talent & I was happy to oblige” (quoted from her facebook page). Tammy and The Neptunes recorded a “Truly Soulful” compilation album for EMI Records in 1997, but the company folded before the album could be released.
She also claims that her and The Neptunes have over 35 unreleased songs, that Pharrell plans to release in the future. Pharrell left Future Records after a dispute with Teddy over credit for Rumpshaker (which leads me to believe Pharrell did more than just write Teddy’s verse). Chad and Tammy left shortly thereafter, and the 3 of them started working together. Here is one of the 35 tracks from the session.
Tammy Lucas – Turn Off The Lights (97′)
When selecting people to give a casual history lesson on hip-hop, Q-Tip is an easy if not downright inevitable choice. “The summer of ’86 changed hip-hop forever,” Q-Tip tells Pharrell and Scott Vener on this week’s episode of OTHERtone on Beats
“This eventually was the music that affected Dre, it affected me.” The trio also reflects on the thrills of doing “The WOP,” including a demonstration from Q-Tip himself:
Vener, after dubbing the very special Q-Tip episode a “childhood dream come true” on Instagram, also revealed that Pharrell would be sharing a previously unreleased Neptunes track from 1997, but lets talk about that in a different post. Though Pharrell and Vener’s Beats 1 Sunday takoevers have produced an overwhelming and totally undeniable amount of highly tweetable moments, including A$AP Rocky’s mom interrupting one of their most experimental episodes yet, Q-Tip is certainly no stranger to the format. His own Beats 1 show, ingeniously known as Abstract Radio, has proven its own worth in the increasingly stacked Apple Music x Beats 1 lineup.
After the brief history lesson, Scott Vener cues up Eric B. and Rakim’s debut single, “Eric B. Is President,” which is built off an ankle-breaking sample of James Brown’s “Funky President (People It’s Bad).” At that point, Q-Tip gets on his feet and starts dancing. Marley Marl was behind the track and undoubtedly influenced those who followed him. See the clip above and just try not to dance along, check out the Episode below. Pharrell also revealed that there will be a Bonita Applebum Remix featuring him.
Here is the OTHERtone Episode 6 with Pharrell Williams, Scott Vener & A$AP Rocky. While being on the show, A$AP Rocky has announced he is working on a concept album with Danger Mouse. The New York rapper shared the news on Pharrell Williams‘ OTHERTone Beats 1 show. In the interview Williams asks A$AP Rocky about the effort and Rocky opens up confirming he is working with Danger Mouse on a concert album.
“Are you guys going to do a concept album?” “We kind of already did,” Rocky responded. “Danger Mouse is ill. People don’t appreciate that kind of s–t. There’s no lyrics out there. What’s important about this, he told me, ‘yo dude, you bring out a side in me that I need’. And I feel he brings out a side in me. We got records. I can’t wait to let you hear them.” Pharrell then campaigns to be apart of the effort saying, “Don’t leave me out of this album.” Rocky immediately shoots back, “I got you.” Check out the whole show below.
Here is the Official Video of Francesco Yates’ ‘Change The Channel’ produced by Pharrell, make sure to cop Francesco Yates’ debut EP now on iTunes.
Nominated for an Academy Award in 2014, “Happy” hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 list, and has topped the charts in more than seventy-five countries worldwide. Now Pharrell Williams brings his beloved song to the youngest of readers in photographs of children across cultures celebrating what it means to be happy.
All the exuberance of the song pulses from these vibrant photographs of excited, happy kids. This is a picture book full of memorable, precious childhood moments that will move readers in the same way they were moved by the song. Take a peek inside the book at ReadHappyBook.com.
The 2015 BET Hip Hop Awards nominations are out and Drake leads the nominations with 12, whereas Pharrell has 5 nominations this year. Snoop Dogg returns as host of the show which will be taped at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on October 9th, check out the nominations below.
Best Hip Hop Video
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Alright
Producer Of The Year
Track Of The Year
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Alright
Album Of The Year
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar – ‘Alright
By Mekeisha Madden Toby. It’s been a banner year for Missy Elliott. The Grammy winning performer and producer impressed fans and made new ones in February during the Super Bowl halftime show with Katy Perry, she danced, sang and thrilled music lovers in July at ESSENCE Fest and now she’s headed to NBC’s The Voice. Elliott, 44, will advise contestants on judge Pharrell Williams’.
“She is unbelievable,” Williams, 42, told reporters at a recent press event for The Voice. Both Elliott and Williams hail from Virginia and he’s currently working on her album. “Because of her, I feel like my artists will challenge themselves to be more open and less categorical,” he said. “They will be less classifiable, live in the moment and exercise creative license whenever they want. That’s what she is. That’s what Missy does. She liberates people.”
R&B diva Rihanna will also advise members of Williams’ team as well as judges Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine’s teams. “Rihanna is all vibe,” Williams said of the Grammy winning singer and native Bajan. “If she doesn’t feel it, she tells you in two seconds. She just knows.”
Last week New Zealand’s band Six60 have been in the studio to work with Pharrell. Bassist Chris Mac confirmed the band was working with Williams in an interview with ZM’s Fletch, Megan and Vaughan this morning. He said Williams, and award-winning American producer and singer, was a “big fan” of the band. “He’s the coolest cat. He seems more excited than we are, like he keeps on saying;
‘Thank you, thank you for this opportunity,’ and we’re like no no no, it’s the other way round,” he said. Mac confirmed they had been working on new material, and that William’s could feature on the band’s upcoming album. “At this very second we are working with completely fresh stuff with him. There are talks to get him involved on a couple of tracks from the album,” he said.
Pharrell is teaming up with publishing company, Young Penguin Readers, to donate 50,000 books to young readers, Billboard reports. Through a partnership with FirstBook, a non-profit literacy organization, as well the books will go to children in under-served low-income communities. “Every child on this planet deserves to experience the joy of reading,” Skateboard P said in a statement. The hashtag, #readHappy, will be used on Twitter for readers to share posts and pictures about why reading makes them “Happy.”
For every post on social media a donation will be made. Not only is the Virginia rep donating books, he is also creating them. He is producing a series of picture books based on his Oscar-nominated hit “Happy.” The first book, entitled Happy, will be released next week.
What’s it like making a song in the studio with Pharrell? DJBooth.net sat down with the men of Overdoz to break down the story behind getting in the studio with their hero to make “Last Kiss.”
The 23-year-old New York native Max Schneider stopped by Got Ur # to discuss his upcoming projects and his experience working with Pharrell Williams. Max describes his new EP, Ms. Anonymous, as “the next phase in going into that deeper and vulnerable place in music.”
In addition to the Hoodie Allen-assisted single “Gibberish,” the EP includes a ballad and some “darker” sounds. The indie soul singer is also planning to drop a full-length album in 2016, which features work with producer and performer Pharrell. “He’s always been my idol. Just getting to work with him was incredible,” Max tells Fuse.
Recalling a time when his mentor invited Stevie Wonder into the studio, Max remembers how inspiring the experience was. “[Stevie] walked in and gave everything he had. He wasn’t gonna leave that booth until it was perfect, and watching him work like that was the most inspiring thing—to know that the work never stops.”
Pharrell thinks Kanye West’s surprising presidential bid declaration at last week’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) was a smart move. “I think Kanye (right) knows exactly what he’s doing,” the US singer-songwriter-producer told The New Paper over the phone recently from Los Angeles, ahead of his upcoming concert here during the F1 weekend (Sept 18 to 20). “I just love that he took the time to express himself.
“His speech was one of the highlights of this year’s VMAs for me.” West’s announcement had capped off his rambling 10-minute acceptance speech after receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Williams was also at the VMAs, where he performed his new single Freedom outside the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. But does he think West will really run for US President, or was he just joking?
“You’ll have to ask him,” Williams replied. “That’s the genius of Kanye – he knows how to get people talking.”
T.I. sat down with Ebro in the morning to talk about his new EP and executive producing Watch The Duck album with Pharrell at 1:30.
After topping the FORBES’ Wealthiest Hip-Hop Earners list earlier this year, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs continues his motto of “don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks.” The Harlem-Mt. Vernon native topped all artist in the earners for the year in the genre to become the undisputed Cash King.
At $60 million, Puffy can credit his Ciroc vodka brand, Sean John clothing and his Revolt network – even though we still don’t have the long-awaited No Way Out 2 album. Right behind him, however, was Jay-Z at $56 million, as the rap mogul didn’t release solo music this year either but used his Roc Nation label, Armand de Brignac champagne and of course live shows to generate money.
1. Diddy – $60 Million
2. JAY Z – $56 Million
3. Drake – $39.5 Million
4. Dr. Dre – $33 Million
5. Pharrell – $32 Million
By Rob LeDonne. It’s been four years since Toronto’s Francesco Yates was signed to Atlantic Records, and in the interim he’s been searching for exactly what kind of artist he wants to be. Luckily, Yates is close to figuring that quandary out with the release of his self-titled EP. Featuring a blend of styles.
The highlight of the effort is the catchy track “Change The Channel,” produced by Pharrell Williams, and features a mix of rock with subtle retro hints of old-school R&B. Here, Francesco premieres the video for “Change The Channel” and talks about the catchy track, working with Williams, and the recent wave of Toronto-raised talent.
Tell me a little about writing “Change the Channel.” It’s a great song.
It’s a close one to me and one of my favorites. It’s the first one I ever wrote with Pharrell on the first day of working with Pharrell, so it was a very joyous moment. Since that was when we met, we talked about a lot of different things — some totally unrelated to music. We talked about what I did for fun and he kind of read me up and down. The next day we sat there and he gave me an electric guitar and we ended up doing “Change The Channel.” The beauty of it is that it wasn’t overthought…we went with what we were feeling on that one. I’m happy because I think it sounds the most natural.
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