As producer-duo Christian Rich, talented twin brothers Taiwo and Kehinde Hassan have worked behind-the-boards wizardry for critically-acclaimed, globally-beloved artists such as J. Cole, Earl Sweatshirt, Drake, Childish Gambino, Mac Miller and more. The two super-producers are creatively restless and have sensibilities for just about any contemporary genre — from swirling dancefloor melodies to West Coast-styled funk to sinister street-rap, they’re masters of it all.
The pair branched out on their own and showcased their capabilities to create fully-formed, cohesive projects with the release of their debut album, 2015′s FW14. Like their FW14 collaborators Steve Arrington, JMSN and GoldLink, Christian Rich are infinitely creative and able to push the boundaries of sound whenever they’re in a studio. Coming up under the tutelage of the groundbreaking, game-changing hitmakers The Neptunes, the Hassan brothers learned to craft beats under the watchful eye of their art form’s most talented and respected masterminds.
Teddy Riley, a New York native with well-earned stripes in hip-hop’s first guard, returned to his hometown last week to chop it up with the venerable Chairman Mao. Their Red Bull Music Academy Festival lecture is part of a month-long program that ensures the preservation and continued celebration of music’s most influential sub-cultures and legacies. As one of hip-hop’s childhood caretakers and a notable force in r&b from the mid-eighties onward, few are better qualified to speak on the behemoth synthesis that is New Jack Swing than its pioneering producer.
His presence has been felt throughout three decades of music, itself a rare feet. His studio, however, was home to arrangements of another sort entirely. Amongst a mile-long mantel of trophies, his discovering and mentoring of The Neptunes is paramount to the era of music directly proceeding New Jack’s reign; when Pharrell, Chad, Shae and Mike perfected their sound, took hip-hop by storm and began their assault on pop from a slightly weirder angle. Riley graced us with a few moments to recount his years in NYC, his discovery of one of hip-hop’s most cherished production teams and how a call from Q changed his life for good. Hear how Teddy Riley’s sound evolved with the times in the first installment of our Primer playlist and click through to read our discussion with the legend.
It looks like we’re getting a Justified 2.0 after all. It’s been nearly four years since Justin Timberlake shut down the Pop/R&B game and went back-to-back with The 20/20 Experience and The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2. And while he’s worked on a handful of projects since—namely the Trolls soundtrack, which featured his chart-topping single “Can’t Stop The Feeling“—we’ve yet to hear what the 36-year-old star has in store for his proper follow-up.
We’ll still have to wait on the music, but a recent Instagram post from Timberlake suggests he’s hard at work on the project. Even more promising, the IG post featured Pharrell and Timbaland, two legendary producers who have played a major role in the sound and success of JT’s solo career. What’s more, Danja, who works closely with Timbaland, said he and Timbo along with The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) were working on a project together. Stay tuned for more info.
This is what I was looking for since 2003, Pharrell and Shae sat down with Trevor Nelson to talk about their recent fame, Pharrell’s Mystikal impression, Michael Jackson and more, don’t miss this gem!
Here is an Old Documentary about The Neptunes from the year 2004, thanks to Startrak4life.
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