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′)