This is what it’s like to get your head shaved by Rihanna, Dancer Mette Towley on her career-making performance in N*E*R*D’s “Lemon” video. The real star of “Lemon,” the surprise collaboration between N*E*R*D and Rihanna, is dancer Mette Towley, who powers through the song’s video with insane force. In the clip’s first scene, she gets her head shaved by Rih and then proceeds to tear through every inch of an abandoned swap meet with precise choreography by JaQuel Knight. Mette Towley has been Interviewed by The Fader, you can check out the whole Interview HERE!
The “She Loves Everybody” band was Pharrell’s pet project. Here’s what they’re up to now. Ten years ago, Kanye West had his heart set on signing two Harvard seniors to his Def Jam-distributed G.O.O.D Music imprint. Unfortunately for Mr. West, Jermaine Dupri had the same idea for his record label So So Def. Sadly for both of them, Pharrell Williams stepped in with an offer that gave the two students the one thing they couldn’t pass up: total artistic freedom. D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey, best known together as Chester French, were signed to Star Trak Records, a boutique imprint run by The Neptunes and distributed by Interscope Records.
Wallach and Drummey first met during their freshman year of college in Harvard’s dining hall. Wallach, an African American studies major from Milwaukee, and Drummey, an anthropology major from Boston soon built a bond over their shared love for music, and the pair began recording tracks in their dorm’s basement studio. Not long after that, Wallach and Drummey formed the band Chester French, named after Daniel Chester French, the sculptor responsible for the Lincoln Memorial. By their sophomore year, the pair had cut a demo that began to circulate on campus, creating some major buzz. They were signed to Star Trak by their senior year and their ascent into superstardom was imminent.
By Nick Barat. 12 years after Fam-Lay got shelved, we’re living in a golden age for microfandom, artists who self-upload, and people who actually care. YouTube did not exist in 2003. No Twitter, no Tumblr, no Facebook, no ‘gram. Maybe three or four OK blogs. Our modern social media ecosystem was just primordial ooze, MySpace Tom still a knuckle-walker. Shit was dark! Yet some cavemen knew of fire. And buried on a bonus DVD packaged with The Neptunes’ Clones compilation was a music video for Fam-Lay’s “Rock N Roll.”
If The Neptunes were your Beatles—and in the early aughts you’re goddamn right they were!—Fam-Lay was their Billy Preston, a dependable sideman providing a welcome and unpredictable dose of stank amidst all the platinum Justin and Britney records. Smack in the middle of a 12-month run that saw Pharrell and Chad rack up enough back-to-back-to-back hits to win a Producer Of The Year Grammy, “Rock N Roll” had all the makings of another Star Trak star-is-born moment.
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.
“The obvious, easy answer is, Hey dummy, they never left. Look at their Wiki Production List, 2010 was indisputably a very full year. Pharrell co-produced the Despicable Me score, worked with Chad on a large part of the Game album, made a N*E*R*D record. Still, the question remains, where have they been? A close look at that long list shows they’ve been making beats for big names steadily, only to have those tracks never reach release. The shelving of songs is itself no great harbinger of dead talent, it’s simply the business of cutting fat. But enough glut trimmed and you start to wonder when you’re getting to the meat. The list of potential collaborations that did not make the final cut is disheartening. What went wrong? The answer to that question is possibly watermarked on the songs that did get released—a jumble of okay tracks.
The semi-tepid “Haterade” by Gucci Mane, a forgotten Pusha T. track, a maybe decent collaboration with the kinda forgotten Lil Scrappy. Why, in present day, is a Neptunes/Drake collaboration not just a necessity but an irrefutable jam, a huge hit? Maybe their hearts aren’t in it, maybe the depths of soft synths have been wholly mined. Whatever it is, the last year or two have not been solid ones for the once dominant and ubiquitous duo.
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