N.E.R.D Discusses New Album, Premieres New Song With Andre 3000 In New Interview
The interview spans everything from the Neptunes and N.E.R.D’s inception to the latter’s forthcoming new album No_One Ever Really Dies.
During ComplexCon, Pharrell‘s OTHERtone held a special session featuring him, Scott Vener, Chad Hugo, Shae Haley, Pusha T, Fam-Lay and others as the group spoke about the beginnings of the Neptunes and N.E.R.D, and much more. Now, the conversation has been released for all to hear.
Initially, the Neptunes were a four-piece group but ultimately became the well-known production duo between Pharrell and Hugo, with the two slowly building a rapport with a number of artists from varying genres.
“Chad and Pharrell were doing five to seven beats probably a day in 30 minutes, tops,” Pusha T recalled during the chat. “That’s how it was happening.”
Through the Neptunes came N.E.R.D, the funk-rock outfit between Pharrell, Hugo, and Haley. However, regardless of the Pharrell’s affiliations with big-name artists as a producer, N.E.R.D did not gain immediate success.
“…how’s this gonna work, two black guys and a Filipino guy in a rock band,” Fam-Lay recalled thinking about N.E.R.D. “But then they made magic. Here they are.”
While speaking on N.E.R.D Pharrell also revealed that he wanted the group’s name to be D.R.U.G.S, which stood for “Do Right Under God’s Supervision.” He also discussed his displeasure with the band’s last album Nothing, after being asked about it via a recorded question from Tyler, the Creator.
“The record company at the time wasn’t understanding where we were. They needed us to do some uptempo records,” Pharrell said. “…I hate ‘Hot-n-Fun.’…Look at the fu**ing title, Nothing. That says it all.”
“The whole project was a dark time for us,” Haley said. “We were having some internal issues so it was a dark creative time.”
From there the discussion turns to the new album, specifically its first single “Lemon.”
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“‘Lemon’ was in 2014, 2015, the second half [of it],” Pharrell said. “I wrote it for Puff but he was super busy at the time. So we had it and Rihanna cut the second half…”
The group also talks about Andre 3000’s appearance on the album and how his verse almost didn’t end up on “Rollinem 7’s,” a track from the new record (which also premiered during the segment).
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“It almost didn’t happen,” Pharrell said. “Because I knew if 3 Stacks gave us a verse I knew he was gonna go hard. There’s a bunch of things that need to make sense before he commits to something. He did a verse and he didn’t like it and for me I was like ‘I don’t give a s**t.’ It’s him, he just sounds good.”
Listen to the conversation here.