Pharrell Says Michael Jackson Turned Down ‘Justified’ Songs, Wanted N.O.R.E. Beats

Pharrell spoke about working with legendary artists on the latest episode of Drink Champs.

On the latest episode of N.O.R.E.’s Drink Champs, legendary producer Pharrell Williams stopped by to talk his illustrious career. The two spoke about working with Snoop Dogg, why he initially didn’t understand the appeal of “Beautiful,” and more. Stream the full episode below.

The two collaborated on many tracks in the past, including Nore’s two most successful singles, “Superthug” and “Nothin.” Their chemistry was so unique, it inspired one of music’s most iconic performers.

“We sent [Michael Jackson] pretty much all the stuff you hear on [Justin Timberlake’s] Justified album,” he said. “They were all written for Michael…right before “You Rock My World.” [Michael’s manager] John McClain was like “man, Michael don’t want that sh*t! He wants the sh*t that you’re giving Noreaga.”

Unfortunately, those potential collaborations would never come to fruition. However, this revelation could definitely lead to some entertaining mashups in the future.

“I was like ‘what the f*ck did I just hear?” N.O.R.E. recalled. “I didn’t know how to assess that. I was blown away.” He says he places the call in the top ten most important calls of his life, along with the Notorious B.I.G. wanting to be featured on he and Capone’s 1997 single “T.O.N.Y. (Top of New York).” The song was released just a month before Biggie’s death on March 9, 1997 in Los Angeles.

Pharrell also revealed that he originally made “Frontin” with Prince in mind, but the Purple One graciously turned it down. “My first attempt at making a record for him was “Frontin,” he said. “He didn’t want it…he heard the melodies, he might have heard the hook. He wasn’t into it…[that song] was me pretending to be him, what I thought would’ve been good for him at that time.”

Unfortunately for viewers, Pharrell emphasized that he won’t be participating in the Verzuz battle series. So for now, enjoy these behind-the-scenes stories.

Torry Threadcraft

Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and culture. You can find his daily ramblings and culinary takes at @dreadcraft.

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Torry Threadcraft

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