Pharrell Williams released his single “Frontin'” featuring JAY-Z in 2003, way back when he was still one half of The Neptunes. The record became a huge hit, peaking at No. 5 on Billboard and helped propel his solo career.
Although “Frontin” was a major milestone for the multi-hyphenated artist, he revealed that he originally recorded the song for Prince in an interview with Clash Magazine. “All of my biggest songs were songs that I did with or for other people,” he said. “Collaboration has always been part of my DNA. And, to be clear and to be honest, songs that I ended up putting out by myself were always songs that I wrote for other people. I made ‘Frontin’’ for Prince, and even ‘Happy’, I wrote that for CeeLo [Green].”
Pharrell Williams is satisfied with his version of the songs but thinks the other artist’s versions would be better. “Still to this day I feel like CeeLo would have done a much better job on ‘Happy’ than me. His voice just really is something else, and I like that he’s a character,” he said. “And imagine if Prince had sung ‘Frontin’’? I mean, come on!”
The track never got to Prince but imagine what his version would’ve sounded like.