It has been 17 years since the debut album from N.E.R.D.’s. The group consisting of super-producer group, The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) along with their hometown friend, Shay team up to give fans electric rap and roll. The Neptunes have produced some of Hip-Hop and R&B’s biggest hits. Those hits include over twenty-four top ten Billboard Hot 100 hits. From Jay-Z “I Just Wanna Love You” to Usher’s “You Don’t Have to call, the Neptunes do it all. In 2003, the duo took home producer of the year at both The Source and Billboard Award Shows.
The production group diverted from anything that sounds like a Jay-Z production with N.E.R.D’s first release, In Search of…. Instead, Williams and Hugo infused Electric R&B, Rock and Rap, to create a new sound. The hip-hop like drum set was replaced with a drumming similar to your favorite rock band, if you have one. Overall, a futuristic sound permeates throughout the twelve track debut.
On the album’s intro song, “Lapdance,” Pharrell raps, “The politicians are the real strippers to me.” According to Genius, he compares the lies of a stripper to those with political power. Strippers are deceptive with free lap dances, while politicians deceive to get votes. The production would inspire a rhythm similar to Williams’ track with Gwen Stefanni two years later, “Can I Have it Like That.”
The album features The Clipse;’ separately. Pusha T hops on “Truth or Dare” with Kelis, while Malice add militia to “Am I High.”
N.E.R.D released No One Every Really Dies at the end of 2017. Their fifth studio album revealed their acronym for those unfamiliar. It’s platinum certified lead single, “Lemon” featured Rihanna.
As one of the most successful production groups of all time, In Search Of… added to The Neptunes’ diversity and genius as producers. Stream In Search Of… here if you’re feeling reminiscent.