Were you aghast when you saw that The Decemberists were scheduled to perform on Dillo Day, afraid your day of drunkeness might be ruined by concept-heavy songs and eight-minute-plus sea shanties? If so, chances are you will like the other group announced thus far, N.E.R.D., consisting of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo (those two best known as rap producers, The Neptunes) and Shay Haley (best known for being the other guy in N.E.R.D.). N.E.R.D. (stands for No one Ever Really Dies) creates a fusion of hip-hop and rock, in a Roots kind of way, not a Limp Bizkit sort of way.
The trio dropped its debut album In Search Of… in 2001. It re-released the album the following year, replacing the mostly-digital sounds of the first release with a live band version. The first single from that album, “Lapdance,” reached position #29 on the Billboard Hot Rap Singles chart, while subsequent single “Rock Star” peaked at #36 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. In Search Of… won the second annual Shortlist Music Prize, an award given to the best album of the year that sold less than 500,000 copies. The now defunct Stylus Magazine also praised it as “one of the finest pop albums of the last decade.”
N.E.R.D. “Rock Star”
N.E.R.D. released the follow-up album Fly Or Die in 2004. The LP was met with mixed reviews, with some publications hailing it and others not being so fond of it. Fly Or Die does contain the group’s most well-known song, “She Wants To Move,” complete with the lyric “her ass is a spaceship I want to ride.”
N.E.R.D. “She Wants To Move”
The band took a hiatus following Fly Or Die, doing various things like start up a record label (Star Track Entertainment) and encourage young people to vote.
N.E.R.D.’s “Rock The Vote” video
In the first half of 2008, N.E.R.D. opened for Kanye West on his much-lauded Glow In The Dark tour. In June 2008, the group released its third album, Seeing Sounds. The first single from that album was “Everyone Nose,” a song about women doing coke in a bathroom.
N.E.R.D. “Everyone Nose” video
N.E.R.D. has also released a video appropriate for our current economic times, for the song “Sooner or Later.” Click here to see it, as Universal Music Group won’t allow anyone to embed it.