The resurgence of N.E.R.D is set to make summer a lot more interesting, as the trio embark on a worldwide festival tour, with performances lined up at Governors Ball, Fuji Rock Festival and London’s very own, Lovebox.
As one of music’s most groundbreaking collectives, Shay Haley, Chad Hugo and Pharrell Willams have been pivotal influences in popular culture and have paved the career for many acts after them, including Tyler The Creator, who cited Pharrell’s debut solo album In My Mind a key influence in forming Odd Future.
The magic of N.E.R.D (acroynmed No One Ever Really Dies) lies in their live performances as recently demostrated by their epic NBA All-Star Halftime performance.
Notoriously known for their exhilirating energy, stage presence and crowd participation, no expenses are spared in N.E.R.D ensuring that you are having the time of your life whilst at their concert. Whether you’re a hip hop head or a rock kid, they make music for the masses.
We scoured through their five studio albums, and picked out 10 gems we hope are on their next tour setlist.
Run To The Sun
It’s incredible looking back at N.E.R.D’s 2001 debut In Search Of and realising how much of a masterpiece this was, in that it explored many different elements within the group’s sound. One of the highlights of the record has to be this magical piece which is often a top track on any N.E.R.D fan’s list.
Released as their second single in 2001, Rock Star showcased their ability to mix hip hop and rock so seamlessly. A live favourite, the group take this song’s attitude to another level whilst performing this on stage.
She Wants To Move
If Rock Star didn’t do enough, then this was definitley the song to introduce the group to the masses as it became a mainstream hit worldwide. The dynamic pop track certainly ticked all the boxes for UK fans after it reached Top 5 in the Official Charts. The video included the UK’s very own Alesha Dixon, who was headhunted by Pharrell Williams as a dancer. This one best resonates with the ladies who like to dance obviously, and the group often bring up female audience members to dance on stage during this very track. In fact a certain CelebMix writer, may have been on stage once or twice cough cough.
This feel good anthem was one of the standouts from their sophmore Fly Or Die . It was one of the songs which really struck a chord with their fans, and those growing up and unsure of their direction.
This song is a masterpiece. We love how they can switch from the raucous bangers in the vein of ‘Rock Star’ and ‘She Wants To Move’ to the emotive retrospective sound that they display on this. A meaningful song and significant in N.E.R’D’s career as they continue to merge hip hop with the alternative.
This monster hit was released as a lead single from the band’s 2008 release Seeing Sounds and the group later released a popular remix to the track, featuring rap heavyweights Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco and Pusha T.
This is the song to go crazy to, just close your eyes and let the vibrations take over your body.
This little ditty right here was the first of their new music for 7 years, and served as the lead single from their current album No One Ever Really Dies. This track had everyone talking thanks to the impressive rap verse from Pop sweetheart Rihanna. Interestingly enough, the single may have been recorded as far back as 2015 after both Pharrell and Rihanna alluded to the lyrics in their Instagram captions.
N.E.R.D really do have a knack of following up the lead, with an incredible second single. Featuring an appearance from Future, 1000 has a wild, unfiltered and electric sound and serves an ‘uplifting’ message with the video somewhat politically charged. At the forefront of not only this video but the album campaign is enigmatic 26 year old dancer Mette Towley, who is also a member of Pharrell’s female clique The Baes whom he toured with during his most recent solo endeavours.
N.E.R.D, Kendrick Lamar and M.I.A take you on a journey of a lifetime on this standout. We are still floating on the great vibes from this one.
Do you have a favourite N.E.R.D song? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.