Pharrell Williams, one-half of The Neptunes production team, celebrates his 38th birthday today. Pharrell may have only fully been part of the mainstream music consciousness for the last 10 years, but he’s been hard at work for nearly 20 years. Take a look back at some of Pharrell’s early work!
In 1992, Pharrell wrote Teddy Riley‘s rap in the hit Wreckx-N-Effect single “Rump Shaker.” The song sold over 2 million copies and hit number 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart.
In 1992, Pharrell rapped on a rare remix of SWV’s “Right Here.” Part of his verse was later chopped up and used on the hit “Right Here/Human Nature” remix.
Pharrell also co-wrote and co-produced Blackstreet’s 1994 single “Tonight’s The Night” featuring SWV and Craig Mack.
Pharrell’s work with SWV continued on their 1996 single “Use Your Heart”, which Pharrell and his Neptunes cohort, Chad Hugo, wrote and produced.
Pharrell and Chad Hugo co-wrote and produced Total’s single “When Boy Meets Girl” in 1996, which became a minor R&B hit.
However, the distinctive Neptunes sound began to really take shape with Ma$e’s 1997 single “Lookin’ At Me.” The song was a top 10 hit and helped make Ma$e a household name.
The Neptunes hit-making streak really kicked into high gear with Nore’s “Superthug,” released in 1998.
From that point on Pharrell became unstoppable, helping produce, write, or remix songs for artists ranging from Jay-Z to Britney Spears to Ol’ Dirty Bastard to Prince, as well as his own solo album and the N*E*R*D projects. Pharrell also began nurturing talent, beginning with Kelis in 1999, whose first two albums were produced entirely by The Neptunes.
Around the same time that Kelis’ debut album, Kaleidoscope, came out, Pharrell was working with Clipse on their first album, Exclusive Audio Footage, which remains unreleased to this day, though one single, “The Funeral,” was released from the project.
The story of Pharrell and the Neptunes continues to this day as Pharrell has diversified his interests into clothing lines (Billionaire Boys Club), websites (Kidult.com), and furniture design. We look forward to all of Pharrell’s future projects!
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