I attended Pharrell’s first UK headlining arena tour show in Manchester earlier this week and – while the show was amazing – it was disappointing to see how many attendees were sat waiting to hear Get Lucky, Blurred Linesand Happy; totally missing out on the rich heritage of music that has afforded the legendary producer and artist the success of a frankly middle-of-the-road album like G I R L.
To me, Pharrell is the most important producer of our generation; he showed us that it was cool to be ourselves. Pharrell was the skater kid in the backpack who listened to grunge and had the versatility to work with drug dealers and pop divas alike. Along with his best friend Chad Hugo, he made the defining hip hop records of the 2000’s, setting a precedence for the generation of producers and creatives that follow.
It’s an insane task to sit down and try to limit the epic and iconic production run of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo down to just ten songs, and as such I’m sure that there are going to be disagreements. If tasked to come up with a top ten list of Neptunes beats next week, it might well result in something totally different! But I’ve tried to encapsulate the iconic, classic and timeless tracks that I influenced and crafted my own taste in music.
Here are ten of my favourite moments from The Neptunes catalogue, if you aren’t up on these records please explore and look for more, and if you are then enjoy revisiting some of the best records of the past couple of decades.