N.E.R.D. and Future link up for an interesting collaboration.
Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo have always had an ear to the future. Even back when The Neptunes first emerged onto the scene, gracing the world with hits like "Grindin'," and "What Happened To That Boy, their soundscapes were at once infectious and dystopian, pairing icy synths with focused percussion. Eventually, The Neptunes evolved into N.E.R.D, a platform for Pharrell, Hugo, and Shay Hayley to concoct their wildest musical endeavors. Their album In Search Of... caught many off guard, and soldfiied them as one of the most trusted forces behind driving the culture. Now, after a long hiatus, N.E.R.D. has emerged from hibernation, pairing up with one of the biggest voices of the new generation: Future.
"1000" is the third song released from N.E.R.D.'s upcoming, somewhat eponymous album, following the Rihanna assisted "Lemon," and the free-flowing, experimentation of the Andre 3000 collabo "Rollinem 7's." On a structural tip, the song feels like it's cut from the same cloth as the former, implementing a part A, part B, part C approach. The first part finds Pharrell channeling his inner cheerleader, firing off schoolyard chant vocals over a neurotic vocal sample. Video game synths segue into part B, as Future slides in with a catchy melody and carefree lyrics. We all know Future excels at the former, yet he seems almost subdued here, and it's hard to tell if he was really utilized to his full capacity.
Overall, "1000" may very well raise a few eyebrows. Die hard fans will no doubt appreciate N.E.R.D.'s dedication to pushing the envelope, but others might lament the difficult structure and general lack of cohesion. If you're looking for another moment like Rihanna's verse on "Lemon," you might have to wait a little longer.
No One Ever Really Dies drops December 15th. Catch it on all major streaming services below.