In light of N.E.R.D's reunion together, we chose "Rockstar" as our #TBT today. N.E.R.D's approach to music and their combination of various influences helped mold hip hop's sound today. In a time where 50 Cent, Eminem, Dipset and other more "hardcore" rappers were dominating, Pharrell, Shay Haley and Chad Hugo refreshing take on the genre was needed at the time.
"Rockstar" was the second commercial single they released together but it was definitely the single that helped them make a much larger mark in the music industry. It had an interesting combination of rock, hip hop, funk and electronic music. It was filled with youthful energy and angst of the early 2000's. It was an anthem of the early 2000's "alienated teenager" and the video for the song brought that out even more. The group is seen performing in the middle of a high school pep rally, where skate ramps, cheerleaders, jocks and nerds all came together. It's a classic record in N.E.R.D's catalog that still lives on today and is continuously used in movie and video game soundtracks.
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An interesting part of the song is at the end, Pharrell closes out by saying the group's backronym of "No One Ever Really Dies," which was posted around Tyler The Creator's "Camp Flog Gnaw" festival and throughout their social media prior to unleashing their recent single, "Lemon" featuring Rihanna. Now that they've dropped their first single in seven years, it's likely that there's a full project on the way. in 2013, Pharrell said they've been working on an album but it would take more time due to his other commitments. That was four years a go. Now that they've dropped "Lemon," we're eager to hear whatever else they have in the cut.
You had plenty of time, there was no rush
But it was your dream to be like us
You're in dreamland so you don't care
And as you wait we're standing there