For those of you that don't know, N.E.R.D. stands for: No One Ever Really Dies. It's more than just a catchy abbreviation; it's a philosophy this group of hip-hoppers use to get through the tribulations of this life.
The foundation of N.E.R.D., a duo that calls themselves The Neptunes, is one of the most revolutionary production teams in modern music. Their surreal take on hip-hop in the pop music culture has unleashed a string of hit records that has made them one of the most desirable production teams in the music industry. Whether it be Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, No Doubt, or Usher, the duo has made a name for themselves.
N.E.R.D. is the trio of Pharrell, Chad and Shay that subscribes to no rules and sticks to no plan. The chemistry between the three allows an uncharted exploration of music and sound full of emotion. No One Ever Really Dies is an exploration of life that has hitched a ride on airwaves and landed itself in homes, cars and clubs across the world.
The original attempt at an album ended up sounding too much like the Neptunes and the group decided that for N.E.R.D. to be different from the Neptunes, they had to sound different. The trio recruited Spymob, a band from the Neptune's own Star Trak label to help make sense of their new sound. This sound was showcased on their debut album, 'In Search Of'¦' It was released on Virgin Records in 2002 and was an instant success, attracting the attention of the music industry as a whole. It wasn't long before the Neptunes, N.E.R.D. or Pharrell Williams became a household name.
The groups follow up album, 'Fly Or Die,' saw N.E.R.D. ditch Spymob and saw Pharrell and Chad pick up the instruments themselves. They had always played their own music for programming on the final tracks, but this time they left them as is, offering a more honest feel to the music. The evolution from their debut to 'Fly Or Die' was apparent and if anything, natural. There are obvious classic rock, pop, and funk influences blended in a melodic formula that is perfectly simplistic.
The group has hit the road with the new album in hand. To say a N.E.R.D. show is amazing is an understatement. The excitement and energy brought forth by the group is enough to make you get up out of your seat and jump around like the music was in you and trying to find its way out. 2004 has brought N.E.R.D. to stages around the U.S. accompanied by hip-hop powerhouse, the Black Eyed Peas. They have been scheduled at venues large and small through the remainder of 2004 and tickets have been a tough find in nearly every city along the way.