N.E.R.D. is coming back; is a new album imminent?
It’s been seven years since we’ve had a new album from Pharrel’s highly influential rap group N.E.R.D. It’s been a solid three since the first major post-N.E.R.D. rap collective brought them out to perform at Camp Flog Gnaw. Now, it looks like Williams along with his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo and their producer Shay Haley.
The group announced that they are playing at this year’s ComplexCon. The fest was previously known as that disastrous fest where all the headliners pulled out. Fyre Fest did it a favor by becoming the standard-bearer of fest disasters. Hopefully, Chad Hugo isn’t hiding the fact that he’s secretly a powder keg.
The group will headline alongside Gucci Mane, M.I.A. and A$AP Ferg.
N.E.R.D. was critically praised and beloved by a subset of hardcore fans over their 10-year career. Their albums, starting with In Search Of… and ending with 2010’s Nothing, garnered a lot of love for their ability to mix funk, soul and rock into their music, defying the hard-edged sound that characterized the early aughts (particularly from a resurfacing New York scene). The music found a home among skaters and production nerds, who championed the act well before Pharrell broke out on his own with mega-hits like “Happy.”
Their last performance came three years ago at Tyler the Creator’s Flog Gnaw Carnival. Their influence on the Odd Future collective and Tyler, in particular, is obvious, even if the rapper took things in a much darker and more nihilistic direction on his early releases.
Tyler tweeted that he cried “full tears when [N.E.R.D.] came out” at his annual festival, which they headlined.
Since then, the band has been quiet. However, Pharrell hinted at a new album late last year. The sudden re-emergence of the band could be a sign that the group really is getting ready to drop their first album in seven years. However, it could be just as random as their appearance four years after their last release at Flog Gnaw. There’s no telling what sort of moves they are making until the group wants us to know.
“The answer is yes,” Pharrell said of the idea of a new album. “When it’s time.”
Given that Williams literally has not aged since he was in the studio working with Wreckx-N-Effect, it’s possible that he operates on a different time scale than us mere mortals. This vague answer could be a promise of an album in 2130, when he finally starts to have crow’s feet.
What do you think?
In the meanwhile, give “Rock Star” 30 or so spins up top to prepare.
What do you think? Are you excited to see N.E.R.D. back on the stage? Will you go to ComplexCon for this? Is a new N.E.R.D. album on the way? Does it matter?
Sound off in the comments and be sure to SHARE this article.