Back in 2001, superstar producers Pharrell and Chad Hugo, otherwise known as The Neptunes, were joined by hometown pal Shae Haley to form N.E.R.D and release their brittle but funky debut In Search Of…. Though the album wasn’t much of a hit, N.E.R.D successfully cultivated a devoted following and continued to drop everything from soul to rock records. N.E.R.D has largely receded from the limelight, that was, until earlier this month when the band returned with the bouncy, Rihanna featuring single “Lemon“. You can check out the delightfully rowdy track and music video below.
“Lemon” begins with a bold assertion—”the truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off”—before diving into the beat. Rihanna’s masterful verse is a healthy reminder that she is one of the industry’s most versatile artists and “Lemon”, with the help of super producers N.E.R.D, is a shining comeback from a hiatus that is finally over.
This past Saturday at ComplexCon, N.E.R.D hosted an exclusive concert to debut their upcoming album, a project which has been rumored since 2015. The concert turned out to be a grandiose listening session the new N.E.R.D. album, evidently titled “No_One Ever Really Dies” — which is what the group’s acronym stands for.
According to critics who were invited to the No_One Ever Really Dies listening party, N.E.R.D’s upcoming album could potentially be one of the best albums of the year. In typical Pharrell fashion, No_One Ever Really Dies is an album you can dance to, but this go round, N.E.R.D allows their lyrical content to veer into politics. The track “Don’t Don’t Do It“, featuring Kendrick Lamar, discusses the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott last year in North Carolina, while tracks “Voila” and “1000” are harsh, digitally driven tracks that echo the feelings of chaos many have felt during 2017.
No_One Ever Really Dies, as previously stated, will feature Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar, along with Gucci Mane, Andre 3000, and Ed Sheeran. N.E.R.D will be releasingNo_One Ever Really Dies on December 15th. You can check out the recently released artwork and track list for No_One Ever Really Dies below.
N.E.R.D. No_One Ever Really Dies tracklist:
1. “Everybody Hurts”
2. “Lemon” f. Rihanna
3. “Voíla” f. Wale and Gucci Mane
4. “1000” f. Future
5. “Don’t Don’t Do It” f. Kendrick Lamar
6. “Kites” f. M.I.A. and Kendrick Lamar
8. “Lightning Fire Magic Prayer”
9. ‘Rollinem 7s” f. Andre 3000
10. “Lifting” you f. Ed Sheeran
11. “Secret Life Of Tigers”