N.E.R.D got us all hyped up with a comeback teaser following a seven year long hiatus and fast forward two days later, they drop their first single featuring Rihanna. The single is accompanied by a video — and aren’t we all here for this?
Pharrell keeps showing up and showing off and apart from being a vampire, everything he touches turns into gold. Look at his fashion game, now look at his music game — pretty sure you get where we’re going with this.
And yes, N.E.R.D is made up of two more other members, Chad Hugo, and Shay Hayley, who together with Pharrell have been creating rap infused funk-rock music worth listening to since 2001.
In 2015, Pharrell confirmed that the group has been working on new material behind the scenes although he remained mum on the juicy details like who they will be collaborating with and such.
But this collaboration with Rihanna is a welcome surprise. ‘Lemon’ intelligently mixes politically charged narratives with personal experiences.
Lines such as: ‘Hate! Hatin’ niggas can’t believe my race, Hate! Niggas hit you with the Eli face, oh’, which is a reference to racial incidents and issues currently faced by African-Americans.
‘Hate! You keep askin’ me where I’m from, Hate! About the borders and, “Did I run?”‘ This is a reference to the Mexican-border wall President Donald Trump is so determined to build in a bid to ‘tackle illegal immigration and crime in the United States.’
‘Hate! Keep askin’ how I feel ’bout guns Hate! There’s a light and dark army, which side you choose? Oh’ in reference to the gun violence problem that plagues America. Meanwhile Rih, talks about her life of fame giving her everything she ever wanted, ‘I get it how I live it, I live it how I get Count the mothafuckin’ digits’ ending her brag with ‘Tell the paparazzi get the lens right’.
The two alternate on the chorus. But Princess Rih’s flow is so finessed it bodies everything rap she’s ever attempted. She is the star of this show. The visuals are just as hot, directed in a Kanye’s ‘Fade’-esque way with Mette Towley, (who is part of Pharell’s dance crew, which he affectionately calls The Baes) taking the dance floor in a crop top and baggy jeans.
The 26-year-old dancer later strips into blue camouflage underwear (which also happens to be part of N.E.R.D x Adidas‘s new performance collection.)
Watch and listen to the new single below:
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