Know The Ledge

You ever get that feeling that a rapper/singer/band is teetering on the brink of discount bin oblivion? Well I get it every now and then, so I thought I'd share my latest premonition. I think The Neptunes/N*E*R*D are close to falling the f@#k off. I concede they might stick around as producers, but their whole N*E*R*D band concept is not getting it done.

First of all, the name is weak and the acronym behind it (No One Ever Really Dies) is the worst I've heard since NORE's (N****s On The Run Eatin'). But at least NORE's made me laugh. As for the music, I'm not sure what's going on there. I certainly can't get into it. It doesn't rock hard enough for me to want to rock out, and the beats aren't funky enough for me to get into it from that perspective either. It's like a rock n roll funk-mobile stuck in the mud, it never gets into gear. I also think Pharrell might be getting a bit of the music industry big-head. Someone needs to sit him down, put some headphones on him and make him listen to an hour's worth of his balls-in-a-vicegrip falsetto. Pharell's peculiar voice works well on hooks like Change Clothes or Pass The Courvoisier, but a whole album of him crooning the serious jams doesn't work. My man can't sing that well, and putting his voice centre stage reveals that fairly quickly.

As for the production side of things, I cannot deny The Neptunes have been responsible for some catchy jams over the last few years. But they're no longer the hot new hip hop producers on the scene, Kanye West currently has that title on lock and there's new jacks appearing every day. They've been doing production for more and more mainstream artists as their fame has grown, but once the pop world tires of them, a Britney Spears production credit might not hold much weight in the hip hop world they came up in. Now all this is just one man's opinion, and they might be around producing for years, but is it a coincidence that both The Neptunes and Richard Marx have worked with NSync? We'll see...

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