Last week, it was the same old, same old with the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo.
Much as we've heard for the past year, they had either just finished working with or were getting ready to go in the studio with some of music's top names, Snoop Dogg, Noreaga and Nelly among them (they also have five songs with LL Cool J in the can, including his album's first single, "Love You Better"), and they were still awaiting the release of their In Search Of ... album as part of the trio N.E.R.D.
The group was also positive that the LP was getting ready to drop. But they've been "sure" about the many other release dates the album has had since January 2001, yet each time the date was pushed back. However, this go-around the guys must've been spending extensive time on the phone with self-proclaimed psychic Miss Cleo, because the album was in fact finally released on March 12.
"We're excited, it's a dream come true," said Shay, the third member of N.E.R.D., about the record finally dropping. Being relegated to bench-warming status during their turn as artists hasn't soured the Neptunes they're two songs deep into their second N.E.R.D. album (once again they'll use live instrumentation) and describe their new material as delivering the final touches to a framework that was created with In Search Of ...
Aside from Pharrell turning up here and there to sing on "Pass the Courvoisier Part 2" with Busta Rhymes and P. Diddy (see "Busta Rhymes Closes Out Tour In NY With P. Diddy, M.O.P."), don't expect to see any N.E.R.D. performances they'll be holding it down in the studio.
"We kind of did this [album] for fun," Hugo said. "We don't consider ourselves a rock band. Call it what you wanna call it, we're kind of an organization promoting a movement. We're opium, drugs for your ears. It's like a concept. You may see us in magazines and on TV, but we don't consider ourselves a rock band, a tour band. First and foremost the studio is our rock stage."
They did stick their heads out, just long enough to shoot the video for "Rock Star" last week.
"We have a lot of [guest appearances] in it, [like] Randy Quaid and B-Real," Shay disclosed.
"We kind of took it back to 'Porky's,' 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' " Hugo chimed in.
"We are reliving our high school memories," Shay continued. "All the little perverted and crazy acts we used to do in high school, we reliving it."