This may not come as a surprise, but the Neptunes plan to launch an arsenal of their tracks on the airwaves, in clubs and in the streets this summer.
This time, however, they're not producing for other artists — these are just going to be Neptunes tracks, and the beats are coming off their own album, Star Trak Presents ... Clones.
You've probably already heard a few cuts off their album — the Clipse's "Hot Damn" and Roscoe P. Coldchain's "Delinquent" have videos in rotation, and Pharrell Williams' "Frontin'," featuring Jay-Z, is heating up on radio now (see "Are There Wedding Bells In Pharrell Williams' Future? He Hopes So").
The two frequent collaborators recently joined forces in Miami to shoot the video for "Frontin'," which, according to the Star Trak camp, was directed by Paul Hunter and features a big house party thrown by Pharrell, replete with guest star Lenny Kravitz and some skaters.
The next wave of music from the LP you'll be hearing soon includes "Popular Thug," by Nas and his fiancée, Kelis.
"You make my record skip," Kelis sings, playing with words to chastise Nas on the chorus. "I would have never talked to you if I had known you was a popular thug."
"You're damn right," he retorts. Queensbridge's finest doesn't exactly give her much reason to trust him in the song, professing to be "A poet, a preacher, and a pimp wit' words/ A thief who stole her heart, a prince she deserves."
Busta Rhymes does his share of diabolical dabbling with the ladies as well on the rhythmically raunchy "Light Your Ass on Fire." As you may have already deduced, the dreadlocked flowmaster focuses his sniper-sharp delivery on talking about girls with big, round booties.
To satisfy Busta's fetish, he says he needs girls with butts as big as "Good Times" characters Willona and Thelma. And just how big is that? So big "you need a tablecloth to cover your ass." So big "you need a tractor just to carry your ass," he explains after comparing his cleanliness to that of "The Odd Couple" character Felix Ungar.
Going from sanitary to downright grimy, Dirt McGirt appears on "Pop Sh--," a song that shows that even though the rapper formerly known as ODB was incarcerated for years, he's been able to keep up with all the latest trends in pop culture, professing to be "cooler than a Maybach" Mercedes. That track is one of two the MC recorded with Pharrell a few weeks ago in New York (see "Ol' Dirty Lays Down Track With Pharrell Before Turning Into A Pumpkin"). There is still no word on where the other cut will end up.
Dancehall legend Super Cat reintroduces himself to the States via "Don of Dons," which features rapstress Foxy Brown. There, the two speak of their clout over the 'Tunes beat, which mixes bits of reggae and ragtime.
Elsewhere on the LP, the Clipse kick more street-entrenched lyrics on "Blaze of Glory," and the Neptunes, under their alias N.E.R.D., will not stand for failure on "Loser." "We will not be losers/ Sorry, but we're not the ones," Pharrell sings on the cut. Besides the Clones LP, "Loser" will also be featured on the upcoming "Madden 2004" video game.
Williams and his partner Chad Hugo won't have much time for playing games in the next few months, however, as they also have more albums to put out. In addition to the Clones project, there's the Clipse's second LP, Hell Hath No Fury, due in October. Kelis' Tasty, as well as another new LP from N.E.R.D. and one from Super Cat, are due before the year is out.