Considering how progressive the Neptunes and the Black Eyed Peas are, it's a little surprising they've never worked together before. That'll soon change.
On February 7, the day before the Grammys, the Neptunes' band N.E.R.D. and the Black Eyed Peas will perform at the 11th annual Rock the Vote Awards in Hollywood. Five weeks later, the two artists will hit the road for a tour that begins March 15 in Atlanta and runs through April 18.
In addition to the 22 dates with the Peas, N.E.R.D. will play two solo shows: March 20 in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest music conference and April 17 in Norfolk, Virginia.
N.E.R.D.'s second album, Fly or Die, comes out in March, approximately two years after their debut, In Search Of ... (see "N.E.R.D. Step Up Their Game On Fly Or Die, Reminisce About Teen Years"). For Pharrell Williams, the record offered an opportunity to dabble in more experimental styles and techniques than those he usually works with when producing other artists.
"This album was like a playground for us," he said. "There were no rules. With us, we don't expect to sell tons and tons of records. We mainly just made this record for us and all the people that run with us, the underdogs. It's another stripe for all the underdogs in the world."
The Black Eyed Peas are still on the road supporting their third album, Elephunk, which came out in June. They're in Australia on the Big Day Out Tour, and they'll return to North America for the Rock the Vote performance before launching a tour of Japan and Europe that runs through March 3.
N.E.R.D. and Black Eyed Peas tour dates, according to the N.E.R.D. Web site:
- 3/15 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
- 3/17 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
- 3/18 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre
- 3/19 - Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theater
- 3/20 - Austin, TX @ Music Hall (N.E.R.D. only)
- 3/25 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
- 3/26 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
- 3/27 - San Diego, CA @ 4th and B
- 3/29 - San Francisco, CA @ The Wakefield Theater
- 3/30 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
- 3/31 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theater
- 4/2 - Boise, ID @ TBA
- 4/3 - Salt Lake City, UT @ TBA
- 4/4 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium
- 4/6 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
- 4/7 - Minneapolis, MN @ The Quest
- 4/8 - Chicago, IL @ The Riviera
- 4/9 - Pontiac, MI @ Clutch Cargo's
- 4/11 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 4/12 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 4/13 - Boston, MA @ Avalon
- 4/15 - New York, NY @ Roseland Ballroom
- 4/17 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa (N.E.R.D. only)
- 4/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory