Release Date: 08.19.03
Record label: Arista
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
Attack of the Neptunes
by: nick evans
Well now that the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Yugo) are now the biggest producers… ever, it only seems right that they release a showcase of tunes from rap’s hot list of all stars to make one killer album. The whole lineup’s here, folks: Snoop Dogg, Clipse, Ludacris, Nelly, and yes, even a new track from NERD. And not only is Clones a solid rap album, but it pushes the boundaries of what a rap album can be.
The first real track on the album (also the 3rd single), Busta Rhyme’s “Light Your A** on Fire” has that type of minimalist beat reminiscent of Ms. Jade’s “Big Head”. Ludacris and Nelly fail to disappoint, both bringing their trademark styles to the table. But one of the true highlights of the disc is Pharrell’s own tune, “Frontin’”. It’s as close as we get to NERD’s “In Search Of…” on this disc, with their classic laid-back vibe to it. The album also allows some newcomers signed to the Star Trak label to showcase their talents- though the Vanessa Marquez and Fam-Lay songs are ultimately forgettable. Another highlight of the disc is the terribly under rated Kelis, who never really made it in the US. It includes one of her older tracks, “Popular Thug”, on a remix with Nas. Actually, none of the stuff on this disc measures up to NERD’s disc, “In Search Of”, but it at no time tries.
In the middle of the disc, tracks 10 and 11, there two modern rock tracks. Yeah, you read right. Right after Snoop Dogg’s joint, here comes a song that could have easily fit onto any Weezer or Third Eye Blind disc. I don’t know what they are doing on this album, but it’s just crazy enough to work.
The album doesn’t really break any more ground for rap music, because the Neptunes have already basically broken all the ground they possibly can. It doesn’t matter how crazy or stupid the beat may sound at first. After about the 3rd listen, you know you’re gonna love it. And that’s what makes the Neptunes not only the most popular producers but also the best producers today. 20-Aug-2003 4:20 PM