N.E.R.D. have won the second annual Shortlist prize. They were presented with their award at a ceremony at Hollywood’s Henry Fonda theatre on Wednesday. The judges included Beck, Iggy Pop, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Larry Mullen Jr from U2 and members of The Strokes. Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo commented, “It’s just cool to be amongst all those great groups, everybody from The Hives to The Vines to DJ Shadow. It’s a bunch of people with a similar vision to make music, not caring what boundaries or genres. It’s by cool people for cool people, but for the people ultimately.” Read more.
CNN’s The Music Room chatted with Pharrell Williams and Shay of N.E.R.D. Pharrell gave his unusual history of the group saying, “We’re from a planet that someone referred to as Earth, but we refer to as K-Pax. And we came here in a brief surge of light. And we’re now in the human form here to.” Shay says the group “live in our high-school memories.” Williams added, “That’s how our public is. We do it in smaller venues, like 2,000, 2,500 people, and it’s all mixed people. It’s like people who skate, people who break, people who freestyle.” Read more.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Cee-Lo, Bjork, N.E.R.D., the Hives, Aphex Twin, the Avalanches, DJ Shadow, Doves, the Flaming Lips and Zero 7 are among 10 finalists for this year’s Shortlist Prize, which celebrates artists whose work has yet to enjoy widespread commercial success and awards a $10,000 prize. The judges include Jill Scott, U2’s Larry Mullen Jr., Alanis Morissette, Mos Def, Beck and film directors Spike Jonze and Baz Luhrmann.
WireImage.com has photos of Jay-Z, N.E.R.D., and Hoobastank at the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour 2002 on Sunday (September 8) at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. Check out the photos here.
Regina Robinson of the Chicago Sun-Times reviewed the Sprite Liquid Mix Tour stop at the Tweeter Center on Monday (September 2). Robinson says during the N.E.R.D. set, the audience wanted more ‘Pass the Courvoisier’ songs of the type that the duo of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo is famous for creating. ‘I’m trying to push the envelope for you,’ Williams told the crowd. ‘Now, I know black people don’t jump around, but we gone jump around to -[expletive deleted]-day!’ The crowd cheered, but they did not jump.” They did have a lot of love for headliner Jay-Z though.
HitsDailyDouble.com caught up with the Neptunes and N.E.R.D.’s Pharrell Williams who explained the dichotomy between the two projects. “The Neptunes are who we are, and N.E.R.D. is what we do,” he said. “And this album is like a life soundtrack, a diary of sh** we’ve been through over the last year or two. We’re just trying to express ourselves as colorful as possible, as musical as possible. That’s what we’ve always done.”
Joshua Ostroff of the Toronto Eye caught up with the Neptunes and N.E.R.D.’s Chad Hugo who explained what happened with Shay and his jail time that limited his getting any exposure when ‘In Search of…’ was released. “I won’t say he assaulted a police officer, but he was trying to have some fun at the beach and he resisted arrest and swung at police officer,” Hugo says. “So he had some time. That’s why people don’t really know him. They just say, ‘Pharrell and Chad… and Shay.'”
A fan on the N.E.R.D. forum says she met Pharrell Williams at the Planet Hollywood in South Beach last Monday. Sweetsangel21 writes, “Now I wasnt sure it was him at first I kinda looked and said to my mom, ‘That guy looks like that one rapper’ and I see two or three people around him and my mom tells me to stop and see if it was him! And then I stood there in shock because it was him and I am completely in love with him and what he does! And he approached me and gave me a hand shake and I was frozen I was just smiling really big the whole time! I felt so stupid! But then I got the nerve to ask him to sign a bag I had and he was soo nice and said sure and grabbed a pen from one of the waiters and signed it and he was talking to me and the other people around and I was just like WOW! He is sooo down to earth!”
The guys from N.E.R.D. stopped by to talk with Radio 1’s Jo Whiley on Monday and perform ‘Rock Star’ and ‘Lapdance’. The guys talked about their influences, what they are like to work with, and the high points of their career. The performances and interview at bbc.co.uk/radio1 has since been removed.
MTV News reports Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes and N.E.R.D. has added PETA to his roster by recording a downloadable outgoing voicemail message that implores listeners to be kind to animals. The message can be heard now on Read peta2.com and soon on the answering.