Pharrell Reflected on His Work on Jay Z's 'The Black Album'

reactid="108">

In 2013, on the 10th anniversary (Nov. 14) JAY-Z's celebrated 2003 release The Black Album, Pharrell sat down for Life + Times' "DECODED" series to look back on his work on the project.

At first, after hearing "Can I Live" on 1996's Reasonable Doubt, Skateboard P saw the prospect working with Hov out his reach. Pharrell, alongside his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo, eventually picked up two credits on The Black Album (after previously producing on the 2000s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia), and it was a match made in heaven.

"Once me and Jay] met, we just creatively admired the different aspects in the ways that we work," he said. "And I think that we're artists' artists; we admire other peoples' processes, and take interest in the things that inspire each other. It wasn't just what he was saying, it was what he was inspired by. Or it wasn't just how the way our music sounded, he wanted to know where it was coming from. That's where our friendship developed."

In addition to the Top 10 single, "Change Clothes," The Neptunes also produced the album's penultimate track, "Allure" (which, in an unrelated studio video, Pharrell compared to the ending the 1993 film Carlito's Way). Here, he explained how he wanted to give Jay an "emotional" record in the same vein as "Dead Presidents."

"With 'Allure,' I just wanted to hear him rhyme over something emotional, because he killed 'Dead Presidents'... one and two," he said, referencing the two versions the Jay single. "He's crazy with a crazy sick night club record, but when he goes emotional, it's unbelievable. It's like he connects with a couple past lives."

When comparing "Allure" to "Oceans," a cut he co-produced with Timbaland on Hov's Magna Carta... Holy Grail in 2013, Pharrell broke down how he consciously used "darker colors" to enable the Brooklyn MC's rhymes to "come through like lightning."

As far Jay's storied writing technique, in which he apparently constructs whole verses in his head, without the use pen and paper, Skateboard compares it to the Oracle Delphi.

Worst to Best: Every JAY-Z Album Ranked

Mally Mall Shows Off Wild Pets, Sex Swing In HNHH Crib Tour

Share Button
Read more

J. Cole and Cardi B Shine at ‘The Real Show’

The Real is back. J. Cole brought Dreamville to Los Angeles for 92.3’s annual “Real Show” at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Saturday (Nov. 18). Closing out the evening, Jermaine turned the famed “Fabulous” venue into Cole’s World. Sporting a camouflage top, baggy pants, and combat boots, North Carolina’s finest ran through highlights from […]

Share Button
Read more

Watch Chance the Rapper Host ‘SNL’

Chance the Rapper took over “Saturday Night Live.” While Eminem was handling musical guest duties, the Chicago rapper served as host for the first time, co-writing and acting in a series hilarious sketches. For his opening monologue, Lil Chano performed a new song, saying he hoped it would make him the “Mariah Carey Thanksgiving.” The […]

Share Button
Read more

Drake Says 'Free Meek Mill' at Tour Stop In Australia [VIDEO]

reactid=”98″> Several rappers have expressed their outrage over Meek Mill’s 2-4 year sentence for violating his parole. But Meek has one unlikely adversary in his corner. Drake recently shouted out the Philly rapper during his Australia and New Zealand leg his "Boy Meets World Tour" on Saturday (Nov. 18). Drake and Meek have engaged in […]

Share Button
Read more