Über The Neptunes
A production duo comprising Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams, the Neptunes have fast become the pre-eminent hit-making force in hip-hop. Known for producing eclectic, club-ready singles, their contagious beats have backed major hits by the likes of Jay-Z ("I Just Wanna Love U"), Noreaga ("Superthug"), and Mystikal ("Shake Ya Ass"). Working with longtime friend Shay, they formed N*E*R*D in 2001, which resulted in the exceptional In Search Of LP. A highly musical, genre-blending affair, the release merges their usual jumpy beatscapes with soulful singing, thick pop melodies, and psychedelic sonic trickery. Easily one of the year's best albums, it was unfortunately never released in the states but is available through special order. With a massive catalog of work to their credit, the Neptunes prove to be more than taste-makers; they're immensely talented musicians with an unlimited future in the game.