10 Songs You Didn't Know Pharrell Helped Write

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Pharrell Williams 

Including the likes of Nelly, Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and more.

Pharrell Williams has finally teamed back up with Chad Hugo and Shay Haley to put together a new N.E.R.D. album, which they performed at ComplexCon over the weekend in Los Angeles.

The artists featured on the forthcoming album are Rihanna, Gucci Mane, Wale, Kendrick Lamar, Future, M.I.A., Andre 3000 and Ed Sheeran -- a roster that showcases some of the multiple artists that Pharrell has written and produced with in the past. 

Skateboard P is embedded throughout the music industry and has been for years. There's a reason N.E.R.D. stands for Nobody Ever Really Dies.


Below are 10 songs you might not have known Pharrell has his fingerprints on -- either in the writing credits on beat production.

Gwen Stefani - "Hollaback Girl" (2005)

Gwen Stefani began her solo career away from No Doubt behind "Hollaback Girl" in 2005, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Pharrell would become a staying power in Stefani's solo career, also assisting her with "Can I Have It Like That" (2006) and "Spark The Fire" (2014).

Nelly - "Hot in Herre" (2002)

"Hot in Herre" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained at the top for seven weeks in a row. In June, Nelly told The Fader that he had actually turned Nellyville in prior to putting "Hot in Herre" on the record.

"I knew that we are missing something," the St. Louis rapper said. "We missing something. We don't have the fuse to the bomb. We called up Pharrell. Pharrell was a good friend of ours, and then he came with the Chuck Brown [beat]. ... Pharrell said something about, 'You gotta have the girls add some 'Getting so hot.'"

Frank Ocean - "Sweet Life" (2012)

"Frank Ocean is incredible," Pharrell told VIBE. "We worked together, too. Frank Ocean, to me, is a singer-songwriter. His album itself is incredible. We met at Coachella. I told him, 'Man, I like what you do. Let's do something.' And then we ended up working. He's super talented. He is, to me, he's like the black James Taylor."

"Sweet Life" is track No. 5 on Ocean's debut album channel ORANGE, which was released in 2012. On Ocean's most recent album, Blond, Pharrell co-wrote/produced "Pink + White," which peaked at No. 84 on the Hot 100.

Britney Spears - "I'm A Slave 4 U" (2001)

Originally, The Neptunes made "I'm A Slave 4 U" for Janet Jackson. But as things played out, the song ended up being responsible for Spears officially leaving teeny pop behind. "Slave 4 U" peaked at No. 27 on the Hot 100.

Ed Sheeran - "Sing" (2014)

Although Pharrell was featured in Sheeran's "Sing" music video, but given the singer-songwriter's extensive catalog since 2014, one could hardly be blamed for forgetting this collab took place. "Sing" was the lead single off of Sheeran's (Multiply) album and peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100. Sheeran detailed what it was like working with Pharrell in an interview with Music News in June 2014.  

"Originally [Pharrell] tweeted 'This Angels To Fly song is great' a while ago and then at the Grammys, I don’t think he knew what I looked like, so I just went up to him and said, 'I’m a massive fan, I just wanted to say that’s my tune!' And then we swapped numbers. 'Sing' was from my first session with him, and when you work with Pharrell, he tends to push you: he wants you to do the best thing possible. So you don’t necessarily go for the first thing he plays you. It must have been on the seventeenth thing that he played me, and I had just dismissed everything. I just didn’t really get it. I don’t really get jazz chords and Pharrell’s very jazzy!" 

Kendrick Lamar - "Alright" (2015)

Pharrell had already headed up production for Kendrick's 2012 debut EP good kid, m.A.A.d city before co-writing and providing back-up vocals for "Alright" in 2015. Of the collaboration, Pharrell told MTV News, "I wanted to do something that felt like it was in that vein but just a little bit more colorful and add rhodes and instruments that are not usually used in that style of music, and just try to bring something a little bit more mystical. I kind of had my Tribe Called Quest hat on that day. I’m a huge Q-Tip fan.”

"Alright" peaked at No. 81 on the Hot 100 and No. 24 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Justin Timberlake - "Señorita" (2003)

At this time, according to Complex's calculations, The Neptunes were attached in some capacity to 43 percent of the songs playing on U.S. radio. One of those songs was "Señorita" on Justin Timberlake's debut solo album Justified, which was nominated for four Grammys.

Timberlake has become a frequent Pharrell collaborator, with major speculation that Pharrell is heavily involved in JT's next album. 

"Señorita" peaked at No. 27 on the Hot 100.

Kelis - "Milkshake" (2003)

Another 2003 hit Pharrell was in the thick of, "Milkshake" is by far the most popular song associated with Kelis to this day. "Milkshake" peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100.

In 2015, Kelis told The U.K.'s Independent, "I've known Pharrell since he was 15, and he wasn't 'Pharrell' at the time, he was just Pharrell."

JAY-Z - "I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)" (2000)

One of JAY-Z's collaborations with Pharrell dates all the way back to the beginning of this century with "I Just Wanna Love U" from Hov's The Dynasty: Roc La Familia. Pharrell co-wrote the song with Too $hort, Jay, Notorious B.I.G., Diddy and his Neptunes/N.E.R.D. partner Chad Hugo. Along with co-writing, Pharrell is featured on the track. "I Just Wanna Love U" peaked at No. 11 on the Hot 100.

Madonna ft. Kanye West - "Beat Goes On" (2008)

"Beat Goes On" was a true team effort with Madonna, Pharrell and Kanye West -- It's a wonder that with such starpower, the song never cracked the Hot 100. Can't win them all.


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