Today marks the 43rd birthday of Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams. This man has played an important part in music over the last 20 years producing and writing hits for acts like Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, and Jay-Z, among others as one part of production duo The Neptunes. Not only does he write and produce for others acts but Skateboard P has made a name for himself with his own music first as the frontman in my angsty teenage fantasy soundtrack N*E*R*D to dropping two platinum solo albums with 2006’s “In My Mind…” and 2014’s “Girl“, the latter of which skyrocketed him into international fame. So I compiled 10 of the best songs he’s done over the years.
Pharrell feat. Jay-Z “Frontin” (2003)
Quite possibly his signature hit until 2014′ s Happy, this is the song that showed the world who is the man behind some of Jay-Z’s best and catchiest hooks.
N*E*R*D – “She Wants to Move” (2004)
Taken from the 2004 sophomore album “Fly or Die” this club banger is possibly the highest-charting single by the band today. Pharrell graces us with smooth vocals while English pop star Alesha Dixon gives us eye candy and shows us that she really loves to move.
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell “Beautiful” (2003)
Being a teen during this time many boys used the song’s hook as a pickup line to get girls to notice and if you were a singer like I was, you found yourself getting lucky after singing this to your ideal girl.
Daft Punk feat. Pharrell and Nile Rodgers “Get Lucky” (2013)
Speaking of “getting lucky” no song explains the best of Pharrell like this record. Sure, Blurred Lines may be criticized for it’s alleged use of plagiarism and sexually suggestive lyrics, but it’s this tune that shows the real magic that P can create.
Pharrell & The Yessirs feat. Nelly “Baby”
Let’s take a break from the hits, shall we? Taken from the unreleased live album “Out My Mind” and originally on 2006’s “In My Mind”, Baby has been a staple on my playlist for ten years strong. This version, however, is reminiscent of an old Prince record with synths that remind me of “I Would Die 4 U”.
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell “Drop It Like Its Hot” (2004)
Possibly the cleanest beat I think I have ever heard in my entire existence! While I can talk to you for hours on the beat alone I would like to address that Pharrell delivered a pretty solid verse opening the song.
Swedish House Mafia feat. Pharrell “One (Your Name)”
This pulsating dance number filled clubs from here to Ibzia, Pharell’s reptitive adlibs and hook asking a girl her name.
Jay-Z feat. Pharrell “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” (2000)
This song has been inescapble since its radio debut at the turn of the century; this song is the ultimate party starter for any event.
Pharrell feat. Kanye West “Number One” (2006)
This one takes me back to my Junior year of high school. These two guys had me feeling cool rocking bright-colored polos with the collar popped and shades at all hours of the day. The smooth vocals by Pharrell and Ye’s fly boy hook is still one of the best records of the decade.
Pharrell Williams “Happy” (2013)
The title alone can tell you why this song had everyone singing and smiling about how Happy they are.
Happy Birthday, Pharrell, please continue to make magic and inspire all young artists to reach for greatness.