Hip-hop, across the years, has undoubtedly seen its fair share of legendary producers. From Timbaland to Kanye, from Dr Dre to Swizz Beats, American hip-hop most definitely had and still has a plethora of talented producers churning out incredible beats. However, when it comes to producers, there are none more pioneering than the legendary producer duo The Neptunes.
Comprised of the renowned Pharrell Williams and the lesser-known Chad Hugo, The Neptunes rose out of a small Virginia town in the late nineties, but with their unique sound and beautifully simplistic sonics, swiftly took over the hip-hop charts with their beats and by 2003, were responsible for 43% of the songs on US radio, and the number only grew from there.
The Neptunes’ origins are rooted in Virginia Beach, where, in the early 1990s, Pharrell Williams met Chad Hugo at high school, where they were in the same class, ‘Beginning Band’ when Williams, for a mere one term attended Hugo’s school in Kempsville, Virginia.
Williams never saw Hugo again until he was invited to attend an extra-curricular summer band camp at Virginia Beach’s Old Donation Center for the Gifted and Talented. Williams, in an interview with CBS, described it as a “magnet school for the artistically inclined”.
It was here where Williams reacquainted himself with Hugo, who had also been asked to attend. Williams had enrolled to play the drums, and Hugo had enrolled to play the Saxophone. From here, their friendship would continue to grow, with Williams going to Hugo’s house on multiple occasions to make tracks on his Casio keyboard.
Eventually, they would grow in Virginia to become the most in-demand producers locally and then nationally. The Neptunes, since their inception, have produced over 15 number-one singles and have worked with the best of the best. Below we have compiled the 25 essential Neptune-produced tracks you need to be listening to.
The 25 best tracks by produced The Neptunes:
- ‘Superthug’ – N.O.R.E
- ‘Got Your Money’ – Ol’ Dirty Bastard ft Kelis
- ‘Caught Out There’ – Kelis
- ‘Southern Hospitality’ – Ludacris
- ‘U Don’t Have To Call’ – Usher
- ‘Hot In Herre’ – Nelly
- ‘Nothin’ – N.O.R.E
- ‘Grindin’ – Clipse
- ‘Like I Love You’ – Justin Timberlake
- ‘Luv U Better’ – LL Cool J
- ‘Beautiful’ – Snoop Dogg ft Pharrell
- ‘Excuse Me Miss’ – Jay-Z
- ‘Rock Your Body’ – Justin Timberlake
- ‘Frontin’ – Pharrell ft Jay-Z
- ‘Señorita’ – Justin timberlake
- ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ – Snoop Dogg
- ‘Universal Mind Control’ – Common
- ‘Wanna Love You Girl’ – Robin Thicke
- ‘Milkshake’ – Kelis
- ‘Pass The Courvoisier pt II’ – Busta Rhymes ft P Diddy & Pharrell
- ‘Star’ – 702
- ‘LA-LA-LA’ – Jay-Z
- ‘Let’s Get Blown’ – Snoop Dogg
- ‘Flap Your Wings’ – Nelly
- ‘Lapdance’ – N.E.R.D