The crude way Pharrell convinced Tha Akaholiks to record
(Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg)

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The crude way Pharrell convinced Tha Akaholiks to record

Tha Alkaholiks, also known as Tha Liks, was an eccentric West Coast trio that gained a moderate amount of notoriety during the 1990s and early-2000s. Comprised of MCs Tash, J-Ro, and E-Swift, the collective never found a high level of mainstream success. Nonetheless, as a group signed to Loud Records, the trio got to work with some of the bests producers in the industry, including Pharrell Williams.

Having collaborated with the likes of Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Q-Tip and Madlib during the ’90s for their albums 21 & OverCoast II Coast and Likwidation, at the turn of the millennium, the Alkoholiks sought to reach new heights by working with the hottest beatmaker in hip-hop Pharrell Williams. The collective brought Williams on board in 2001 to produce their lead single ‘Best U Can’.

However, in an interview with Noreaga and DJ EFN on the Drink Champs podcast, the trio explained the crude way Pharrell convinced them to record the record they initially didn’t like. Loud Records had recommended the group work with Pharrell as the charts were jammed-packed full of The Neptunes’ infectious, futuristic beats, but Tha Liks needed convincing.

During the sit-down conversation, E-Swift detailed how Williams and Hugo had to pitch the track to them. Recalling how well the Virginia producer convinced them, E-Swift recalled, “Pharrell sold that shit. He made me think differently as a producer. He told us, ‘Look, when you start doing this live at shows, bitches gonna get on stage and pull their titties out.'”

Continuing the story, Tash added, “He was like, ‘Don’t do this song without bitches on stage.’ And ever since then, we ain’t never did a show without bitches on stage!” E-Swift explained the reaction they received after performing it for the first time made him realise that Pharrell was a genius, exclaiming, “The first show we did and we did that song, what happened? So I was like, ‘This guy’s a visionary!’ He had the vision, bro, and we went with it, and it worked.”

‘Best U Can’ bolstered Tha Alkoliks 2001 album, X.O. Experience, which debuted at number 47 on the Billboard 200 mainly due to its lead single. It has remained the group’s most successful track, with Tash confirming, “That sold the most records we ever sold, singles-wise.”

Williams has previously spoken about his approach to making music concerning women. In his own Drink Champs interview in 2020, the producer unveiled, “I love them from a loving place, I love them from a lustful place, I love them all the way around. They’ve always been a huge motivational force for my music. Women were always the concern, like, ‘Okay, what are the girls going to think when they hear this beat?’ Or, ‘How are they going to feel when they hear this melody?’”

‘Best U Can’ is an undeniably good song, and Pharrell even adds some vocals to the track himself. You can hear it in the video below.