chad hugo by August Prum October 31, 2017
N.E.R.D. may be making a comeback if cryptic billboards, posters, and internet rumors are to be believed.
The group will headline ComplexCon this weekend (November 4-5), the first time that the trio of Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, and Shay Haley have performed together since 2014.
The origin of the rumor comes from the phrase “No_One Ever Really Dies,” an acronym for N.E.R.D., that has appeared throughout social media of late.
If you go to the N.E.R.D. website, which has changed to nooneeverreallydies.com, the homepage displays that same phrase.
That phrase has also popped up over billboards all over the place and appeared at Tyler, the Creator’s Flog Gnaw festival last weekend, according to Billboard.
NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES @NeRdArMy pic.twitter.com/5ic6b5Dy8G
— SHADEZ THE MISFIT (@shadeztm) October 29, 2017
Adding to the intrigue, Zane Lowe and Pharrell both tweeted out cryptic messages for people to tune into Beats 1 radio at 12 pm ET tomorrow.
9am LA 12pm NYC 4pm LDN pic.twitter.com/LhvhgW0IUk
— Zane Lowe (@zanelowe) October 31, 2017
Turn on @beats1 tomorrow at 9a PT / noon ET.
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) October 31, 2017
In an interview last February with BBC Radio 1, Pharrell told Clara Amfo about N.E.R.D.’s comeback, “it’s feeling really good, really special” (shoutout Clara for getting an answer from Skateboard P).
Williams, Hugo, and Haley haven’t released a project since 2010’s Nothing. A new N.E.R.D. project would set the streets on absolute fire. It’s cool that Pharrell is scoring movies with minions or whatever, but what he really needs to be doing is cooking up with the N.E.R.D. in the studio.
N.E.R.D., and their production off-shoot The Neptunes, shaped the sounds of the early and mid 2000s with hits like “She Wants To Move”, “Provider”, “Lap Dance”, “Rock Star”, and “Spaz” and way too many production credits to mention here. The trio combined the sounds of hip-hop, rock, funk, and soul to make a completely individual and unique sound that made them one of the most compelling bands of the time period.
Nowadays it’s not as rare for an act to blend multiple genres so seamlessly, in many ways because of N.E.R.D.’s impact, but the current landscape of the industry seems primed for an N.E.R.D. return.
We’ll be tuning in for whatever is on the way tomorrow.
N.E.R.D. have indeed released a new track “Lemon”, featuring Rihanna. It’s absolute fire.
Peep the video wild video.
And listen on Apple Music.