Now im sure you guys all remember the list I made up not to long ago (and recently made an addition to) regarding producers and their lack of creativity. Welp heres a new contender that I've been going back and forth with; something ive been on the fence about for awhile now. To write, or not to write, off The Neptunes? that has been the question I've posed by myself for the past few years.
I've been a fan of the Neptunes work for literally years, ever since I first heard "When This Feeling" by Swv, I knew this sound was new to me, I knew I wanted to hear more of it and I knew I LOVED it. The neptunes worked through out the early to mid 90s with artist like Swv and Blackstreet, but it wasn't until 1998 when the song "Superthug" by N.O.R.E dropped that everyone flocked to that sound, a sound that would later be coined the "Neptune sound." A spacey, futuristic, synthesized, slightly weird, and at times heavily percussed, sound bombarded the air waves in the summer of 98 and more notably the following year with the debut of 99's most buzzworthy artist, Kelis. With the hype around their sound grew, the bar and level of creativity was raised imensly as more high profiled acts sought out for the neptune sound, Jay-Z and Mystikal all experienced great success with first singles created by Chad and Pharrel, soon EVERYONE sought them out, hell even the Backstreet boys and Sade had them a neptune remix!
As years went by, it seemed that the Neptunes began to pigeon hole themselves, producing repetitive and uninspired tunes that seemed to serve only one purpose, to give the artist seeking them out that "Neptunes sound," a sound that peaked in 2002, and nothing more. I guess my beef with the boys is that they have moments of genius (Kelis' first 2 albums along with all of the N*E*R*D recordings and things of that nature) and other times it just seems like they dont give a shit, and that aslong as its a Neptunes beat its gold!.
If a song has a clear purpose and executes that purpose well, its a cool with me. "Hot In Herre" was nothing more than a club banger intended to get chicks dancing on random objects as if there were snakes on their backs...mission accomplished...high five to them, while on the other hand certain songs actually stirred up actual emotions, like 702's "I still love you" and Mary's "Steal Away," but when theres just a song thats worthless and really serves no purpose on an album other than giving the artist bragging rights as having a neptune track, thats where my gears get grinded, and thats how its been the last few years.
For every In Search Of theres an The Neptunes Presents...Clones, and I get it, there has to be a balance, not everyone can have a good day all the time, especially when your in high demand. Theres always gonna be a big chance that out of all 4563463456 tracks produced that theres gonna be a few duds. I much rather they pace themselves and pick their collaborations wisely, because much like my friend QH over at the QHblend stated, its all about the quality rather than the quantity. I much rather hear 1 AMAZING neptune produced track on every other artist's album instead of hearing an ok to mediocre neptune track every 8th track of EVERY urban album. With that said I leave it up to you guys, what do you think? Should the Neptunes be given the permanent side eye? or has recent production for Kenna, Madonna and the new N*E*R*D "Everybody Nose" remix restored a little faith in the dynamic duo?