The Neptunes

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Virginia production team The Neptunes (Chad Hugo and Pharrell Williams) penned Kelis Rogers' Kaleidoscope (1999), which launched the young singer-rapper as the heiress to Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott with her feminist-tinged fusion of hip-hop and rhythm'n'blues.

Already among the most successful hip-hop producers, The Neptunes formed N.E.R.D. with rapper Sheldon "Shay" Haley, as their "rock" side-project. In Search Of (2001), remixed the following year with live instrumentation, and especially Fly or Die (2004) indulged in a neurotic melange of sonic stereotypes and production techniques of metal, funk, soul and pop.

Pharrell Williams debuted solo with In My Mind (2006) that includes his neo-soul singles Can I Have It Like That (featuring Gwen Stefani) and Number One (featuring Kanye West).

N.E.R.D.'s Seeing Sounds (2008) meandered all over the map but delivered (at least) a dizzying sonic merry-go-round, while Nothing (2010) had little to offer that wasn't self-parody.

Williams also composed Robin Thicke's megahit Blurred Lines (2013), reminiscent of Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up.

His single Happy (2013), another innocuous pop-soul number, was included on his second album Girl (2014).

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