Considering they've produced roughly as many top 40 smashes as they've had birthdays, it's a good bet that the Neptunes can afford to live bi-coastal lives. And if their recent work record is any indication, they've been hanging their Billionaire Boys Club hoodies in Los Angeles a lot lately.
First came "Trouble on My Mind," their collaboration with Tyler, the Creator and Pusha T. A few months later, Pharrell and Chad leaked that they were working with fluorescent Los Angeles stoners Overdoz. As the picture above indicates, they've hit the studio with nascent star Kendrick Lamar. And now they're dropping a single from the latest Star Trak signee, Compton's Buddy.
These are savvy moves for the veteran production duo. Even the most innovative artists eventually have to scout out new talent, benefiting from the energy and ideas of the younger generation. It's a direction that could conceivably allow the Neptunes to sustain relevancy as they approach their 40s, a time when many hip-hop producers start to lose commercial steam.
The nods toward the younger generation have come at a time when the pair sound more vibrant than they have in a while. February's Game and Tyga collabo, "Really Raw," might be the most repeat-worthy Neptunes beat in a several years. While the white sand minimalism of the Chad Hugo-produced "Beach Cruiser" deserved burn from Virginia Beach to Venice.
Released as part of the "How to Make It in America" mixtape, Buddy's "Awesome Awesome" is the sort of uncomplicated swag rap face slapper that you'd expect from a teenage Compton kid getting a 50% discount on BBC clothing. The marketing line on Buddy is that he is "mysterious." Thus far, no one has explained to me why he is mysterious. I presume because no one has yet written his press bio.
So all we've got to go off of is the song itself. And this is what we learn: Buddy likes Air Jordans, BBC clothes, Fiji Water, Nike socks, a buzz, Mercedes-Benz, $200 tips to waitresses, girls on his jock, swag, Compton, girls that are "bionic," girls that are his fans, beats that go "boom, boom, boom" and getting money from all his music. He also wants you to know that his flow is awesome. That might be an overstatement, but it's pretty solid. It sounds better turned up loud, blaring out of a set of strong subwoofers.
MP3: Buddy -- "Awesome Awesome"
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell and Buddy. Credit: Neptunes.Org