Pharrell premiered an unreleased N.E.R.D. track during his Sunday appearance on the “OTHERtone” Beats 1 Radio show, joined by rapper-producer/mega Pharrell fan Tyler, the Creator. The archival cut, “Locked Away,” finds Pharrell crooning about romance over a funky bassline, acoustic guitar and psychedelic blasts of synthesizer. “You make life worth living / You make love worth giving,” he sings on the chorus.
The producer-hitmaker also shared a hilarious story about meeting Michael Jackson to discuss working on music, Okayplayer reports. “You talk about mind control,” Pharrell said. “He was, like, a genius. They were like, ‘Michael wants to meet you guys.’ We get into the trailer. It’s a two-story trailer – the trailer has stairs. The assistant comes in like, ‘You guys can have a seat.’ So we sit down. He comes in. He’s tall. Standing there, two beautiful women walk in. He kisses one, like full-on…ain’t, like, no peck. It’s a real situation. They look Brazilian.”
The King of Pop passed on Pharrell’s tracks, and the producer went on to work with Justin Timberlake for his 2002 solo debut LP, Justified. Jackson later called during those sessions, though Pharrell first assumed it was a prank from his friends in Virginia. “I heard someone eating popcorn in my ear, and that’s how I knew it was him,” Pharrell said. “He’s the king. He’s the king of trolling. I think he invented it.”
N.E.R.D. – Pharrell, Chad Hugo, Shae Haley – released their fourth album, Nothing, in 2010. The trio reunited last year to record “Squeeze Me,” which they paired with two other new tracks, “Patrick Star” and “Sandy Squirrel,” for the soundtrack to The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water.