In January, members of Vinyl Me, Please Rap & Hip-Hop will receive an exclusive edition of N.E.R.D’s Fly or Die, the second album from the rap-rock group helmed by Pharrell Williams and his Neptunes partner Chad Hugo. We have the album on exclusive peppermint cloud vinyl. You can read below for why we picked this album.
Why We Picked This
Andrew Winistorfer: N.E.R.D is such an interesting group: it was these production nerds, suddenly deciding they needed to be this rap-rock band, and how different and interesting a career move that was. Pharrell could have just laid in the cut and produced records for other artists, and still did, but could have done that way more than going out on tour and making N.E.R.D records. But him and Chad and Shay really had a lotta fun making these records.
Fly or Die feels like what a rapper would make as a rap-rock record, whereas you listen to Korn or whatever, and that’s rap-rock from a metal perspective: they’re a metal band who also liked rap. The N.E.R.D record feels like a dialogue in the other direction, and what they decide to keep in from rock music is what’s really fun, as well as the 2004-ness of this record. Joel and Benji Madden are on this record! It’s a good party record.
We picked it because we really love N.E.R.D, and you can’t be a music fan in 2020 without liking at least some of Pharrell. He’s had way too big of a fingerprint on modern music for one to have not experienced something he’s done. You’d have to think about what that means: it’s this guy from Virginia who was in a marching band, who’s made No Doubt songs, and Akon songs, and JAY-Z songs… he was on Daft Punk records, he wrote “Happy.” You’ll hear that song at weddings for the rest of your life, probably. And yeah, that’s Pharrell. I think Fly or Die is the best melding of their rap-rock goals for the project. I don’t know if they ever got as good at blending the rap-rock as they did on this project.
Fly or Die is on red and white peppermint cloud-colored vinyl, so it looks like a splatter. It’s 45 RPM, 2LP, and it comes with the N.E.R.D stencil insert. We’ve done a 2019 record with slowthai, we’ve done a lotta throwbacks… we haven’t done many 2000s-era rap this year. It was mostly 2010s or earlier, from the ’80s or ’90s, so we’re excited to pull from such a fun era of rap music.