Today is Mr. Pharrell Williams’ 40th birthday, which means he’s been one of our finest and most innovative producers for the best part of two decades now. The Neptunes have become so ubiquitous that it’s easy to forget just how remarkable and unusual some of their productions are — so to celebrate Pharrell entering his fifth decade, we thought we’d round up a selection of our favorite Neptunes beats. There are so many to choose from that this is a pretty subjective exercise, of course, so do let us know your favorites, too.
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell — “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
If there’s one track that embodies the inventiveness of Pharrell and Chad Hugo at their best, it’s this one. “Drop It Like It’s Hot” is weird — who else would make a beat out of a tabla sample and tongue clicks? — it’s futuristic, and it’s catchy as hell. It pretty much resurrected Snoop’s career, and it also remains Pharrell’s biggest hit as a producer. Nearly a decade later, it still sounds like nothing else.