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Pharrell Explains JAY-Z's 'Weird' & 'Amazing' Creative Process: 'He Writes In Falsetto'



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 2 months ago '18        #1
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Pharrell Explains JAY-Z's 'Weird' & 'Amazing' Creative Process: 'He Writes In Falsetto'
 

 
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"Pharrell knows JAY-Z‘s creative process as good as anyone. As both a solo artist and one-half of The Neptunes, Skateboard P has worked with Hov on countless songs over the last 20-plus years including “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” “Excuse Me Miss” and “Change Clothes.”

During a recent appearance on The FADER Uncovered podcast hosted by fellow producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson, Pharrell shed light on what it’s like to work with S. Carter in the studio.

The Virginia native began by explaining the difference between conventional rappers and “characters” such as Busta Rhymes, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Mystikal. While many fans might place JAY-Z on the other end of that spectrum, Pharrell argues he actually belongs in the same category.

“JAY-Z is another one — people don’t realize that. He’s one of us,” he said. “He’s not good because he’s just made good records. No! He’s really a character. He’s an odd guy. When you have a conversation with him, it’s not a regular conversation.”

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To support his argument, Pharrell recalled working on JAY-Z‘s aforementioned 2000 hit “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” and revealed Hov constructs his rhymes using a falsetto voice — an approach P calls “weird” yet “amazing.”

“When he writes, he’s just sitting there mumbling to himself — in falsetto, by the way,” he explained. “Yo, when he writes a rhyme, he doesn’t go, ‘[tough voice] Chyea! When the Remy’s in the system’ — he doesn’t do that.

“He goes, ‘[falsetto voice] Yo, yo, when the Remy’s in the system/Ain’t no telling will I fu*k ’em? Will I diss ’em?/That’s what they be yellin’/I’m a pimp by blood.’ And he taps you on the shoulder and takes it back again. He writes in falsetto.”

He continued, “That’s odd and different and weird and amazing! And makes him a character … I gotta ask him why he does that, I don’t know why he does it. But he’s always done that.”



Pharrell also revealed “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” was inspired by Mystikal’s smash hit “Shake Ya a*s,” which was also produced by The Neptunes an arrived earlier that year.

“I think we made that beat in a B room,” he remembered. “That was like, one of them 20-minute beats. It just came together, ’cause [JAY-Z] loved ‘Shake Ya a*s.’ He was like, ‘Yo, I need that!’ I was like, ‘Uhhh, ok.'”

Pharrell isn’t the only person who thinks JAY-Z is weirder than he lets on. During his interview with Hot 97 earlier this year, Tyler, The Creator explained why his “big homie” Hov is lowkey a “geek.”

“That man’s what? 51? Bro, he has the spirit of an excited 16-year-old at basketball camp,” he said. “Seriously, he’s just… fun. He’s ageless. Bro, he’s a geek.”

Listen to Pharrell’s full interview on The FADER Uncovered below, in which he also discussed the making of Snoop Dogg‘s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” his love for No Limit Records, his relationship with Chad Hugo and more."



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+17   



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 2 months ago '13        #2
THEDONN  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
Props total: 119831 119 K  Slaps total: 48938 48 K
JIgga man 1 of the greatest minds the world has seen

Crazy i had to literally put ppl on with jayz down in the south from 98-04ish

They finally get it now

+16   

 2 months ago '16        #3
Boogie1790  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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A falsetto?
+6   

 2 months ago '04        #4
KingsmenXV 
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Kanye described the same voice when speaking about playing "IZZO" the first time for Jay in this video @ 1:05


I always laugh at Kanye's imitation of him because it's so on point
+45   

 2 months ago '16        #5
Ravishing  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 KingsmenXV said
Kanye described the same voice when speaking about playing "IZZO" the first time for Jay in this video @ 1:05



I always laugh at Kanye's imitation of him because it's so on point
Yoooo


First time seeing this. Straight jokes
+13   

 2 months ago '04        #6
xbossxplayax 
Props total: 19429 19 K  Slaps total: 3844 3 K
Prolly helps with memorizing the verse let alone write it... removing oneself from the regular form/routine. Doing something odd can have that effect

Obviously the camel is what a layman would call a genius just bc he has no means to understand the methodology
+10   

 2 months ago '04        #7
ddash 
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+8   

 2 months ago '17        #8
Acebit 
Props total: 4962 4 K  Slaps total: 1123 1 K
So he does write?
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 2 months ago '19        #9
cnbftbgb 
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 KingsmenXV said
Kanye described the same voice when speaking about playing "IZZO" the first time for Jay in this video @ 1:05



I always laugh at Kanye's imitation of him because it's so on point
He gone need to pologize to Kweli for more than buying foreigns next time he sees him

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 2 months ago '17        #10
Mario Chalmers  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
Props total: 42104 42 K  Slaps total: 12636 12 K
 Acebit said
So he does write?
No one ever claim Hov doesn’t write his rhymes. He just doesn’t write them down.
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 2 months ago '17        #11
Acebit 
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 Mario Chalmers said
No one ever claim Hov doesn’t write his rhymes. He just doesn’t write them down.
That sh*t u just said dnt make no damn sense. I was under the impression he memorizes everything but pharrell keep using the words writes and writing as in jot down.
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 2 months ago '18        #12
Thecashcow 
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I used to bump jay heavy but you could hear the difference when he stopped writing. His verses be underwhelming nowadays
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 2 months ago '17        #13
Mario Chalmers  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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 Acebit said
That sh*t u just said dnt make no damn sense. I was under the impression he memorizes everything but pharrell keep using the words writes and writing as in jot down.
He writes the song in his head. They aren’t just random lyrics. He isn’t just freestyling.
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 2 months ago '04        #14
WhoThaFuk 
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 KingsmenXV said
Kanye described the same voice when speaking about playing "IZZO" the first time for Jay in this video @ 1:05



I always laugh at Kanye's imitation of him because it's so on point
This dude really looks up to Mos & Kweli….but he sh*tted on Kweli recently…
+7   

 2 months ago '21        #15
cbd kris 
Props total: 205 205  Slaps total: 7 7
 KingsmenXV said
Kanye described the same voice when speaking about playing "IZZO" the first time for Jay in this video @ 1:05



I always laugh at Kanye's imitation of him because it's so on point
Fantastic .

Hearing Kanye hear . Them Kardash's really did a number on this guy
+3   

 2 months ago '21        #16
cbd kris 
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 Acebit said
That sh*t u just said dnt make no damn sense. I was under the impression he memorizes everything but pharrell keep using the words writes and writing as in jot down.
DJ Quik does the same .

Construct the words , keep logged in head and drops it as soon as it's ready to go
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 2 months ago '21        #17
cbd kris 
Props total: 205 205  Slaps total: 7 7
 Thecashcow said
I used to bump jay heavy but you could hear the difference when he stopped writing. His verses be underwhelming nowadays
Jay not been writing since Reasonable Doubt



But yea , his verses lackin a bit these days . Rap is clearly not a priority anymore
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 2 months ago '21        #18
Thotslayer 
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 Acebit said
That sh*t u just said dnt make no damn sense. I was under the impression he memorizes everything but pharrell keep using the words writes and writing as in jot down.
It does make sense


He doesn't write the lyrics down

He repeats them over and over in his head and then when he's ready. He says he's ready ....



What dont you understand?
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 2 months ago '06        #19
xastey 
Props total: 9418 9 K  Slaps total: 671 671
I never understood that "I don't write down my lyrics" stuff until a few years ago. I always thought "yeah right.. sure". But people can really do that.

Not saying I'm great or anything like Jay. But when you spend so much time perfecting your craft you really do just zone out and can "write" the whole thing in your brain and spit it back verbatim at any notice. I do it a lot on my tech calls. My official title at work is VP of Engineering but before I did a lot of system designs and actual coding.

So one day in a meeting with the client and Project Manager they came up with a new feature they wanted to implement.. spent a few mins just listening waiting to be qued up... They ask me about it then out of no where I just detailed the whole system from end to end, corner cases etc.. this is after 5mina of just listening to them talk. Got to a point they had to tell me to stop talking because it was too much at one time. They didn't expect a direct answer on the spot.


But yeah... People really do building sh*t all in there brain and not writing sh*t down after years of experience. Still shocks me when I can pull it off on some complex systems.
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 2 months ago '15        #20
Shifty  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 xastey said
I never understood that "I don't write down my lyrics" stuff until a few years ago. I always thought "yeah right.. sure". But people can really do that.

Not saying I'm great or anything like Jay. But when you spend so much time perfecting your craft you really do just zone out and can "write" the whole thing in your brain and spit it back verbatim at any notice. I do it a lot on my tech calls. My official title at work is VP of Engineering but before I did a lot of system designs and actual coding.

So one day in a meeting with the client and Project Manager they came up with a new feature they wanted to implement.. spent a few mins just listening waiting to be qued up... They ask me about it then out of no where I just detailed the whole system from end to end, corner cases etc.. this is after 5mina of just listening to them talk. Got to a point they had to tell me to stop talking because it was too much at one time. They didn't expect a direct answer on the spot.


But yeah... People really do building sh*t all in there brain and not writing sh*t down after years of experience. Still shocks me when I can pull it off on some complex systems.
This is true.



JayZ does spit it from memory, but he also punches in a lot too.
+3   

 2 months ago '20        #21
Lil Wayne 
Props total: 4616 4 K  Slaps total: 3134 3 K
 cbd kris said
DJ Quik does the same .

Construct the words , keep logged in head and drops it as soon as it's ready to go
U cant compare the 2

 2 months ago '16        #22
kuul  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x11
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Never would of guessed that. I wonder why he does that sh*t.

 2 months ago '19        #23
TRILLIONSOTW  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 kuul said
Never would of guessed that. I wonder why he does that sh*t.
This may sound crazy but I think he does the high pitch thing because think about it.. when you mock someone or think of something out of this world, you usually use a high pitch voice to channel the emotion or action of whatever you are saying. It’s like at some point you aren’t yourself and or your thoughts aren’t your own for a second. It’s hard to explain.

That may be a reach but that’s the first thing I thought of.
+4   

 2 months ago '19        #24
GT33D3e  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Jay might be on the spectrum. He has an excellent memory and can imitate diff styles to a mastery degree. Shows little emotion and is very awkward


Last edited by GT33D3e; 11-30-2021 at 07:55 PM..
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 2 months ago '16        #25
kuul  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x11
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 TRILLIONSOTW said
This may sound crazy but I think he does the high pitch thing because think about it.. when you mock someone or think of something out of this world, you usually use a high pitch voice to channel the emotion or action of whatever you are saying. It’s like at some point you aren’t yourself and or your thoughts aren’t your own for a second. It’s hard to explain.

That may be a reach but that’s the first thing I thought of.
Like afro samurai?
+2   



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