Qream: Pharrell Williams would like to put something (it's not a song) in your mouth
Pharrell Williams is corny. Mad corny. Don't try to change my mind, because you won't. The lanky, Virginia-based producer's home and studio are full of platinum plaques, sure, many of them earned because for a good decade or so, Williams -- who, with fellow producer Chad Hugo under the Neptunes banner -- produced inescapable singles for starlets and rappers and discerning rock bands. Which was fine for a while, until Williams' erstaz-Curtis Mayfield croon and unconvincing rap abilities and the Neptunes' edge-pushing sound became passe.
(It happens; you're shit-hot, at the top of everybody's want-list -- and then all of a sudden, you're not anymore. Just ask Timbaland.)
When that happened -- when the Neptunes were reduced to punters, when N.E.R.D. discs weren't events anymore, when -- Williams' abject corniness became his ace-in-the-hole. That corniness sold Ice Cream sneakers. That corniness sold MTV reality specials about Williams. That corniness sold Bathing Ape duds. That corniness endeared Williams to the producers of Despicable Me, of all things, to Uffie's management, even.
Now Williams is marketing a fucking cream liqueur. Yup. You heard me.
On a side note, have you seen this make-up commercial he was in with Jessica Biel? You should see it:
Gimme Noise would like to go on record as being in support of cream liqueur, which is delicious and has few champions in the celebrity sphere, though it's arguable that Williams lacks the pop-culture clout at this point to preempt references to Henny and Patrón and rosé with references to Qream.
Gimme Noise would also like to state that there's nothing wrong with artists doing whatever they have to do to keep earning/make that cheddar in a time when writing whatever the 2012 equivalent of "Billie Jean" amounts to isn't enough to reimburse whatever corporate entity's bankrolling your deal for studio time, catering, tour costs, et al. Gimme Noise is a realist at heart.
But Gimme Noise -- bear with us, we is a little jaded with the chart-aiming music business of late -- has also kind of fucking had it with high-stakes trend setters giving up on being high-stakes trend setters. So many people seem to be content with fading into the shadows of Hollywood, taking on producers' roles and going to auditions and hosting anarchic cable television shows when, really, they should be focused on writing more of the paradigm-upending songs that are going to destroy some 10-year old's notion of what a hit radio single should be.
Qream may put a few more ducats in his bank account, but no-one's going to care about Qream in twenty years; they'll care about "Drop It Like It's Hot," "Milkshake," "Grindin'" (maybe), "Rock Star," and any number of Neptunes-produced Jay-Z bangers. If Williams, Lupe Fiasco, and Kanye West can get their shit together, tune out the corporate non-music distractions, and focus, maybe they can turn people on to the corny, 24-carat magic they wield collectively as Child Rebel Solider. But that would make too much sense in a world where, you know, Hugh Laurie and Steve Martin are cutting albums. What a world.
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