We could tell something was brewing in the N.E.R.D camp when they announced their headline gig at ComplexCon this November. Well, we love it when we’re right because today Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Shay Haley debuted their latest track, “Lemon,” and its accompanying video. Not only is the trio, who haven’t released a single since 2010 (unless you count 2014’s “Squeeze Me”), back with new hotness, but they enlist our favorite bad gal Rihanna to turn up the heat. The songstress switches it up and joins Pharrell to rap in “Lemon” over classic Neptunes production. Rapping RiRi has got bars and the uptempo track, with its funky ebbs and flows, is an instant banger.
In the Todd Tourso and Scott Cudmore-directed video, the clips opens with the words “No_One Ever Really Dies,” which is what the N.E.R.D acronym stands for, on the screen while Pharrell says, “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll piss you off.” The video begins with Skateboard P rapping via voiceover with Rihanna staring into the camera. As it pans out we discover she’s shaving the head of a woman sitting between her legs. The shorn head belongs to dancer Mette Towley, who is a part of Pharrell’s dance squad known as the “The Baes.” Taking a page from Teyana Taylor‘s inspiring “Fade” performance, Mette performs a solo dance routine around a closed flea market. The beauty pops, bounces and twerks to the festive single, as Pharrell and RiRi spit, “I get it how I live it / I live it how I get / Count the mothaf**kin’ digits / I pull up with a lemon / Not ’cause she ain’t livin’ / It’s just your eyes get acidic.” Towards the end of the video, Mette and her revealed bottom are covered in glitter, and it’s glorious to watch.
You can catch N.E.R.D. at ComplexCon on November 4th, and watch this space for more tracks and updates from the trio. Do yourself a favor and purchase “Lemon” from iTunes. Watch the entertaining video for “Lemon,” featuring Rihanna and Mette right here. And if you like your N.E.R.D in their original form, take a listen to the track without RiRi’s verse and see if makes things sour or sweet.