Pharrell Williams has always been able to mix traditional rap braggadocio with a certain je ne sais quoi all his own. Just today Pharell’s sing-songy hit “Happy,” which was featured in the Despicable Me 2 children’s movie soundtrack, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. At the same time, however, one may hear some of Pharrell’s bars blaring out of the speakers of an old-school ride on the streets of Atlanta, courtesy of Future’s “Move That Dope.”
So what was the multi-faceted Mr. Williams up to eleven years ago? 2003’s “Frontin’” is an excellent example of the sort of balance in music that Pharrell excels at, and a huge hit in its own right. Skateboard P is just as at home delivering sweet lover-boy lines like “…you ain’t looking at no other dudes ‘cause you love me,” as he is confidently proclaiming in the same tone, “And I was gonna tear your ass up (tear your ass up).” The smooth vocals and expectedly excellent production are really only let down by a disappointingly short Jay-Z verse, but we’ll let that slide. After all, it’s not every day that Hova himself calls someone “the truth” on their own track. Give this old hit a spot in your Thursday rotation, you won’t regret it.