Chad Hugo has crafted among the most futuristic hip-hop and pop music of the previous 25 years. With Pharrell Williams, his longtime buddy and associate within the Neptunes, Hugo’s manufacturing handiwork contains the hyper sonar pulses and thunderclap syncopation of The Clipse’s “Grindin’”; the comet path of synth particles cascading via Britney Spears’s “I’m a Slave four U”; the colliding keyboard drones and cosmic dinner bells that nourish Kelis’s “Milkshake”; and the impeccably orchestrated steam hiss, drowsy slide whistle, mouth clicks and blissfully grandiose chords that compose Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Sizzling.”
However right this moment in his Virginia Seaside residence studio, Chad simply desires to play the blues. “I feel everyone must know the 12-bar blues,” he declares softly. “It’s straightforward to sing a track if you already know the blues.” And he begins to quietly just do that.
12-bar blues/Interviews/12-bar blues/Interviews/12-bar blues…
Compared with the flamboyant Pharrell, Chad is successfully the silent associate within the Neptunes, and he’s much less fascinated by speaking about himself than he's in, say, turning our dialog into an impromptu music lesson. “Devices and music are totally different voices, so it’s like why speak about it?” he says. “Let’s make music. You play devices?”
Not since I used to be a child, I inform him.
“You need to nonetheless play, man – if you'd like,” he says, and arms me a guitar. “You’re welcome to play this.”
I warn Chad that if I play the guitar it’s going to get ugly, however he’s undeterred. “I’d say all you want to know is the F-chord,” he calmly reassures me as he walks me via the fingerings. After I handle to strike the proper root observe, my new guitar coach responds with an encouraging, “Good!” Is Chad Hugo… producing me?
“New Orleans blues received me in contact with loads of issues,” he explains. “Like how these guys play the Dixieland blues the place they’re improvising on the identical time on the identical chord and so they cease on the identical time. Lots of people would assume that it’s dinosaur music and it’s not likely cool. However man, the swing of hip-hop is predicated on that.” He rapidly beatboxes a rhythm in demonstration. “It’s only a vibe of the rhythm and the way it syncs together with your heartbeat, it’s similar to b-boom, you already know what I’m sayin’?”