MF Doom

20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums

12. In Search Of… by N.E.R.D. (2001)

In Search Of

You know the slightly nerdy kids in high school who were somehow friends with everyone? Enter N.E.R.D – the kids who crossed clique boundaries between the “cool” and the “uncool,” between jock, freak, geek, and thugs. Instead of following trends or adhering to labels, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, brewed their own brand of intergalactic, self-deprecating, self-aware, tongue-in-cheek “alternative hip-hop” in Virginia. Over the ten years prior to their debut album, the two childhood friends made a name for themselves as the production team known as The Neptunes. After being discovered by Teddy Riley, The Neptunes produced tracks for Noreaga, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Kelis’ entire debut album, Mystikal, and Jay-Z over the course of a decade.

Even as the group’s commercial stock was on the rise, their true selves were unseen until 2001’s In Search Of. Iconic tracks like “Lapdance” and “Rockstar” were bolstered by fierce head-nod inducing instrumentals provided by Spymob. In the same year, the group founded their own label, Star Trak Entertainment, and, arguably, became pop music’s sound architects for the first decade of the new millennium. — Jon Carlos Evans

Curator of the BlerdUp Podcast // Blerds out about: Comic Book Movies, Video Games, Hip-Hop, and Politics

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