UPDATED May 21, 7:22 p.m. ET: A rep for the producer tells Pitchfork that Hugo's tweet was a "bad joke."
Last November at ComplexCon, Pharrell said during a live taping of OTHERtone that another N.E.R.D. would come "when it's time." Maybe that means now...
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Chad Hugo, one half of The Neptunes, made a big announcement on Sunday: he’s retiring from music.
Hugo made history with Pharrell as The Neptunes, producing for a number of major acts including Jay Z, Mase, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Common, Mystikal, and many more. They also had their own group as N.E.R.D., releasing classics such as In Search Of…, Fly or Die, and Seeing Sounds. Then there’s their collaborations with Clipse, a run that is highlighted with albums Lord Willin’ and Hell Hath No Fury. It’s almost impossible to condense Hugo’s work into a few sentences, but music fans know how influential his sound is to modern music.
His fans were heartbroken by the news:
Hugo has hinted at retirement before. In an interview with The Source, he responded to a question about stepping away from producing and the Star Trak imprint by explaining that he had one foot out the door.
“I think in many cases it was. It’s hard to grasp the reigns as far as the music industry. It’s designed for single people. My situation is different. Otherwise it would be fun to just take off out of the stratosphere, out of control, make music for the masses. So one foot out the door? No, one foot on the floor.”
In recent years, Chad Hugo’s solo career consisting of him producing and composing for artists like Miley Cyrus, Earl Sweatshirt, and The Internet. He had a side project with Daniel Biltmore a.k.a. Hip Hop Dan called MSSL CMMND. And as early as 2014, Pusha T confirmed that he was in the studio with The Neptunes working on his album, King Push. So if Hugo is really serious about retiring (he's since deleted the tweet), he has plenty of music out there that hasn’t seen the light of day yet.
For a trip down memory lane, revisit our list of The 50 Best Neptunes Beats here.