Pharrell has been one of popular music's premier producers for the past decade, and in the latest act of his career, he's only become a bigger and bigger star as he's fine-tuned his unique, classicist brand of hitmaking. For a long time, Pharrell was the go-to producer in hip-hop if you need someone to pull double duty and give you a hook, too. Now his palette's expanded—he's the guy you go to for hooks, no matter who you are. From Jay Z to Daft Punk to himself, we tallied up best choruses ahead of his appearance at ComplexCon next month.
29. Twista f/ Pharrell "Give It Up" (2007)
28. The Alkaholiks f/ Pharrell Williams "Best U Can"
27. N.E.R.D "Provider"
26. T.I. f/ Pharrell Williams "Freak Though"
25. Jay-Z f/ Pharrell Williams "So Ambitious"
24. Busta Rhymes f/ Pharrell Williams "Light Yo Ass On Fire"
23. Jay-Z f/ Pharrell Williams "Change Clothes"
22. Calvin Harris f/ Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean "Feels"
21. N.O.R.E. f/ Pharrell Williams "Nothin'"
20. Jay-Z f/ Pharrell Williams "I Know"
19. Clipse "When The Last Time"
18. N.E.R.D "She Wants To Move"
17. Pharrell f/ Snoop Dogg "That Girl"
16. Daft Punk f/ Pharrell Williams "Lose Yourself To Dance"
15. Jadakiss f/ Pharrell "Knock Yourself Out"
14. Jay-Z f/ Pharrell "Excuse Me Miss"
13. N.E.R.D. "Rock Star"
12. Jay-Z f/ Pharrell "I Just Wanna Love You (Give It 2 Me)"
11. Busta Rhymes f/ Diddy & Pharrell "Pass the Couvoiseur Pt. 2"
It may be called “Pass The Courvoisier Pt. 2,” but it had little to with its predecessor. The original version that appeared on Busta’s Genesis also featured Diddy and the phrase “Pass The Courvoisier,” but it was produced by Nottz and was way too clunky for the clubs. Pharrell had just the remedy—understated verses, Busta’s high energy bridge, and of course, a catchy hook. That combination made the sequel a smash.
9. Clipse f/ Ab-Liva & Rosco P. Coldchain "Cot Damn"
Pusha T told us that “Cot Damn” was originally titled “God Damn” but changed due to anticipated issues in the Bible belt. Apparently, P also had reservations about the title because he didn't want to offend his highly religious grandmother. When the song was finally released as a single, the verses were remixed at the insentience of L.A. Reid. However, they didn’t touch this epic hook which had P screaming “Cot damn!” like he was fresh out of prison and ready for a new day.
Skateboard P's first solo single peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. From the "Tear your ass up" quip to Hov's eight-bar cameo, "Frontin'" is a classic on multiple levels, but the hook binds all of the record's appeal into one succinct moment.
4. Mystikal f/ Pharrell Williams "Shake Ya Ass"
Mystikal has always been like hip-hop’s James Brown—wailing obscene phrases with a ferocious energy hard to contain. Enter Pharrell’s smooth singing. Here, he bodies the chorus and balances out a song that opened with the lyrics, “I came here with my dick in my hand!” After this, the Neptunes were officially on, and everybody wanted a hook from Pharrell.