N.E.R.D, starring famous hitmaker Pharrell Williams, put on a highly enjoyable halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Unlike the many overproduced T.V. musical performances, the N.E.R.D sessions was quick, varied, and really fun.
Pharrell is known for his work with other major artists primarily, even though his work with Chad Mayo in N.E.R.D is a throughline across his long career. Fitting of his image, Williams brought out one special guest for the show: Migos, who performed a ubiquitous song about crack cocaine production.
Here’s our brief live blog.
9:54 — N.E.R.D did their hit “Lemon,” which features Rihanna. Rihanna, a former All-Star MVP herself, unfortunately did not perform. But dancers on cars from Tron sure did!
9:47 -- Migos, including 2018 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game MVP Quavo, came out as a surprise guests to play unofficial All-Star anthem “Stir Fry” while Pharrell played drums.
9:42 -- Here we go! We have a drum line and dancers and N.E.R.D doing the hook from Clipse’s “Grindin.” And now there are NBA mascots everywhere as they do “1000” from their new album. (Future is being piped in.)
Before the contest
Megaproducer Pharrell Williams and his band N.E.R.D will headline the 2018 NBA All-Star Game halftime show on Sunday in Los Angeles. Williams, who you know best from his global conquest “Happy” and a hundred other hits with other artists, should bring a hip-hop flair back to All-Star after an R&B performance from John Legend at halftime a year ago.
As The Neptunes, Williams, and fellow N.E.R.D. member Chad Hugo produced a slew of hits, including Jay Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U,” Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U,” Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” and Nelly’s “Hot In Herre.” Williams, also known as Skateboard P, had a featured spot on Snoop Dogg’s 2004 No. 1 hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and has worked with artists as varied as Clipse, Shakira, The Hives, and Hans Zimmer.
N.E.R.D’s music has only rarely hit the mainstream, but it’s good and it’s a beautiful fit for the All-Star halftime.
Whatever Skateboard P and N.E.R.D cook up will surely outshine whatever it is that Kevin Hart and friends did during the intros.