N.E.R.D., ‘Lemon’ | Track Review
N.E.R.D. makes a comeback with a bizarre new single, “Lemon.” Pharrell Williams and company enlist Rihanna for the assist.
Prior to the release of “Lemon,” it had been seven years since we last heard from N.E.R.D. Furthermore, it had been three years since Pharrell Williams released his solo project, G I R L. The “wait is ova,” to quote Rihanna, who serves as the featured guest on the incredibly ambitious “Lemon.” The record commences with an intro by Williams, who is prudent and blunt.
“The truth will set you free / But first, it’ll piss you off.”
Pharrell then proceeds to go crazy, pop-rapping over an up-tempo, frantic backdrop. Following the unapologetic verse, he drops the refrain, for lack of a better description. It’s incredibly catchy and as bizarre as everything else.
“Bouncin’ around, bouncin’ around, bouncin’… / Scrunchin’ their eyes with your name in their mouth and / Bouncin’ around, bouncin’ around, bouncin’.”
Pharrell continues his high-flying pop-rapping on the second verse, but steps aside for the queen on the chorus. Rihanna raps the chorus, which isn’t catchy per se, but packs plenty of attitude. The best way to describe her performance is badass.
“I get it how I live it / I live it how I get / Count the motherf*ckin’ digits / I pull up with a lemon / Not ’cause she ain’t livin’ / It’s just your eyes get acidic / And this here ain’t a scrimmage / Motherf*cka, we ain’t finished / I told you we won’t stop / A n*gga ’bouta business / Like yours, but you rent it / Wave hello to the top / N*gga the Veyron glide / Tell the paparazzi get the lens right / Got the window down, top, blowin’ la / Got the hazards on, only doin’ five.”
She also delivers a mean rap verse, the third and final verse of the song. By far, this steals the show. Pharrell follows with a charged-up bridge (“Bath salt, bitin’ speakers in the face”), before he iterates the chorus himself., followed by the refrain, then silence, and an outro. Phew, that’s a lot to take in.
The best way to describe “Lemon” is bizarre. No, it doesn’t make much sense, yet it’s incredibly compelling and interesting nonetheless. Hearing Rihanna rap = awesomeness.
N.E.R.D. • Lemon (Ft. Rihanna) – Single • Columbia • Release: 11.1.17
Photo Credit: Columbia