Daley-Look Up

Following Daley’s progress has been nothing but a pleasure over the last few years. From upcoming, unknown soul singer full of potential to the well-rounded, widely-lauded performer he is today, it’s been a rise that’s completely earned and has led to the forthcoming release of his debut album, Days and Nights.

Those you work with tend to be a pretty good indicator of both your status, and your peers’ faith in your ability. So, having Pharrell produce and co-write this song is about as good a representation of Daley’s situation as you could hope for- Pharrell’s coming off a genuinely spectacular summer, having been involved in its two biggest hits amongst other things, and choosing now to come together with Daley is a great co-sign.

The product doesn’t disappoint either. Pharrell serves up a cool, easygoing production, comprised of gentle synths, touches of guitar, and a mellow percussion that moves the track along nicely, without breaking the smooth bubble its built within. That’s left to Daley’s ever-excellent vocals, which remain mostly relaxed through the verses, but build toward a comparatively intense hook that breaches the confines of the velvety production in short bursts, adding a few good flashes of emotion. Generally, it’s a supremely easygoing affair that will certainly find a home in many bedroom encounters (admit it) this winter. Join the party and grab this on iTunes now.

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Daft Punk-Get Lucky ft. Pharrell (Official Remix)

daft punk get lucky remix artwork
The duo revealed a short while ago that a 10-minute remix of their ubiquitous single was coming (along with a full remix album of Random Access Memories), and given that the original has been played to the point whereby it’s probably our new national anthem, it’s a timely refresh.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is essentially an extended cut of the original, clearly being the origin work from which the radio edit was carved, and hence it’s got all the positive vibes of the original, just plenty more of them. Whilst it’s clear which segments they cut out for radio use, the overarching upbeat qualities of the production blends those sections in very smoothly, and as it moves through its various iterations, the sheer dynamism and flexibility of their work makes the 10-minute journey pass incredibly easily. I’m not totally sold on the album itself (a seperate discussion), but here they’ve taken its standout piece and essentially stretched it out and ramped it up a few notches, which is absolutely no problem with me, and I expect it won’t be with many others. Stream the track here for now, and look out for its release on 15th July.

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Mac Miller-Objects In The Mirror ft. The Internet

I’ve never had anything against Mac’s music at all, but equally I’ve not been fully coerced into launching properly into his work. With that said, his upcoming Watching Movies With the Sound Off album is shaping up to be excellent. Due for release on 18th June (with Kanye and J. Cole, of course), features and producers are set to include Jay Electronica (yep, he’s alive), Earl Sweatshirt, Pharrell, Flying Lotus, ScHoolboy Q, Action Bronson and more. It’s a great lineup, and time will tell if Mac holds his own in such company.

The album’s tracklisting doesn’t have Odd Future’s The Internet featuring on this track, but here they hook up with Mac for a first listen to the Pharrell-produced number from the LP. My lack of exposure to Mac also means his live work is a mystery to me, and here he’ll definitely win some fans with a solid performance; he steps between singing and rapping with a vocal delivery that smoothly hovers the two, and commits either way in small segments and where required. It’s a show of versatility that works for him- he’s not a natural singer and hence isn’t vocally perfect at all, but his imperfections add to what is a raw, committed performance, and the slick instrumentation from Matt Martians and co. not only helps set the mellow vibe, but also fills any gaps in Mac’s vocal work with smooth, relaxing production. I’m very much into this; more of this quality, and there may be a dark horse in the race for the best album on 18th June.

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Mike Posner-IDGAF ft. Pharrell

posner pharrell
An unexpected one that landed this weekend. Not necessarily because of the acts involved, but you’d expect a track of this nature to be held back as a lead single rather than a leak; high praise indeed, but deserved.

The production is that classic Neptunes style, harking back to some of the beats they laced several R&B and hip-hop acts with, as bubbly percussion combines with energetic electronic melodies to create a soundscape of positivity, though with an intense, driving edge. Posner’s vocals have renown adaptability, and here he switches through several styles to make the most of this addictive production: an attitudinal, rap-influenced style makes up most of the verses and pre-hook bridge, with his fun bounce being swapped out for a gentle touch of vocals for the hook, offering a nice cool down period from the lively verses. Pharrell comes through with adlibs and backing vocals where required, whilst also contributing an enjoyable verse of his own as the closer, with his blunt delivery contrasting Posner’s various harmonic styles and once again, demonstrating the versatility of this mainstream-friendly beat. A good slice of mainstream pop/R&B; Posner needs to back this track as it could undoubtedly be a big single for him, particularly with the summer coming up and Pharrell’s stock being incredibly high right now.

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Daft Punk-Random Access Memories (Full Album Stream)

8 years in the making, and now hungry fans can finally listen to Daft Punk’s entire comeback LP, over a week before its official release. This is, of course, seemingly a response to the fact their album leaked onto them internets just a few hours ago, but it’s pretty good news in any case.

As surprising as it may be, I haven’t managed to listen to the full album yet given that I just read this news around 49 seconds ago, and admittedly I probably won’t until it’s released next week (or I cave and grab a quick fix beforehand). They’re one of very few artists for whom I quite enjoy the novelty of waiting until release day to buy the CD and such (sue me), and hence I’m hoping to do precisely that. For those unaware, features include Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder, Chilly Gonzalez, Todd Edwards, Paul Williams, Julian Casablancas, DJ Falcon and Panda Bear. Enjoy being a few days ahead of dear old me with the free stream courtesy of iTunes below.

Daft Punk-Random Access Memories (Full Album Stream)

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Daft Punk-Get Lucky ft. Pharrell

The fantastic Daft Punk’s return has been teased, trailered, and generally slowly delivered to a patient fanbase (and yes, that includes those who pretend to be “longtime” fans because they heard Discovery once), and after several fakes, their official ‘comeback’ single was released a couple of days ago.

Fans of The Hood Internet’s recent Justin Timberlake remix will be familiar with the primary melody here, with the funky guitar work providing an easygoing and bright centrepiece, accompanied by fairly unobtrusive and consistent percussion for a great summer soundscape. Pharrell laces that top layer with smooth vocals of his own, with his unique tones being a wonderful compliment to that warm production throughout as he cycles through various deliveries and levels of intensity, not least his highly-addictive hook. Daft Punk and Pharrell are a combination that absolutely makes sense on paper, and it definitely produces the goods here.

It’ll spawn a slew of more club-friendly remixes for sure (for better or worse), but this is one to enjoy laying around in the outdoors with a cold drink in your hand. Available on iTunes right now, and look out for Random Access Memories on 21st May.

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RDGLDGRN, Pharrell and Dave Grohl In The Studio (Video)

In the near-4 year history of this site, I have never felt more personal pride about an act we’ve worked with as I have with these guys. Having supported them since our birth, I daresay we’ve become friends over the years, and that goes beyond common interests-it’s because they’re incredibly gifted, and have the right views and understandings of music. Now, they’re working with the likes of Pharrell and Dave Grohl, two of the most well-known names in worldwide music, and benefitting from global radio play and exposure. It goes to show that the dedication to their craft paid off, and it’s great to see such deserving guys get this kind of buzz.

It’s only the beginning, of course. One look at this video will tell you that they’re destined for even more, with both Grohl and Williams full of genuine praise for the trio, and it’s not only a superb insight into their influential opinions, but also on the collaborative processes that took place and the resulting products. Of course, the latter can be found on their EP, available now on iTunes, and be sure to catch the guys on tour out here in Europe next month.

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Tyler, The Creator-Wolf (Full Album Stream)

Wolf lands officially tomorrow, and for those of you who’ve avoided any leaks and such, you can check out the entire 18-track LP here. From a very brief listen to a few of the tracks, there’s a marked maturity in his music, and in keeping with the two previously-released tracks, the dichotomy of Tyler’s chaotic and introspective sides are represented well. The maturity comes in the form of the weighting-it seems as though the album’s highlight tracks (and those said by Tyler to be his favourites) lean more toward the reflective side of his work, and there’s no doubt he’s delivered well on that front in that past.

Features include Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu, Coco O of Quadron, Casey Veggies, Earl Sweatshirt and a handful more of the Odd Future clan. Plenty of promise, and you can preview the LP below before making your purchase decision tomorrow.

Tyler, The Creator-Wolf (Full Album Stream)

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Tyler, The Creator-IFHY (Video)

The latest video from Tyler’s upcoming Wolf album, due out on Monday, and though the audio lists a Pharrell feature, he doesn’t appear in this clip. His contributions are all over the track though, from the classic N*E*R*D-style production through to the soft backing vocals, and of course his solo vocal addition toward the end-as a big N*E*R*D fan, there’s no doubt Tyler would have wanted to recreate the sound of the trio, and that’s done very successfully here.

Of course, Tyler’s own twist is put on the formula though, with his unique brand of introspective, female-focused rap (see She for a previous example) being a nice accompaniment to the production, with his baritone being a nice contrast to the light, easygoing beat.

Tyler’s good with delivering striking visuals and this is no different. Heavily laden with prosthetic make-up, Tyler opens with a sombre monologue, before we meet his fellow plastic doll and the tirade towards her begins. As they work their way through the dollhouse, the bright and vivid colours take further hold on the video and really enhance the positive, fun Pharrell production. The clip ends with the other side of Tyler’s coin, that being the aggressive, chaotic element, as he appends a seperate track (Jamba) to close the video out with some energy and wildness. A likeable watch supported by enjoyable tracks, be sure to grab Wolf in a few days.

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Robin Thicke-Blurred Lines ft. Pharrell and T.I. (Video)

Initially, I didn’t like this. The beat sounded a little thin on the ground, the vocals didn’t necessarily command the track, and it just seemed to be missing something. However, the longer I let this play, the more I wanted it to keep going, and I expect many will have similar reactions with this.

There’s something oddly addictive about the understated funk, and with the beat being helmed by Pharrell (I assume, from the percussion style), I almost feel foolish for questioning its merits. That simple, effective percussion provides a subtle accompaniment to the fun vocal samples, dashes of bass and of course, Robin’s whispery vocals. It’s a good combination of cool, downplayed pop with a bouncy positivity, facets which are visualised well, as all three artists are seen mostly having a bit of fun in plain white studio surroundings; it’s actually quite refreshing to see the likes of Pharrell and T.I. let their (figurative) hair down and be less concerned with projecting a ‘smooth’ image, opting rather to fool around a little whilst dressed impeccably. The video really helps drive the feel of the audio home, and admittedly had the audio been released first, it would have probably struggled for praise. As it is, they came together and it was the right move; look out for Robin’s album later this year.

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Rick Ross-The Black Bar Mitzvah (Mixtape)

Given that I’m positive he isn’t Jewish, this surely this has to go down as one of the most ridiculous mixtape names of all-time? Worryingly though, it isn’t the craziest thing the MMG clan have done in the last 24 hours-more on that later.

Ross is generally good for a couple of gems on his mixtape work, and coming only a short while after releasing his God Forgives, I Don’t album, you’ve got to commend the generosity. 18 tracks deep, and surprisingly there are fewer features than he normally goes for with any of his projects, limiting it mostly to a couple of MMG members plus Pharrell, 2 Chainz and Drake. Free grab below.

Rick Ross-The Black Bar Mitzvah

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Mac Miller and Pharrell-Glow

It’s good to know these two haven’t forgotten about the Pink Slime project they’re set to release together, if only for the slew of collaborative projects that have fallen by the wayside in recent years (remember CRS?).

Much like their first release there’s energy coarsing through this one, though it’s not necessarily delivered by pace, more so by the clashing of various high-pitched production elements giving this a chaotic quality. I’m not quite as into it as I was with Onaroll, largely because the raps and vocals end up becoming quite repetitive and lack any real conviction, though the unusual production is oddly likeable and makes for another good Neptunes beat. I’d imagine many will like this, but it’s not quite for me.

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Mac Miller and Pharrell-Onaroll

More than a one-off track, as this is the first release from the duo’s upcoming Pink Slime project. Can’t say I expected this, but if this track’s anything to go by we’re in for some high-octane stuff.

Pharrell brings an energetic production for Mac to work with here, progressively introducing a range of instruments and sound effects that each contribute to a lively, head-nodder of a beat. It’s certainly one of his more uptempo production in recent times, and he’s probably got a real club hit on his hands with this one. Mac’s raps are relatively simplistic throughout but it’s hardly a production tailored to head-twisting metaphors and wordplay, and whilst he’s not going to blow anyone’s face off with the lyricism, the flows ride the beat well and the content is the right fit for the production. A frenetic jam that’ll take well with the mainstream fans.

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R&B Fridays: Episode 144

Hurry, we forgot to put this out!

Quick! Stop reading this!

(One to catch up on: newcomer Jade Alston’s excellent Searching)

Go go go.
→ Continue Reading

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R&B Fridays: Episode 131

This is the first line that sets up the post.

This is the second line that recaps on any relevant posts.

This is the third line that is often filler.

This is the final line that leads you into the click below.
→ Continue Reading

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Tyga-Really Raw ft. Pharrell, Game & Snoop Dogg

Here’s the first drop from Tyga’s upcoming album, Careless World. Some very big features on here, with fellow West Coast big hitters: Snoop Dogg & The Game featuring. Not often you hear Tyga associate himself with his West Coast roots, so that’s good to see. Being a part of the Young Money team Tyga could easily have got a feature from Wayne/Nicki/Drake, that’s not to say he hasn’t for the album, but it’s admirable that’s he’s gone in a different direction for the first track we get to hear from it.

I’ve not been too big on The Neptunes beats in recent years, but this is pretty decent. Nice West Coast sound, and all the rappers come through with good raps. Apparently Tyga sends out some shots to Wiz Khalifa on this, for some bizarre reason there are rumoured tensions between them, rumours that have been denied by Wiz. I think this is just a case of the media/internets going crazy over nothing, as there’s really not anything particularly damning from Tyga’s verse (that I can make out anyway).

Tyga-Really Raw ft. Pharrell, Game & Snoop Dogg

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Game-Purp and Patron, Disc 1 and 2

Much anticipated mixtape from Game, one that’s been talked about all day today. Really looking forward to this, especially as a few tracks leaked earlier that were of a very good standard. Check out the tracklist below, which contains some huge features and producers. You can preview and download (click the artwork) the mixtape in the widget here.
1. L.A. Times (Prod. By Ervin “EP” Pope)
2. In My ’64 Feat. Pharrell & Snoop Dogg (Prod. By The Neptunes)
3. Soo Woo Feat. Lil Wayne (Prod. By Bink)
4. Living Better Now Feat. Detail & Tools (Prod. By DJ shake)
5. R.I.P. Story (Prod. By Nottz)
6. Purp & Patron (Prod. By DJ Shake)
7. I’m The King (Remix) Feat. Mistah FAB & The Jacka (Prod. By 1500 Or Nothin)
8. Taylor Made Feat. Wiz Khalifa (Prod. By Che Vicious)
9. Childrens Story (Prod. By Ervin “EP” Pope)
10. Dead (Prod. By 1500 Or Nothin)
11. Ferrari Lifestyle Feat. Fabolous (Prod. By D.A.Dorman)
12. The Kill (Prod. By Cool N Dre)
13. Heart Breaker Feat. Rev Burke (Prod. By The RZA)
14. Purp & Yellow (Skeetox Remix) Feat. Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
15. Burn NY Feat. Mysonne (Prod. By Mike City)
16. Bad Intentions (Prod. By DJ Shake)
17. Khaki Suit Feat. T-Pain (Prod. By T-Pain)
18 Wonderful World (Prod. By DJ Shake)
19. Ashes To Ashes Feat. Rick Ross
20. Dedicated Feat. Pharrell (Prod. By The Neptunes)
21. Soft Rhodes Feat. Ashanti (Prod. By Dr. Dre)
22. I Just Want To Fuck (Prod. By Denaun Porter)
23. 187 Feat. Lil Boosie
24. Whip It Feat. Fabolous (Prod. By DJ Haze)
25. Favorite DJ Remix Feat. Clinton Sparks & Jim Jones (Prod. By Green Lantern)
26. Supastar Feat. Ashley Cole & Mike Epps (Prod. By Ervin “EP” Pope)
27. Can A Drummer Get Some Feat. Travis Barker, Swizz Beatz, Lil Wayne & Rick Ross
28. History Feat. Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane & KRS One (Prod. By Ervin “EP” Pope)
29. The Ocean Feat. Dr. Dre (Prod. By Dr. Dre & Che Vicious)

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97 Seconds With N*E*R*D

Next up, N*E*R*D come through with their own short introspection, and again it’s very intriguing viewing.

One thing that really comes across here is the value they place on breaking boundaries, which is extremely refreshing to see in an industry full of autocracy. They seem to apply those beliefs to their music and their fanbase, which opens your eyes to their seemingly-genuine love for the music game. A very interesting look on how creative and appreciative even the biggest bands can be.

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Clipse, Kenna and Pharrell-Life Change Video

From their massively-underrated Til The Casket Drops album, Life Change was undoubtedly one of the standout tracks and I’m surprised it took so long to get a video out for it.

Boasting a rich Neptunes production that adds some intensity and energy to the track, the Thornton brothers lace the beat with some fantastic introspective rhymes that when isolated may seem incongruent with the style of production, but they do work together surprisingly well, as the heavy synths project and strengthen the lyrics.

Good video too, with a believable and simple story throughout that compliments and enhances the lyrics appropriately. Throw in the customary shots of the artists, and you’ve got a decent video.

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Swizz Beatz, Pharrell and Pusha T-Bang Bang

Swizzy’s Monster Mondays continues into its second week with a surprisingly decent track. I’d be surprised if Pharrell hasn’t had a hand in the production here, as there is definitely a strong Neptunes influence on this beat. Pusha comes through with some good verses, comfortably taking the top spot on this one, whilst Pharrell does a characteristically relaxed job on the hook. Solid effort all-round.

Swizz Beatz-Bang Bang ft. Pusha T and Pharrell

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N*E*R*D and T.I-Party People

Final leak we’re posting from the upcomng N*E*R*D album Nothing.

A version of this leaked back in August, but without T.I. and with a generally unfinished sound. This one sharpens up the production to really emphasise the melodies, which sound very similar to the early N*E*R*D material/Neptunes beats. That’s most definitely a good thing, as the bouncy, uptempo fusion style is a sound that remains exclusive to these guys, so it’s good to get as much of it as possible. Short contribution from Tip: it makes no real difference as the highlight is the infectious energy Pharrell’s vocals exude, which remain as catchy as ever.

N*E*R*D-Party People ft. T.I.

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Common and Pharrell-Announcement (Alternative Video)

Talk about surfacing late. The original was out over 2 years ago, though I’m not sure which I prefer. As a hip-hop video, this one is much more effective as it keeps things pretty simple and adds a really personal feel with the zoomed in camera shots.

However, the original worked for me on a more creative, artistic level as it offered a more engaging experience seperately to the audio, as well as when combined with it. It feels like more care was taken with it, and works as a much more original concept than the usual hip-hop fare. Decide for yourselves.

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Mastered Versions of Previously-Released Tracks

This always seems to be the case. The versions we originally get sound alright, so the audiophiles like myself get all annoyed when we have to (yes, have to!) replace the original with the mastered. Oh well. It does improve all three tracks though, especially the Budden and Banks tracks. Fact about the CRS track: Lupe revealed its a couple of years old.

CRS-Don’t Stop! (original review here)

Joe Budden-Black Cloud (original review here)

Lloyd Banks-Start It Up ft. Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, Fabolous and Ryan Leslie (original review here)

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Child Rebel Soldier (Kanye, Lupe and Pharrell)-Don't Stop!

First off, sorry for being absent today. No excuses, I was just really tired.

What a way to come back though. When CRS first ‘formed’ back in 2007, the hype was incredible and their first release was easily one of the best songs of that year. Since then, they’ve only popped up once more on the Everyone Nose Remix and it was assumed the project they were reportedly working on was scrapped.

However, Ye announced at the Runaway premiere that the group wasn’t dissolved, and immediately follows that up with this huge track. It’s a really high-tempo, energetic effort with each of them coming through with good verses. Lupe takes it for me, with his quickfire flow being the highlight of the track. Great to have CRS back!

CRS-Don’t Stop!

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Gucci Mane, Pharrell and Nicki Minaj-Haterade

This is surprisingly good. I’m assuming Pharrell produced this one, and he’s laid out one of those velvety-smooth beats that he serves up from time-to-time. It even makes Gucci bearable: that is, however, a lie. He’s still poor.

Nicki steals the show as far as the vocals go with another great feature, coming through with a solid flow, though Pharrell’s memorable hook is definitely not far behind. The beat is the real winner here though, as I’m a huge fan of these atmospheric, soft summer beats.

Gucci Mane-Haterade ft. Pharrell and Nicki Minaj

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2 New Chiddy Bang Tracks

One of them is from the upcoming The Preview EP, and another is a remix of Cee-Lo’s F*** You. Good Life was produced in tandem with Pharrell, a tangible indicator of just how far Chiddy have come in the last year or so.

Good Life is a really enjoyable track too, especially on the hook which meshes together a relaxed synth and light electro influences to create a memorable focus point. The F*** You remix is decent, though the changes to the beat aren’t quite the right ones in my view. It slows down the original significantly, which takes away some of its charm. Worth checking out to judge for yourself.

Chiddy Bang-The Good Life

Chiddy Bang-F*** You Remix

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Diggy, Pharrell and Lupe Fiasco-Oh Yeah!

Pretty nice collabo here, and a huge pair of co-signs for Diggy. I like this beat, being a pretty atmospheric, slowed-down and yet concealing some energy which makes for a good all-around production.

Lupe opens the track with another good verse, and as ever makes you think with some of his lines-definitely one to listen to a couple of times to get everything. Pharrell’s verse is OK, if a little disappointing given the company. Diggy does a good job, bringing a pretty nice mixture of flows to close the track out.

Diggy-Oh Yeah! ft. Lupe Fiasco and Pharrell

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A Load Of Slim Thug Collabs

A huge stack of new/unreleased Slim Thug tracks hit the internet over the weekend. I’m not posting them all as I’m not into Slim enough to get every single one, but I picked out the most interesting features and ran with them. Take your pick below.

Calling My Phone ft. Slim (of 112)

I’m Back ft. Devin the Dude

Marijuana ft. Cee-Lo

Pull Up ft. Chamillionaire

Chicken Strip ft. Pharrell and Snoop Dogg

Suicide Doors ft. Rick Ross

I’m a Believer ft. Jermaine Dupri

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Swedish House Mafia/Pharrell - One [Video]

Visuals for the pretty awesome track that Ajay posted a while back.

As he said then, a signature track for the summer!

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