How many cameos can a producer make in one year? Well, the answer really stems from how many singles can that producer provide within the 365 days. For the ageless Pharrell Williams, who has been pushing the boundaries of what a musician can do for the past ten plus years, a bit over 30 has become something of the norm.
The year 2013 belonged to Skateboard P, who delivered hit after hit with singles spawning from artists like Busta Rhymes, Kelly Rowland, and 2 Chainz to Beyoncé and Jay Z. He was able to release himself creatively by doing production for independent artists like Mayer Hawthorne (see Where Does This Door Go) and Mac Miller. He can be credited as the man behind Miley Cyrus’ uncaged image, producing several tracks on her latest album Bangerz –not to mention what happened when he got his hands on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines! He was invited back in to score the sequel to Despicable Me, “Despicable Me 2″, which led to the ultra-worldwide hit known as “Happy”. Pharrell put in work this year and at 40 years old, he’s bigger than he probably ever imagined back when he first produced “Rump Shaker” for Teddy Riley. People like Pharrell only get bigger throughout the years. He transcended from being a go to hip-hop producer with Neptunes cohort Chad Hugo to becoming a sought after producer in the pop world, summoned by artists like Brittany Spears and Fall Out Boy. So when “Happy” brought him an Oscar nod it was as if someone had just put pop rocks in the soda that is his career and began to shake the bottle vigorously. “The 40-year-old has seven nominations, tied in second place with Daft Punk, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Kendrick Lamar.”(ABC) And to say that his 7 Grammy nominations and Oscar nod is well deserved would be an understatement. For a rooted hip-hop producer it’s a hell of a way to cap off a year.