Must Peep Monday #15

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American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams arrives on the red carpet for a screening of the film “Hidden Figures” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016 in Washington DC. The film is based on the book of the same title, by Margot Lee Shetterly, and chronicles the lives of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson -- African-American women working at NASA as “human computers,” who were critical to the success of John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission in 1962. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Aries (YuGo) // Mike Will Made It ft. Pharrell Williams and Station Wagon P

Albums by producers just don’t get the credit they deserve. Whether it’s a Metro Boomin tape (like 2018’s Not All Heroes Wear Capes) or Kaytranada and his 10/10 99.9%, these albums are seldom seen in the same light as albums created by their vocal counterparts. And while producer albums might not always carry the same song-to-song consistency from a lyrical standpoint, great music can be found nonetheless, rooted in pristine production. Front to back, albums like Not All Heroes Wear Capes and 99.9% are unparalleled in production quality.

Mike Will Made It’s Ransom series is a shining example of the deft touch behind the boards that can create magic, without the need of a consistent single voice.. The two-album series features a wide array of talent, from lesser-known acts such as Fortune and Andrea, all the way up to megastars Kendrick Lamar and Gucci Mane. Mike Will’s ability to get such unknowns on the map with his production is another great reason why these tapes are so special — you’re not going to find such hidden gems on your average rapper’s album. Shining a light on younger, lesser known artists is a gift to the rap industry, and it wouldn’t be able to happen without these producers and their compilation tapes. But that’s enough of why these albums are so important. Let’s get into the song: “Aries (YuGo)” by Mike Will Made It, featuring Pharrell Williams and Station Wagon P.

As we all know, Pharrell is a special talent, and his soaring notes come through beautifully over the Mike Will-produced track. Pharrell’s lyrics are at the same time airy and vapid, keeping meaning through themes of motivation and self-importance. With Pharrell’s top-tier voice, you can sing along without worrying about the words or their message, but closer listens reveal Pharrell spitting some truth about how you just have to “make that shit happen.”

Hold up to be clear (yeah)

I believe in miracles (yeah)

But I don’t believe in waiting for ’em (nah)

You gotta make that shit happen (yeah)

Pharrell Williams, “Aries (YuGo)”

With Pharrell’s dreamy hook and first verse, he sets the table perfectly for Station Wagon P, the most dangerous alter-ego in the game, to turn the track into a great one. Station Wagon P juxtaposes Pharrell’s floating delivery with more down-to-earth, gritty bars, and while his lyrics are still motivating, they come from a more boastful and egotistical side.

Skrrt, Station Wagon P, I’m just danglin’ my keys

Open up the door and take the danger out the G

Take the G out the danger with the alien degree

Paparazzi yellin’ freeze while the cops are yellin’ freeze

Station Wagon P, “Aries (YuGo)”

It’s difficult to capture Pharrell’s talents — as well as Mike Will’s. As fellow producers, it seems as though they can play off each other with little friction. Pharrell’s vocals over Mike Will’s chiming, snapping instrumental is like a match made by the gods of musical production.

Standing at 4:31, the track is the second-longest on Ransom 2, and for good reason.

Pharrell’s unmatched talent for rapping, singing, and production, amongst many other skills, should be appreciated as much as possible. Long live Pharrell! This song, while not his best, stands as a testament to his dynamic abilities in the music industry.

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