Hip-Hop's Chic Geek

Whether Neptune, N.E.R.D. or solo star, Pharrell Williams brings sweetness to a genre that needs it

At first blush, Pharrell Williams appears to be a monumental idiot. Williams--one half of the prolific producing-songwriting team the Neptunes--hits on nearly every woman he sees, often in a voice loud enough to alert approaching women that he is a serial pickup artist. In restaurants each bite of food is followed by a throwing down of silverware and a declaration that his meal, above all others at the table, is "Bazooka!" In interviews he gleefully tells bawdy stories only to declare them off the record well after they have been tape recorded, transcribed and irreparably burned into memory.

Fortunately, there is...

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