Remember in 2006 when Bossy came out? That song was everywhere where black people were. It started off so weird with those distorted sounding keys and then Kelis comes in talking her fucking shit over this Bangladesh beat. That bassline is still fire. I remember being five and just loving the way that song sounded. I don’t remember having any memories attached to Milkshake because I was definitely two years old when that song came out. That was my first introduction to Kelis, my house was very neo-soul, hardcore gangsta rap, a lot of southern rap, and a bit of rock but somehow we didn’t listen to a lot of Kelis. She’s like a mix of everything I just mentioned. So that definitely means I didn’t know about one of the best albums ever made Wanderland which came out when I was one years old.
This album was released after In Search Of…‘s European release and honestly, the Neptunes were on a bit of a hot streak from ’99 up until this point. Kaleidoscope had come out in 1999, Got Ya Money by ODB in the same year, Girls Dem Sugar, Southern Hospitality, and Shake Ya Ass all in the same year, and now here we are in 2001. I remember I was listening to a while ago when I was lurking down The Neptunes’ discography page and I saw this album and was like “Woah what the fuck?” It wasn’t on streaming services and you could only find it on YouTube and it was everything I could ever want. First time I heard Young, Fresh ‘N’ New I immediately fell in love. That booming bass (?), Kelis’ amazing vocals, then that bridge where Kelis is just harmonizing with herself ugh it’s perfect. Plus, that hook is so fun to yell. Then, she follows that up with Flash Back and you hear the bell (?) from Tokyo Drift. Being a fan of Pharrell/The Neptunes you realize that if they like a really specific instrument they will most definitely reuse it if they think it’ll capture a different sound. This track is so groovy though, you cannot help but boogie a little bit when you hear it. Popular Thug honestly sounds like it was made for Clipse because those drums hit just a little too hard for it to be made for Kelis (in my opinion.) Good god, Pusha absolutely kills this track, Watch the coke light up they life, the rocks is stars, Had fiends talking crippled cause they locked they jaw, is a fucking bar! Those middle eastern sounds complete the fuck outta this beat. Scared Money into Shooting Stars might be the best transition ever. Those are two aboslutely perfect songs and the Neptunes are psychopaths for making songs that fucking good. Those skittering drums on Scared Money, the the guitar that is total sync with it, and those horns (or are those strings) that switch up when goes into the hook?????? Fuck! I melt every time I hear that shit man. Then fucking Shooting Stars, a song that is so good you forget that it’s over six minutes long. Singing that refrain is one of my favorite things to do. The hidden track is great too, but it starts off hilariously. It starts with the sound of rainfall and then Kelis says, “Hey! Look outside, it’s raining.” Like, imagine someone said that to you in real life, you’d be so confused. Of course it’s fucking raining, why are you calling attention to it? The drums on Little Suzie are another highlight, also the “Why? Why?” The hidden track, Star Wars is fire too. This is a new beginning, The empire strikes back, Learn from losing, Cherish winning, Forever Star Trak.
This album is great, everyone involved snapped. If you haven’t already, you should listen.
Listen to Wanderland
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