Pharrell Williams was the latest guest on Drink Champs and he shared a lot of never-before-heard stories during the three-hour conversation.
On top of revisiting the story that his JAY-Z-assisted hit single, “Frontin” was originally written for Prince, he revealed that songs he wrote for a late pop icon went to another pop singer.
“You hit me and said, ‘Yo, I just sent Michael Jackson some beats!’,” N.O.R.E. recalled while chatting with Pharrell. “You said to me, ‘He told me, “NOPE! I don’t think N.O.R.E. would rhyme on that. I was like, ‘My life is done!'”
The super producer added, “John McClain was his manager at the time. We sent him pretty much all the stuff you guys are hearing on the first Justified album — that’s all Michael stuff,” the performer, songwriter and record producer revealed. “All but one song, they were written for Michael.”
“John McClain was like, ‘Man, Michael don’t want that s–t! He want the s–t you givin’ Noreaga!'” Pharrell continued, noting that this was right before the King of Pop’s “You Rock My World” era. He also shared that it was one of his collaborations with N.O.R.E. that Jackson wanted. ” He was like, ‘Yo, he want that “Superthug.”‘
The rejection turned out to be a huge score for Justin Timberlake’s solo career. Justified was released in 2002, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, and has since been certified triple platinum.