This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
The name N.E.R.D., we are told, stands for No one Ever Really Dies.
More importantly, though, it’s a psuedonym for superstar production duo The Neptunes, who have built hits for a whole roster of hip-hoppers (like Puffy, Jay-Z and Babyface) and teen-popsters (like Britney, BSB and ’N Sync). OK, I know what you’re thinking — just what we need, a whole CD from the guys behind I’m a Slave 4 U. Think again. The bombastically funky and audaciously inventive In Search Of … isn’t just one of the best hip-hop albums of the year, it might be the finest hip-hop masterpiece since OutKast’s Stankonia. With a similar ground-breaking, genre-busting fusion of Funkadelic freakiness, fuzz-rock swagger, ghetto-fabulous soul, crafty sampling, neck-snapping grooves, XXX-rated attitude and whip-smart rhymes, instant-classic tracks like Lapdance, Brain, Tape You and Bobby James make In Search Of … an unforgettable introduction to the new masters of high-tech head-trip hip-hop. No matter what name they use.