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What Nerds

The Neptunes specialize in what Germans call earworms -- songs so catchy they're inescapable. They've crafted hits for Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and No Doubt. But hip- hop producers Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo have left the studio and...

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The Neptunes specialize in what Germans call earworms -- songs so catchy they're inescapable. They've crafted hits for Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Britney Spears and No Doubt. But hip- hop producers Pharell Williams and Chad Hugo have left the studio and tonight they'll bring their own brand of bling-bling to Irving Plaza under the auspices of N.E.R.D. "We try not to act like rock stars," says Hugo, "but everybody has that rush of adrenaline that it takes to get things done, whether you're sitting in your cubicle hating your boss or you're up on stage." Along with rapper Shay (aka Sheldon Haley), the duo will preform songs from a debut album, "In Search of" And they're as catchy as any the pair has done as work-for-hire. "Certain songs that we work on in the studio do get stuck in my head," Hugo admits, "but then I just change the lyrics around to mix it up. I get bored of them too." N.E.R.D.'s tour will end in Los Angeles on June 15."