Hit Parade

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The Bridge: Like the Legend of the Phoenix

Music scholar Jason King explains how Pharrell stays turned on, tuned in and far out.

Episode Notes

In this mini-episode of Hit Parade, host Chris Molanphy welcomes Jason King, Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, who has advised producer Timbaland on music litigation and has had a front-row seat for Pharrell Williams’s mentoring of artists. Jason credits these Virginia Beach superstars with clairaudience, or clairvoyance of sound—the ability to hear into the future. And he says Missy Elliott, Pharrell’s and Tim’s peer from Virginia, still isn’t given enough credit for her David Bowie–like ability to shape-shift in a pop context and fuse the visual with musical genius.

Next, Chris quizzes a Slate Plus listener with some music trivia, gives him a chance to turn the tables with a question of her own, and previews next month’s full-length episode. Slate Plus members can sign up for a chance to be our trivia contestant on a future episode here.

Podcast production by Kevin Bendis.

About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.