Adventures in verbal parsing! No idea what a “Slurpee Battle” is (aside from messy), but “Bands Flavored by Coke” seems plausible enough (both these lines are attached in sponsorship). Especially the latter, given the ties between Pharrell and former dealers Malice and Pusha T. Agreeing to call this Neptunes spinoff a ‘rock project’ just because it involves guitars would also mean taking Lil Wayne’s Rebirth seriously—so, hell naw. The real take-home message with N.E.R.D. is that hip-hop beats can feature serious chord changes without getting them from samples.

Mon., Aug. 16, 7 p.m., 2010

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