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Single by Pharrell Williams featuring Jay-Z
from the album The Neptunes Present... Clones
Released June 3, 2003
Recorded March 2003
Length 4:01
Producer(s) The Neptunes
Pharrell Williams singles chronology
"Belly Dancer"
"Light Your Ass on Fire"

"Belly Dancer"
"Light Your Ass on Fire"
Jay-Z singles chronology
(2003) La-La-La2003
(2003) Frontin2003
"Change Clothes"
(2003) Change Clothes2003

"Frontin'" is the debut solo single by American singer Pharrell Williams. It features the vocals from American rapper Jay-Z. It was written by Williams and produced by The Neptunes. At the time, Williams insisted the single was a one-off, and that he was purely a producer and not an artist in his own right. However, he released his own solo studio album, In My Mind, in 2006.

The song's title refers to putting up a facade (or false 'front'), typically to impress peers. It was the 34th best-selling song of 2003 in the U.S., according to Billboard magazine. It was also featured on The Neptunes' 2003 compilation album The Neptunes Present... Clones, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in August 2003.

Chart performance[edit]

"Frontin'" peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. In the UK, the song also charted inside the top 10, peaking at number six in the UK Singles Chart and spending 10 weeks within the top 75. It was Pharrell's biggest solo hit until 2013's "Happy" (his biggest hit as a collaboration being "Blurred Lines" with Robin Thicke and T.I.).[citation needed]


On February 11, 2004, the track was covered by British neo-jazz artist Jamie Cullum for BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge. Williams was very impressed by the cover after it was played to him on a visit to the show, and this led to Cullum providing backup vocals for "You Can Do It Too", a track on Pharrell's first solo album In My Mind. The cover appeared as a bonus track on the US release of Cullum's album Twentysomething. Cullum's version was released as a single and reached number 12 in the UK.[citation needed]

It was also covered live by Maroon 5, featuring Chad Hugo and rapper Mos Def, who replaced Jay-Z's verse with impromptu rapping from A Tribe Called Quest's "Bonita Applebum," in an apparent reference to similarities between parts of the tracks.[citation needed] New Orleans native Trombone Shorty and his band and Orleans Avenue cover the song on their 2005 debut album, Orleans & Claiborne.[1] During the 2012 International Yardfest at Howard University, American singer Leah LaBelle performed her 2012 single "Sexify" as part of a medley with "Frontin'".[2] In 2014, UK garage band Disclosure remixed the song.[3]

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD single
  1. "Frontin'" (featuring Jay-Z) (Radio Edit)
  2. "Hot Damn" (featuring Ab Liva)
  3. "Popular Thug" (Kelis featuring Nas)
  4. "Frontin'" (Video)


Chart (2003) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[4] 28
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[5] 33
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 6
Canada (RPM) 15
Denmark (Tracklisten)[7] 12
Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 61
Ireland (IRMA) 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 21
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[10] 49
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[11] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[12] 6
US Billboard Hot 100 5
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard) 1
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard) 29