Pharrell is an incredible and legendary producer and songwriter who leans on one tic frequently, as this mix from the blog Discopop makes clear. Presenting the "Pharrell Williams Guide to Repetitive Song Intros."
What you're hearing is Pharrell taking the first beat of the first bar and looping it four times before the song begins in earnest. He does this across a whole bunch of tracks, including massive hits like Kelis' "Milkshake" and Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" and a number of songs from his solo album G I R L.
(Note: If that embed isn't working for you, you can hear the mix by scrolling down Discopop's Soundcloud page.)
Maybe you see it as a hack move, or maybe you think it gives each Pharrell song a nice, digestible rhythm. Either way it has worked for Pharrell, as Discopop acknowledges:
It's not a bad technique - for one thing, you get to the melody quicker, and that is a sure-fire way of making your song memorable and radio friendly.
Remember this the next time you hear a Pharrell song at a party (and want to impress/repel whoever it is you're talking to).
[image via Getty]