It’s no secret that Timothy ‘Timbaland’ Mosley has achieved legendary status as a producer, not only in rap but in popular music overall. With production credits that date back to the early 90′s, assembling beats for artists like Jodeci, Aaliyah, Ginuwine & Missy Elliott. Songs like ‘Pony‘, ‘Big Pimpin‘ & ‘Are You That Somebody‘ will never be played out and will forever live in clubs all around the world. That signature bounce that comes with a Timbaland beat was made for the club and for the radio but could never be duplicated in pop music.
It really wasn’t until Timbaland teamed up with old friend Jay-Z, that the rap world was re-introduced to the Virginia-born beatsmith. Earlier this year, Timbaland signed on to Jay’s Roc Nation imprint and has gone on to produce the majority, if not all of Jay-Z’s ‘Magna Carta, Holy Grail‘ LP and Justin Timberlakes ‘20/20 Experience‘ album. Two platinum selling albums that contain platinum selling singles. Major singles in ‘Suit & Tie’, ‘Picasso Baby’, ‘Mirrors’, & ‘Tom
Ford’. Maybe it was Justin that really helped get Timbaland back on the radio, but you have to give credit where credit is due and those beats speak for themselves.
I specifically remember flipping through an ‘Above The Rim Soundtrack’ pamphlet and seeing Timbaland’s name as one of the producers (Blowed Away) and this CD came out all the way back in ’94. As we approach the coming year, if my math is correct, then that would mean he’s been supplying the music business with heat for 20 years! Which brings me to my ultimate question: what other producer from that era is still selling platinum-selling singles or albums in 2013?!
You could obviously say Dr. Dre but he hasn’t had a single on the charts since the depressing ‘I Need A Doctor’, and is really too busy getting $500 million investments in Beats By Dre headphones to really give a damn about some rap shit. And fuck Detox, whatever happened to that Dr. Dre/Timbaland combo album they were suppose to come out with? Ok, that’s neither here nor there, a whole ‘nother discussion unto itself. So who else? Pete Rock and DJ Premier ain’t selling like they used to. I’m not saying they’re not 2 of the greatest of all time though. I’m just searching for a producer from that early 90′s era that still has an impact on the radio, on the charts, on sales and on the overall soundscapes of popular music. Swizz Beatz is good but not that good. Kanye West didn’t get cracking until the 2000′s. Rick Rubin is currently working,
but not enough new material is out yet I think to make a legit case (let’s see what MMLP2 will bring). Puff Daddy’s the man but is he himself really producing all those tracks? The only real candidate I can come up with is Pharrell…I mean he technically has production credits that date back to the 90′s. Nowhere near on the same level as Timbaland during that era though. And The Neptunes didn’t really become A-List producers until N.O.R.E.’s ‘Superthug’ came out in ’98. So who else?
And to that I tip my hat until someone out there can prove me otherwise.
Timbaland is in a class of his own ladies and gentlemen, yet he rarely gets a mention that puts him on a higher pedestal than where he stands today.