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Timbaland 1971–

Timbaland 1971

Rapper, producer

Tireless Studio Training Paid Off

Came Up From Da Bassment

Singular Style Was Imitated

Selected discography

Sources

Hip-hop and R&B producer Timbaland, wrote music critic Touré in Rolling Stone, was among the few modern sound makers who have a signature sound, not a formula. Timbaland made his name crafting a string of multi-platinum hits for superstar artists, most notably for Jay-Z, Ginuwine, the late Aaliyah, and childhood friend Missy Misdemeanor Elliot. Among his biggest singles are Ginuwines Pony, SWVs Can We, and Aaliyahs One in a Million. Timbaland scored his own Top Ten hit in 1997, Up Jumps Da Boogie, with long-time friend Magoo.

Tireless Studio Training Paid Off

Norfolk, Virginia native Timbaland was born Tim Mosley on March 10, 1971. He grew up sharing his interest in music with neighborhood friends and fellow future hip-hop stars Missy Elliot and Magoo. As a teen, Timbaland practiced his DJ and beatboxing skills. In the early 1990s when Elliot, then a member of the group Sista, was discovered by De Vante Swing of Jodeci, she asked Timbaland to create the music for the groups demo tape. At age 19, under Swings tutelage, Timbaland learned to use studio equipment, spending days at time honing his new skills. The early days were tough but invaluable, Timbaland remembered in his online biography found at the Official Timbaland and Magoo website. DeVante was hard on me and that made me really hard on myself. The fledgling producer formed Da Bassment crew, a group that included Elliot, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine. One by one, each artist struck out and found his own recording deal. Timbaland landed at the Blackground record label with two dealsone as a solo act, the other as half of the rap duo Timbaland and Magoo.

The producers singular style was first evident on Aaliyahs 1996 hit ballad, One in a Million, which showcased many of Timbalands trademark rhythmic tricks: syncopated kick drum patterns stuttering in triple-time bursts, stop-start grooves full of disconcerting but tense funky hesitations, wrote music critic Simon Reynolds in the New York Times. As with earlier rhythmic innovations, Timbalands twitchy beats practically enforce a new kind of dancing, convulsive yet geometrically precise, Reynolds continued.

Long-time friends Timbaland and Magoo released their first album together, Welcome to Our World, in 1997.

At a Glance

Born Tim Mosley on March 10, 1971, in Norfolk, VA.

Career: Rapper, producer. Worked with DeVante Swing of Jodeci, c. 1990; formed Da Bassment crew with Missy Elliot, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine; signed two deals with the Background record label; produced Aaliyahs hit ballad, One in a Million, 1996; released Welcome to Our World and hit single, Up Jumps Da Boogie, with Magoo, 1997; produced Elliots Supa Dupa Fly, 1997; released solo debut, Tims Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment, 1998; produced hit songs for Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z; founded Interscope imprint label Beat Club, 2000; released Indecent Proposal with Magoo, 2001.

Awards: named Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Producer, Bill board magazine, 2000.

Addresses: Record Company Virgin Records, 304 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10010.

The album achieved platinum status for record sales, and boasted a hit single, Up Jumps Da Boogie, which featured Elliot and Aaliyah and reached Number 12 on Billboards Hot 100 chart. Timbaland and Magoo lent their skills to Elliots debut solo release, Supa Dupa Fly in 1997. With Supa Dupa Fly, the trio had established the South as a hip-hop mecca to rival New York and Los Angeles, according Billboard.

Came Up From Da Bassment

Timbaland was already a familiar name in the music world by the time he released his own solo debut in 1998, titled Tims Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment. The album is steeped in comicbook culture, with references to Spider Man, Wonder Woman, and Green Lanterna trend that allows rappers to indulge in violent fantasies that have no connection to reality, according to critic David Browne in Entertainment Weekly. Tims Bio illustrated that Timbaland prefers a sensuous flow (adding staccato beats to eliminate all traces of wimpiness), Browne continued, and he knows the value of letting arrangements breathe.

The release garnered praise from Entertainment Weeklys Bob Brunner, who called Timbaland hip-hops most inventive producer, and described the albums first single, Here We Come, as infectious. Rolling Stone critic Touré called the work inconsistent. While the record boasted club bangers like Lobster and Scrimp and Talkin on the Phone, Touré wrote, songs like Here We Come and Wit Yo Bad Self, built on the theme songs to Spider Man and I Dream of Jeannie, respectively, were novel, their lyrics were silly. Tims Bio, Brunner wrote, promises to push him from the studio and into the spotlight. But Timbaland did not seem entirely comfortable with that prospect, and told Brunner, The attention is cool, but I like it how it is.

By the late 1990s, Timbaland was a high-paid producer for the biggest names in rap, including Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z, for whom he earned top dollar to lend his stamp to the occasional hit. What those artists paid dearly for was Timbalands almost surefire golden touch. The producer brought to the table an uncanny knack for producing commercially successful musicthe majority of his production, remixing, and writing credits are featured on double-platinum-selling singles and albums. Im a great producer, Timbaland boasted in Rolling Stone in 2001, so people need me more than I need them. Though he can come off as cocky at times, Timbaland also appreciated the value of his success, and the importance of sustaining it. I look at it like this: Ive got a job, and I just dont want to get laid off, he told Billboard.

Singular Style Was Imitated

One of the first hip-hop producers to create tracks from original beats, rather than depending on samples, Timbaland created an undoubtedly unique sound. His beats bounce, with something of a Southern feel, and boast a shuddering sense of rhythm, according to All Music Guide online. He often uses his own, deep voice, rapping subtly behind tracks, and injects whimsical sounds, like a cooing baby or whinnying horse. Tim-balands style influenced a new generation of producersscores of hip-hop hits were made to echo the trademark Timbaland sound. The real testament to Timbalands success, wrote Simon Reynolds in the New York Times, was his pervasive influence on other R&B artists, from TLC to Blackstreet. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Timbaland should be, Reynolds continued, feeling pretty good. Its cool, Timbaland said of the flattery in Billboard, but its starting to get on my nerves.

Timbaland and Magoos follow up to Welcome to Our World was a long time coming. Four years after their debut, they released Indecent Proposal. Work commenced on the project late in 2000, with Timbaland and Magoo hunkered down in a New York City recording studio. The result, wrote Billboards Christopher Walsh after hearing some rough takes long before the album was finished, was overwhelmingly powerful, complex, and unique music, encompassing a wide array of instrumentation and styles. Though the two were friends since childhood, Magoo told Billboard, when I get in a studio Ive got a different respect for him. Hes a good director . He makes me think a lot deeper than I would if I was just home writing. Timbaland earned a reputation for creating a creative atmosphere that other artists thrive in while recording, possibly because his own artistic sensibilities. In 2000 Timbaland was named the Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Producer in Billboards year-end magazine, and closed out the year with nine singles on the charts.

In an effort to discover the next generation of stars, Timbaland signed a deal with Interscope records to create the Beat Club record label, a new Interscope imprint. The labels first release was Dark Days, Bright Nights by Bubba Sparxxx, which was released in 2001 and produced by Timbaland. He also released and produced albums by Storm and Ms. Jade. I look at all these producers out there, and I like them all, Timbaland told Billboard. But I can take a rugrat and build him to Willy Wonka. I bring everybody out of the hole! thats what I do. Timbaland looked forward to releasing work by country-rock singer Shelby Norman and an Atlanta rock group. For his producer duties, Timbaland remained in demand, working on tracks for No Doubt and Limp Bizkit, hoping to one day work with acts like Bjork, the Cranberries, and the heavy-metal group Metallica.

Selected discography

(as solo artist)

Tims Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment, Atlantic, 1998.

(with Magoo)

Welcome to Our World, Blackground, 1997.

Indecent Proposal, Virgin, 2001.

(as producer)

One in a Million, Aaliyah, 1996.

Ginuwine the Bachelor, Ginuwine, 1996.

Supa Dupa Fly, 1997.

Hip Hop Mix, Cali Kings, 1999.

Unrestricted, Da Brat, 2000.

Aaliyah, Aaliyah, 2001.

Dark Days, Bright Nights, Bubba Sparxxx, 2001.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, January 13, 2001, p. 43.

Entertainment Weekly, November 20, 1998, p. 125; December 18, 1998, p. 79.

New York Times, August 1, 1999, p. 27.

Rolling Stone, December 10, 1998, p. 120; September 27, 2001, p. 15.

USA Today, October 22, 1999, p. 2E.

Online

All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (November 7, 2001).

Official Timbaland and Magoo Website, http://www.timbalandandmagoo.net (November 7, 2001).

Brenna Sanchez

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Timbaland

Timbaland

Producer, rap musician

For the Record…

Selected discography

Sources

Hip-hop and R&B producer Timbaland, wrote music critic Touré in Rolling Stone, was “among the few modern sound makers who have a signature sound, not a formula.” Timbaland made his name crafting a string of multiplatinum hits for superstar artists, most notably for Jay-Z, Ginuwine, the late Aaliyah, and childhood friend Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot. Among his biggest singles are Ginuwine’s “Pony,” Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’,” and Aaliyah’s “One in a Million.” Timbaland scored his own top ten hit in 1997, “Up Jumps Da Boogie,” with longtime friend Magoo.

Norfolk, Virginia, native Timbaland was born Tim Mosley on March 10, 1971. He grew up sharing his interest in music with neighborhood friends and fellow future hip-hop stars Missy Elliot and Magoo. As a teen, Timbaland practiced his DJ and beatboxing skills. In the early 1990s when Elliot, then a member of the group Sista, was discovered by DeVante Swing of Jodeci, she asked Timbaland to create the music for the group’s demo tape. At age 19, under Swing’s tutelage, Timbaland learned to use studio equipment, spending days at time honing his new skills. “The early days were tough but invaluable,” Timbaland remembered in his online biography found at the Timbaland and Magoo official website. “DeVante was hard on me and that made me really hard on myself.” The fledgling producer formed Da Bassment crew, a group that included Elliot, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine. One by one, each artist struck out and found his own recording deal. Timbaland landed at the Blackground record label with two deals—one as a solo act, the other as half of the rap duo Timbaland and Magoo.

The producer’s singular style was first evident on Aaliyah’s 1996 hit ballad, “One in a Million,” which “showcased many of Timbaland’s trademark rhythmic tricks: syncopated kick drum patterns stuttering in triple-time bursts, stop-start grooves full of disconcerting but tense funky hesitations,” wrote music critic Simon Reynolds in the New York Times. “As with earlier rhythmic innovations, Timbaland’s twitchy beats practically enforce a new kind of dancing, convulsive yet geometrically precise,” Reynolds continued.

Longtime friends Timbaland and Magoo released their first album together, Welcome to Our World, in 1997. The album achieved platinum status for record sales, and boasted a hit single, “Up Jumps Da Boogie,” which featured Elliot and Aaliyah and reached number 12 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Timbaland and Magoo lent their skills to Elliot’s debut solo release, Supa Dupa Fly in 1997. With Supa Dupa Fly, the trio had “established the South as a hip-hop mecca to rival New York and Los Angeles,” according Billboard.

Timbaland was already a familiar name in the music world by the time he released his own solo debut in 1998, titled Tim’s Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment. The album is steeped in

For the Record…

Born Tim Mosley on March 10, 1971, in Norfolk, VA.

Worked with DeVante Swing of Jodeci, c. 1990; formed Da Bassment crew with Missy Elliot, Magoo, Playa, and Ginuwine; signed two deals with the Blackground record label; produced Aaliyah’s hit ballad, “One in a Million,” 1996; released Welcome to Our World and hit single “Up Jumps Da Boogie” with Magoo, 1997; produced Elliot’s Supa Dupa F/y, 1997; released solo debut, Tim’s Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment, 1998; produced hit songs for Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z; founded Interscope imprint label Beat Club, 2000; released Indecent Proposal with Magoo, 2001.

Awards: Billboard magazine, Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Producer, 2000.

Addresses: Record company—Virgin Records, 304 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10010.

comic-book culture, with references to Spider Man, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern—a “trend that allows rappers to indulge in violent fantasies that have no connection to reality,” according to critic David Browne in Entertainment Weekly. Tim’s Bio illustrated that Timbaland “prefers a sensuous flow (adding staccato beats to eliminate all traces of wimpiness),” Browne continued, “and he knows the value of letting arrangements breathe.”

The release garnered praise from Entertainment Weekly’s Bob Brunner, who called Timbaland “hip-hop’s most inventive producer,” and described the album’s first single, “Here We Come,” as “infectious.” Rolling Stone critic Touré called the work “inconsistent.” While the record boasted “club bangers” like “Lobster and Scrimp” and “Talkin’ on the Phone,” Touré wrote, songs like “Here We Come” and “Wit’ Yo Bad Self,” built on the theme songs to Spider Man and I Dream ofJeannie, respectively, were novel, their lyrics were “silly.” Tim’s Bio, Brunner wrote, “promises to push him from the studio and into the spotlight.” But Timbaland did not seem entirely comfortable with that prospect, and told Brunner, “The attention is cool, but I like it how it is.”

By the late 1990s, Timbaland was a high-paid producer for the biggest names in rap, including Nas, Snoop Dogg, and Jay-Z, for whom he earned top dollar to lend his stamp to the occasional hit. What those artists paid dearly for was Timbaland’s almost surefire golden touch. The producer brought to the table an uncanny knack for producing commercially successful music—the majority of his production, remixing, and writing credits are featured on double-platinum-selling singles and albums. “I’m a great producer,” Timbaland boasted in Rolling Stone in 2001, “so people need me more than I need them.” Though he can come off as cocky at times, Timbaland also appreciated the value of his success, and the importance of sustaining it. “I look at it like this: I’ve got a job, and I just don’t want to get laid off,” he told Billboard.

One of the first hip-hop producers to create tracks from original beats, rather than depending on samples, Timbaland created an undoubtedly unique sound. His beats bounce, with something of a Southern feel, and boast a “shuddering sense of rhythm,” according to All Music Guide online. He often uses his own, deep voice, rapping subtly behind tracks, and injects whimsical sounds, like a cooing baby or whinnying horse. Timbaland’s style influenced a new generation of producers—scores of hip-hop hits were made to echo the trademark Timbaland sound. “The real testament to” Timbaland’s success, wrote Simon Reynolds in the New York Times, was his “pervasive influence … on other R&B artists, from TLC to Blackstreet. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Timbaland should be, Reynolds continued, “feeling pretty good.” “It’s cool,” Timbaland said of the flattery in Billboard, “but it’s starting to get on my nerves.”

Timbaland and Magoo’s follow up to Welcome to Our World was a long time coming. Four years after their debut, they released Indecent Proposal. Work commenced on the project late in 2000, with Timbaland and Magoo hunkered down in a New York City recording studio. The result, wrote Billboard’s Christopher Walsh after hearing some rough takes long before the album was finished, was “overwhelmingly powerful, complex, and unique music, encompassing a wide array of instrumentation and styles.” Though the two were friends since childhood, Magoo told Billboard, “when I get in a studio I’ve got a different respect for him. He’s a good director… He makes me think a lot deeper than I would if I was just home writing.” Timbaland earned a reputation for creating a creative atmosphere that other artists thrive in while recording, possibly because his own artistic sensibilities. In 2000 Timbaland was named the Top Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Producer in Billboard’s year-end magazine, and closed out the year with nine singles on the charts.

In an effort to discover the next generation of stars, Timbaland signed a deal with Interscope Records to create the Beat Club record label, a new Interscope imprint. The label’s first release was Dark Days, Bright Nights by Bubba Sparxxx, which was released in 2001 and produced by Timbaland. He also released and produced albums by Storm and Ms. Jade. “I look at all these producers out there, and I like them all,” Tim-baland told Billboard. “But I can take a rugrat and build him to Willy Wonka. I bring everybody out of the hole! That’s what I do.” Timbaland looked forward to releasing work by country-rock singer Shelby Norman and an Atlanta rock group. For his producer duties, Timbaland remained in demand, working on tracks for No Doubt and Limp Bizkit, hoping to one day work with acts like Björk, the Cranberries, and the heavy-metal group Metallica.

Selected discography

Solo

Tim’s Bio: From the Motion Picture: Life From Da Bassment, Atlantic, 1998.

With Timbaland & Magoo

Welcome to Our World, Blackground, 1997.

Indecent Proposal, Virgin, 2001.

As producer

Aaliyah, One in a Million, 1996.

Ginuwine, Ginuwine… the Bachelor, 1996.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, Supa Dupa Fly, 1997.

Jay-Z, Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life, 1998.

Cali Kings, Hip Hop Mix, 1999.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, Da Real World, 1999.

Ginuwine, 100% Ginuwine, 1999.

Da Brat, Unrestricted, 2000.

Jay-Z, Vol. 3: Life and Times of Sean Carter, 2000.

K-Ci & Jo-Jo, X, 2000.

Memphis Bleek, Understanding, 2000.

Ludacris, Back for the First Time, 2000.

Snoop Dogg, Last Meal, 2000.

Aaliyah, Aaliyah, 2001.

Fabolous, Ghetto Fabolous, 2001.

Ginuwine, The Life, 2001.

Jadakiss, Kiss tha Game Goodbye, 2001.

Bubba Sparxxx, Dark Days, Bright Nights, 2001.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, Miss E.… So Addictive, 2001.

Jay-Z, Blueprint, 2001.

Limp Bizkit, New Old Songs, 2001.

Ludacris, Word of Mouf, 2001.

Aaliyah, I Care 4U, 2002.

TLC, 3D, 2002.

Karen Clark Sheard, 2nd Chance, 2002.

Baby, Birdman, 2002.

Destiny’s Child, This is the Remix, 2002.

Missy Misdemeanor Elliott, Under Construction, 2002.

Eminem, Eminem Show, 2002.

Jay-Z, Blueprint2: The Gift & the Curse, 2002.

Mack 10, Presents the Hood, 2002.

Justin Timberlake, Justified, 2002.

Fabolous, Street Dreams, 2003.

Lil’Kim, Bella Mafia, 2003.

Solange, Solo Star, 2003.

Sources

Books

Contemporary Black Biography, volume 32, Gale Group, 2002.

Periodicals

Billboard, January 13, 2001, p. 43.

Entertainment Weekly, November 20, 1998, p. 125; December 18, 1998, p. 79.

New York Times, August 1, 1999, p. 27.

Rolling Stone, December 10, 1998, p. 120; September 27, 2001, p. 15.

USA Today, October 22, 1999, p. 2E.

Online

“Timbaland,” All Music Guide,http://www.allmusic.com (April 29, 2003.

Timbaland and Magoo Official Website, http://www.timbalandandmagoo.net (April 29, 2003).

Brenna Sanchez

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Timbaland

TIMBALAND

Born: Tim Mosley; Virginia Beach, Virginia, 10 March 1971

Genre: Rap

Best-selling album since 1990: Welcome to Our World (1997)

Hit songs since 1990: "Up Jumps Da Boogie," "Here We Come"


In the late 1990s the influence of producer/artist Timbaland in the R&B/hip-hop world knew few boundaries. His bounces-and-beats sound pervaded many of the top hits by such artists as the late Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Boyz II Men, Nas, JayZ, and Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. Like the influential mid-1980s producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (Janet Jackson), Timbaland created a new rap blueprint that used stuttered beats to set the rhythm and add power to rap's pop hooks. The new sound was so attractive and exciting that it helped transform modern rap into a lively and relevant part of American culture.

Timbaland began his career working in Da Bassment, a loose-knit group of producers, writers, and MCs who worked in the background behind Jodeci. He later formed a duo with the rapper Magoo in Norfolk, Virginia. The two had met as teenagers in the early 1990s and had begun to write songs for several artists, including Ginuwine and Missy Elliott. Timbaland's genius for creating infectious rhythms was first showcased in Missy Elliott's influential CD Supa Dupa Fly (1997), which bristles with electric beats, futuristic atmospherics, and dancehall flavors. The CD features guests Busta Rhymes, Lil' Kim, Da Brat, and Aaliyah. Timbaland and Magoo produced their first single, "Up Jumps Da' Boogie," in the fall of 1997. Featuring Missy Elliott and Aaliyah, the single peaked at number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100. Timbaland and Magoo included the single on their platinum-selling debut album, Welcome to Our World (1997). With its eighteen tracks, the CD showcases Timbaland's knack for fusing catchy beats and minor sampling for a distinctive sound.

While waiting to work on his solo CD, Timbaland kept producing, writing, and remixing for other artists. Timbaland's Tim's Bio: Life from Da Bassment (1998) pays tribute to early funk and, radically, samples the themes from Spider-man and I Dream of Jeannie ; it features a stellar list of guests including Nas, Jay-Z, Mad Skillz, Aaliyah, and others. The album resonates with skittering beats, call-and-respond raps, and fresh, fun rhythms. Timbaland's strength is his fearless sense of experimentation in the studio. His hits, his own and the ones he wrote for others, make him a much sought-after and much-copied producer.

Legal problems delayed his follow-up, Indecent Proposal (2001), by almost a year. It provides a new sonic template that stretches the possibilities of commercial rap. Freely mixing and matching 1970s funk, disco, and soul with bits of jazz and ambient grooves, Timbaland continued with his trademark envelope pushing. "Indian Carpet" is fueled by futuristic beats, while other tunes feature snippets of Asian, Arab, and Indian music. The mellow, reflective ballad "I'm Music" features Aaliyah (her last recording) with the singer/songwriter Beck. Other guests include Snoop Dogg, Twista, Jay-Z, Ludacris, Bubba Spar, and Magoo.

Timbaland's talent for creating memorable grooves comes from his understanding that new, original, but contagious beats fuel the catchy power of tunes. Using these skills, Timbaland has elevated his game and along the way he has helped expand rap's commercial potency in the new millennium.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Welcome to Our World (Blackground, 1997); Tim's Bio (Blackground, 1998); Indecent Proposal: Life from Da Bassment (Blackground, 2001).

ramiro burr

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Timbaland

Timbaland

Music producer and rap musician

Born Timothy Z. Mosley, March 10, 1971; son of Garland (an Amtrak employee) and Latrice (ran a homeless shelter) Mosley.

Addresses: Office—Mosley Music Group/Interscope Records, Geffen A & M, 2220 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404.

Career

Teamed up with Missy Elliott and Magoo, joined Swing Mob Crew, worked with Surrounded By Idiots, early 1990s. Producer of music, including: Aaliyah's One In A Million, 1996; Elliott's Supa Dupa Fly, 1997; Booty Call (soundtrack), 1997; Dr. Doolittle (soundtrack), 1998; Beck's Mutations, 1998; Ginuwine's 100% Ginuwine, 1999; Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (soundtrack), 1999; Elliott's The Real World, 1999; Romeo Must Die (soundtrack), 2000; Snoop Dogg's The Last Meal, 2000; Elliott's Miss E … So Addictive, 2001; Aaliyah, 2001; Tweet's Southern Hummingbird, 2002; Justin Timberlake's Justified, 2002; Elliott's This Is Not a Test, 2003; Alicia Keys' The Diary of Alicia Keys, 2003; Brandy's Afrodisiac, 2004; LL Cool J's The DEFinition, 2004; Jennifer Lopez's Rebirth, 2005; Pussycat Dolls' PCD, 2005; Nelly Furtado's Loose, 2006; Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, 2006; Björk's Volta, 2007; Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad, 2007. Solo album releases include: Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment, 1998; Timbaland Presents Shock Value, 2007.

Awards: Songwriter of the Year Award, ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Award, 2001, 2003; Song of the Summer, Choice R&B/Hip Hop Track, Teen Choice Awards, for Nelly Furtado's "Promiscuous" (producer and guest artist), 2006; pop single of the year, Billboard Music Awards, 2006; Juno fan choice award, album of the year, pop album of the year, single of the year, Juno Awards, for Furtado's Loose, and the single "Promiscuous," 2007; Grammy Award for best dance recording, Recording Academy, for "SexyBack," 2007; best producer, International Dance Music Award, 2007.

Sidelights

The list of artists that music producer Timbaland has worked with is long and varied. Through his chart-topping collaboration with rapper Missy Elliott, Timbaland introduced a plethora of new sounds to hip-hop that enlivened the genre and launched several careers. Rob Brunner of Entertainment Weekly described Timbaland's signature sound as mixing "uncommonly complex beats with unusual sonic source material." Brian Hiatt explained in an article for Rolling Stone, "He helped create a new hip-hop sound, pushing the music away from soul samples and break beats and toward a synth-heavy, technofied future." Ian Mohr of Daily Variety wrote, "You can tell one of his joints the minute it jumps off. Fearlessly crafting simple sonic pastiches that can include sitars, baby cries, mariachi horns, pan pipes, and harps." Richard Harrington commended Timbaland in a Washington Post article, saying he uses "his turntable wizardry to craft a cool, spacious sound that owes as much to trip-hop and drum 'n' bass as to hip-hop and funk."

Born Timothy Z. Mosley on March 10, 1971, in Norfolk, Virginia, to Garland and Latrice Mosley, Timbaland is the oldest of their two sons. His father was an employee of Amtrak while his mother ran a homeless shelter. His younger brother, Garland, is a rapper who goes by the name Sebastian. Timbaland was highly influenced by the hip-hop scene in Virginia Beach. When he started out he wanted to be a superstar DJ. When he started out deejaying in high school, his moniker at the time was DJ Tiny Tim. In 1986, he was shot during a robbery and was partially paralyzed for nine months. He spent this time learning how to deejay using his left hand.

While still in high school, he partnered with future rap star Missy Elliott and Melvin Barcliff, who goes by the MC name of Magoo, working on songs with them. In the early 1990s, Timbaland, Elliott, and Magoo became members of DeVante Swing's Swing Mob Crew, a touring ensemble of hip-hop, R&B, and rap performers. An experienced producer, Swing mentored Timbaland at this time. Swing was also responsible for giving him the stage name of Timbaland, a mispronunciation of the shoe brand Timberland. Around this same time Timbaland also worked with a group known as Surrounded By Idiots (S.B.I.). In 1991, Timbaland survived a near-fatal car accident that killed his passenger. Lucky to have survived yet another brush with death, Timbaland continued along his trajectory toward fame as a producer and co-writer, especially for Elliott.

By 1995, Elliott and Timbaland left the Swing Mob Crew and struck out on their own. Timbaland produced the debut album for Ginuwine, called Ginuwine … the Bachelor. The album created one of Timbaland's first big hits called "Pony," which made it to number one on the U.S. R&B charts. Many critics note that this song in particular showcases Timbaland's signature sound that would continue to be heard throughout the rest of the decade.

At the same time that he was working on Ginuwine's debut album, Timbaland and Elliott were hired to work with the young R&B singer Aaliyah on her second album, One in a Million. Relatively unknown at the time, Timbaland and Elliott benefited immediately from the album's success. Within a year it had made double-platinum sales. It eventually went on to sell more than three million copies in the United States and produced four hit songs: "One In A Million," "The One I Gave My Heart To," "4 Page Letter," and "Hot Like Fire."

In 1997, Timbaland produced Missy Elliott's solo debut, Supa Dupa Fly. He also had a platinum-selling album with Magoo, Welcome to Our World. One of the songs from the album, "Up Jumps Da Boogie," made it to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. It included guest appearances by Elliott and Aaliyah. Timbaland continued to work with Elliott throughout the 1990s. His most outstanding work was often done in collaboration with her. He produced many other tracks for Elliott including several for her fourth album, released in 2002, Under Construction, and her follow-up album of 2003, This Is Not A Test!.

By 1998, Timbaland's production skills had contributed to the careers of not only Elliott but performers like SWV and their hit "Can We" and Usher with his song "You Make Me Wanna." That same year, he released Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment, his solo album. It made it to number 41 on the Billboard 200 charts. Emboldened by so much success, Timbaland started his own label called Beat Club, which was an imprint of Interscope Records. Interscope's roster of artists includes acts such as 50 Cent, Beck, and Queens of the Stone Age. Timbaland's first release on Beat Club was Dark Days, Bright Nights by white rapper Bubba Sparxxx. The album made its debut at number three on the Billboard Music Charts.

As the 1990s came to an end, Timbaland's credibility in the music business, particularly within the realm of R&B, was at an all-time high. He, along with Elliott, was responsible for the breakthrough debut of R&B singer Tweet, who hit the charts in 2002 with her song, "Oops! (Oh my)." The debut single from her album Southern Hummingbird went to number one on the R&B charts and number seven on the U.S. pop charts. Timbaland produced the popular record while Elliott provided guest vocals. In 2001, Timbaland won the Songwriter of the Year award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). In 2003, he was presented with the award for a second time. Rolling Stone writer Toure described how Timbaland works as "crossbreed[ing] hip-hop and R&B into platinum mutations." Toure added, "Tim offers kind, gentle music rooted in sweet, quick beats and R&B tropes tailor-made for those staccato-beat dances that are so popular with the kids. Tim's music won't scare your parents."

Having made his mark with his signature production style on R&B and hip-hop, Timbaland started looking for ways to expand his horizons. At the same time, artists from other genres were starting to take a closer look at what he was doing and started calling on him. One of those artists was Justin Timberlake who was looking for someone to produce his solo album. Timberlake turned to Timbaland for some of the tracks and in 2002 the former member of the boy group 'N Sync released his debut solo album Justified. The album was wildly successful and helped prove that Timbaland's talent could cross over easily into the pop music realm.

In 2005, Timbaland decided to put some of his endless energy into reworking his body. Having reached a weight of more than 300 pounds and subsequently being diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, Timbaland felt it was time to make some changes. He took some pointers from LL Cool J, one the fittest rap performers in the business, and hired a personal trainer named Jose Garcia. Timbaland told Patrick Taliaferro of Men's Fitness, "Garcia told me to give him six weeks of my life and I'd definitely see results. All I know is that it worked." By changing his diet, lifting weights, and adding a cardiovascular workout, Timbaland lost 121 pounds; plus, all of his diabetic symptoms disappeared within a year.

Describing his body before his dramatic weight loss, Timbaland told Lori Price of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "I don't know how I got that big, because I never weighed myself…. I would just go by how clothes fit, and when I couldn't go into the big-and-tall store and buy pants anymore, I knew there was a problem." While Timbaland has been a featured vocalist on dozens of singles, he was rarely seen. With a newfound confidence gained from having lost weight and gotten in shape, he started making appearances in videos and on stage. He traveled in support of Timberlake on the FutureSex/LoveShow tour. He appeared onstage with Nelly Furtado at the 2006 Teen Choice Awards and has appeared with other performers on stage and television, including the pop group the Pussycat Dolls.

In 2006, Timbaland formed another record label after his Beat Club label was closed down. The first release for Mosley Music Group was Loose, the third album by Furtado. The album made it to number one on the U.S. album charts. Also in 2006, he produced tracks for the idiosyncratic Icelandic rock star, Björk. He worked on a total of six tracks, three of which appeared on her sixth album, Volta: "Earth Intruders," "Innocence," and "Hope." Discussing his work with Björk he told Angus Batey of the Guardian, "You gotta hear it! A lot of people think it's weird her working with me, but I think it's how she sings on top of my beats that make[s] it [work]." Although his collaboration with Björk is unlikely to yield any platinum records or reach the popularity of a Timberlake album, it does show that Timbaland is committed to continually work outside the box.

Timbaland discussed his goal as producer when working with recording artists to the Guardian's Batey, "When you're working with somebody, you're just trying to create something, to see if it does work." He went on further to explain how his collaboration with Timberlake is different, "Me and Justin is different: It's not work, it's magic. Magic is when you just don't think about it: You go in there and the magic is so strong and it just comes out. The magic, the combination, is so powerful you don't have to think about it." In 2006, Timbaland and Timberlake worked together on the latter's sophomore effort, FutureSex/LoveSounds. The immensely popular record includes the single "Sexy-Back," on which Timbaland makes a guest appearance. In 2007, Timbaland won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording for Timberlake's "SexyBack". Continuing to make magic with Timberlake, Timbaland teamed up with him to work on the 2007 album by pop group Duran Duran.

In 2007, Timbaland released a solo album titled Timbaland Presents Shock Value. Pulling influences from soul, hip-hop, and reggae, Timbaland shared billing on the album with a multitude of collaborators. These include pop stars like Elton John, Timberlake, and Furtado, and rap stars such as 50 Cent and Jay-Z. When describing the album, Timbaland explained to Chris Lee of the Los Angeles Times, "I structured the album like a movie…. I put it together in a way that makes it different." He also collaborated with popular rock bands the Hives, She Wants Revenge, and Fall Out Boy.

The premiere of his video "Throw It On Me," was shown on Monday Night RAW, which is a show dedicated to professional wrestling. Several stars of women's wrestling appear in the video so it was fitting to have it premiere on the main program associated with World Wrestling Entertainment. The song and video also include an appearance by the Hives.

Showing that his aspirations reach even further, in 2007 Timbaland partnered with Rockstar Games on their Beaterator game that combines original music and rhythm games along with being an instrument. Timbaland also showed his political side that year when he hosted a fund-raising event in Miami for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. When talking about hip-hop with Rolling Stone's Hiatt, Timbaland voiced his criticism of the current scene, "Everybody's just doing the same old same old, and nobody wants to try nothin' new." It's evident from his unique sound and his willingness to work with a broad range of artists, that Timbaland will always be trying something new.

Selected discography

(With Magoo) Welcome to Our World, Atlantic/Q Records, 1997.
Tim's Bio: Life From da Bassment, Atlantic Records/Q, 1998.
(With Magoo) Indecent Proposal, Umvd Labels, 2001.
Under Construction Part II, Umvd Labels, 2003.
Timbaland Presents Shock Value, Interscope Records, 2007.

As producer/co-producer

Aaliyah, One in a Million, Atlantic/Q Records, 1996.
Ginuwine, Ginuwine … The Bachelor, Sony, 1996.
Missy Elliott, Supa Dupa Fly, East/West Records, 1997.
Playa, Cheers to You, Def Jam, 1998.
Ginuwine, 100% Ginuwine, Sony, 1999.
Missy Elliott, Da Real World, Elektra/WEA, 1999.
Missy Elliott, Miss E … So Addictive, Elektra/WEA, 2001.
Aaliyah, Aaliyah, Virgin Records US, 2001.
Bubba Sparxxx, Dark Days, Bright Nights, Beat Club/Interscope Records, 2001.
Tweet, Southern Hummingbird, Elektra/WEA, 2002.
Ms. Jade, Girl Interrupted, Interscope Records, 2002.
Justin Timberlake, Justified, Jive, 2002.
Missy Elliott, Under Construction, Elektra/WEA, 2002.
Bubba Sparxxx, Deliverance, Interscope Records, 2003.
Missy Elliott, This Is Not a Test, Elektra/WEA, 2003.
Brandy, Afrodisiac, Atlantic/WEA, 2004.
LL Cool J, The DEFinition, Def Jam, 2004.
Nelly Furtado, Loose, Mosley Music/Geffen Records, 2006.
Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds, Jive, 2006.
Björk, Volta, Atlantic/WEA, 2007.

Sources

Billboard, January 13, 2001, p. 43.

Daily Variety, August 31, 2006, p. A6.

Entertainment Weekly, November 20, 1998, p. 125; March 30, 2007, pp. 40-46.

Guardian (London, England), August 8, 2006, p. 22.

Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2007, p. F13.

Men's Fitness, September 1, 2006, p. 44.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 24, 2005, p. E2.

Rolling Stone, December 10, 1998, p. 120; October 5, 2006, p. 18.

Washington Post, February 25, 1998, p. D7.

Wireless News, March 17, 2007, p. 1.

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