On 31 July, footage appeared online showing the music veteran Timbaland in the studio with Jay Z. This got me thinking, that it was back in 2010 that we last heard from this musical legend when he released ‘Morning After Dark’ featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado. As the chatter starts to stir about whether or not Timbaland might pull a Beyonce and surprise us all, I decided to look back on the star’s most amazing songs.
Starting off as a producer, Timbaland learnt his trade within the Hip-Hop end of the industry where he developed his own unique sound he would later incorporate with Pop. In 1997, he released his first album in collaboration with Magoo where he worked with artists like Missy Elliot and Aaliyah.
When Aaliyah passed away in 2001, Timbaland was quoted as saying, ‘She was like blood, and I lost blood. Me and her together had this chemistry. I kinda lost half of my creativity to her. It’s hard for me to talk to the fans now. Beyond the music, she was a brilliant person, the [most special] person I ever met.’ That’s why our first song is ‘Up Jumps Da Boogie’ by Timbaland and Magoo featuring Missy Elliot and the late Aaliyah.
In 2006, Timbaland started his own label Mosley Music Group to which he signed Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson and D.O.E. He then went on to produce Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveSounds. In 2007, he brought together talent from across the industry and delivered Timbaland Presents Shock Value, a true collaborative piece. The lead single was ‘Give it to Me’ featuring Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado.
Hereafter, he released ‘The Way I Are’ which went on to become Keri Hilson’s big breakthrough onto mainstream radio.
The album went on to even feature a song entitled ‘Bombay’ which was a fusion between traditional Bollywood music and Timbaland’s irresistible beats. Another noticeable song off the album was ‘Time’ featuring the gothic-punk vocals of She Wants Revenge. ‘Apologize’ featuring One Republic was yet another chart-topper by the star with its dark melodic sound. One overlooked track, perhaps, was his duet with Elton John, a global LGBT icon. Here is the song, entitled ‘2 Man Show’.
In 2008, he produced the Russian entry to Eurovision by Dima Bilan entitled ‘Believe’ which went on to win.
Following a few career lowlights, Timbaland delivered Shock Value II which failed to see the same success as the prequel. Despite the criticism of highly manipulated vocals, the album produced some crowd-pleasers including ‘Morning After Dark’ featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado, ‘Carry Out’ featuring Justin Timberlake and ‘If We Ever Meet Again’ featuring Katy Perry.
And this is where it seemed to end. A hushed silence fell over the studio and like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, no chocolate-like hits have left the studio. Now, we look on with baited breath. Is this clip circling the web a light in the window of the factory? Or is it wishful thinking that this artist who brought artists from opposite spectrums of the industry is preparing his return?