Timothy Z. Mosley (born March 10, 1971), better known by his stage name Timbaland, is an American record producer, composer, rapper, and singer. Primarily known for his work in urban pop, Timbaland has produced albums and singles for a number of artists from the mid-1990s to the present day.
Timbaland’s first production work was Ginuwine…the Bachelor for Ginuwine, in 1996; the album was both a commercial and critical success. He was later contacted by Aaliyah to help produce her second album, One in a Million, which went on to sell over two million copies worldwide. In 2000, Timbaland produced several hit songs including Ludacris’ “Rollout (My Business)”, and contributed three singles to Aaliyah’s self-titled third album. Embracing an international audience, he helped produce three tracks for Japanese Pop star Utada Hikaru’s debut English album, Exodus.
In 2006 Timbaland collaborated with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake which resulted in multiple million selling albums and singles for both artists. In 2007 Timbaland released the album Shock Value, a commercial success, while 2008 saw Timbaland help produce Madonna’s new album, Hard Candy.
Mosley was hhuhh born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, where he lived for the first years of his life. Originally a disc jockey known as “DJ Timmy Tim” or “DJ Tiny Tim”, Mosley began making hip-hop backing tracks on a Casio keyboard. Rapper Missy Elliott heard his material and, taken by Mosley’s unique sense of rhythm, began working with him. She and her R&B group Sista auditioned for DeVante Swing, a producer and member of the successful R&B act Jodeci. Devante signed Sista to his Swing Mob record label and Elliott brought Mosley and Barcliff along with her to New York, where Swing Mob was based. It was Devante who renamed the young producer Timbaland, after Timberland construction boots, which were popular in hip-hop fashion.
Sista, Timbaland, and Magoo became part of Devante’s stable of Swing Mob signees known as “Da Bassment” crew, joining artists such as R&B singer Ginuwine, male vocal group Playa, and the girl group Sugah. Timbaland did production work on a number of projects with Devante, including the 1995 Jodeci LP The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel, and Sista’s debut LP 4 All the Sistas Around the World, which was shelved and never released. At this time Jodeci was pivotal in defining the 1990s new jack swing sound. He later joined the production ensemble S.B.I. (Surrounded By Idiots) that also featured Neptunes producer Pharrell Williams.
Elliott began receiving recognition as a songwriter for artists such as R&B girl group 702 and MC Lyte. Due to Timbaland’s connection with her, he was often contacted to produce remixes of her songs. One of these, the remix to 702’s “Steelo” in 1996, became Timbaland’s first major production credit.
In 1996, Ginuwine released his debut album, Ginuwine…the Bachelor, which was produced by Timbaland. The album was both a commercial and critical success. On many of the tracks, Timbaland can be heard either rapping or providing ad-libs, similar to what both Elliott and Puff Daddy were doing at the time; Timbaland’s deep voice was usually vocoded to give it an electronic sound. While work was being completed on Ginuwine…the Bachelor, R&B artist Aaliyah contacted Timbaland and Elliott to write and produce songs for her second album, One in a Million. The tracks that were crafted for Aaliyah featured musical arrangements similar to those on Ginuwine…the Bachelor. One in a Million went on to sell over two million copies worldwide.
Asian instrumentation is present through much of his early work (Xscape’s “My Secret” remix, especially, with a sitar outro and Timbaland ad-libbing “Let’s take a little trip…to India”), but was most successful and prevalent with Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin'” in 1999, which borrowed directly from the song “Khosara” by Egyptian composer Abdel Halim Hafez. Elliott’s 2001 hit single, “Get Ur Freak On” from her third album, Miss E…So Addictive, also used a speedy Tabla drumline typical of Hindustani classical music.
Timbaland produced songs including Ludacris’ “Roll Out (My Business)”, Jay-Z’s “Hola’ Hovito”, Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up”, and Beck’s cover of David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” during this period. He also contributed three songs, all eventually released as singles, to Aaliyah’s self-titled third album, the exotic lead single “We Need a Resolution” (featuring himself rapping a verse), “More Than a Woman”, and the ballad “I Care 4 U”.
Timbaland & Magoo’s second album together was slated for release in November 2000. Indecent Proposal was to feature appearances by Beck, Aaliyah, as well as new Timbaland protégés — some from his new Beat Club Records imprint–Ms. Jade, Kiley Dean, Sebastian, Petey Pablo, and Tweet (who was a member of Sugah during the Swing Mob days). The album was delayed for an entire year, finally released in November 2001. It was a commercial disappointment. Beck’s vocals for the track “I Am Music” were not included on the final version, which instead featured Timbaland singing alongside Steve “Static” Garrett of Playa and Aaliyah, who had been killed in a plane crash that August.
The first release on Beat Club was the debut album by Bubba Sparxxx in September 2001, Dark Days, Bright Nights. The loss of Aaliyah deeply affected Timbaland, whose work was less omnipresent after 2001. In a phone call to the MTV show Total Request Live, Timbaland said:
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 right now. Beyond the music, she was a brilliant person, the [most special] person I ever met.
Timbaland contributed three tracks to Tweet’s debut album, Southern Hummingbird, and produced most of Elliott’s fourth and fifth LPs, Under Construction and This Is Not A Test!. He also produced tracks for artists such as Lil’ Kim (“The Jump Off”) and southern rapper Pastor Troy during this period. Collaborating with fellow producer Scott Storch, Timbaland also worked on a number of tracks on former *NSYNC lead singer Justin Timberlake’s solo debut, Justified, including the song “Cry Me a River”.
Late in 2003, Timbaland delivered the second Bubba Sparxxx album, Deliverance, and the third Timbaland & Magoo album, Under Construction, Part II. Both albums were released to little fanfare or acclaim even though Deliverance was praised by reviews and embraced by the internet community.
Timbaland continued to produce hit singles and albums for artists; in 2004 Timbaland-produced singles by LL Cool J, Xzibit, Fatman Scoop, and Jay-Z became staples on urban radio, and he produced the bulk of Brandy’s fourth album, Afrodisiac. The Timbaland-produced song “I’m So Fly” on Lloyd Banks’s 2004 debut album The Hunger for More is significant in that it was the first official Timbaland production bearing a co-production credit from Danja, who would go on to become a requisite collaborator with Timbaland in the future.
Embracing an international audience, Timbaland lent a hand to three tracks off bilingual Japanese Pop star Utada Hikaru’s debut English album, Exodus. He continued working on tracks for Tweet and for Elliott’s sixth album, The Cookbook: “Joy (feat. Mike Jones)”, and “Partytime” and continued to expand his reach with production for The Game and Jennifer Lopez (“He’ll Be Back” from her fifth studio album, Rebirth.)
Timbaland started a new label distributed by Interscope, Mosley Music Group, bringing some talent from his former Beat Club Records label. On the new label are Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson, and rapper D.O.E.. During 2006, Timbaland had seven singles receiving airplay worldwide by Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake. Additionally, Timbaland also appears in most of the videos.
In early 2007, Timbaland was accused of plagiarism regarding his work on the Nelly Furtado track “Do It”. He is alleged to have plagiarized elements from the song “Acid Jazzed Evening” by Finnish artist Tempest, without giving credit or compensation.. Further allegations of plagiarism have surfaced in both fan publications and music editorials (see Main Article).
Timbaland provides vocals on the singles the Pussycat Dolls’s “Wait a Minute”, Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous” and “Ice Box” by Omarion, all of which climbed the U.S. charts. In an interview published in August 2006 in the UK, Timbaland revealed he was working on a new LP by Jay-Z and that he had been working on tracks with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Timbaland worked on seven songs for Björk’s new album, including “Earth Intruders”, “Hope”, and “Innocence”, and he later worked on tracks for the new Duran Duran album, Red Carpet Massacre, including one featuring his frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake. Later in the year, Timbaland produced songs for Bone Thugs N Harmony’s LP, Strength & Loyalty and the song “Ayo Technology” on 50 Cent’s album Curtis. Timbaland also produced most of the tracks on Ashlee Simpson’s third CD, Bittersweet World, including the song “Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)”.
On April 3, 2007, Timbaland released a collaboration album featuring artists such as 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Fall Out Boy, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, and others called Timbaland Presents Shock Value. The first single, “Give It to Me” featuring Nelly Furtado and Timberlake, topped Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and received a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. The fourth single from the album, a remix of the OneRepublic song “Apologize”, was on the Billboard Hot 100 for 28 weeks.
A rivalry flared up between Timbaland and record producer Scott Storch in early 2007. The tension initially started on the single “Give It to Me”, when Timbaland anonymously called out Storch, rapping, “I’m a real producer and you just the piano man”. Timbaland confirmed that he was talking about Storch in an interview with MTV personality Sway Calloway. Storch responded with the track “Built Like That” on February 26, 2007, featuring Philadelphia rapper NOX. The end of the feud was confirmed by Timbaland in the final issue of Scratch Magazine.
In November 2007, it was confirmed that Timbaland has become a father to a baby girl. The mother is publicist Monique Idlett, who works at Timbaland’s Mosley Music Group record company. They have been dating for two years and will marry in 2008. Timbaland proposed to Idlett at their baby shower in October.
Timbaland helped produce Madonna’s new album, Hard Candy. Bittersweet World by Ashlee Simpson, and other untitled albums and songs by such artists as Chris Cornell, Beyonce, Teairra Mari, Keithian, The Pussycat Dolls, Nicole Scherzinger, Missy Elliott, Jennifer Hudson, and Sugababes. He produced several songs for Usher’s new album, Here I Stand. Timbaland also produced some of the tracks on Swedish singer Robyn’s self-titled album set for released on April 29, 2008 in the United States.
On February 8, 2008, it was announced that Timbaland would be releasing an album solely on a mobile platform for Verizon Wireless’s V CAST cell phone service and was designated its very first “Mobile Producer in Residence.” Timbaland will be joined by Mosley Music Group/Zone 4 singer/songwriter Keri Hilson to begin work on the mobile album’s first track aboard the fully-equipped Mobile Recording Studio. The only track to surface so far is “Get It Girl.” In his first effort within the video game industry, he is working with Rockstar Games to produce Beaterator, a music mixing game for the PlayStation Portable to be released in the summer of 2009.
Timbaland Timbaland Presents Shock Value
Timbaland & Magoo Under Construction Part II
Timbaland & Magoo Indecent Proposal
Timbaland Tim’s Bio: Life From da Basement
Timbaland & Magoo Welcome to Our World
Swing Mob affiliated
- 1996: “Pony” by Ginuwine (recorded in 1993)
- 1996: “If Your Girl Only Knew” by Aaliyah
- 1996: “One in a Million” by Aaliyah
- 1997: “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
- 1997: “When Doves Cry” by Ginuwine
- 1997: “Sock It 2 Me” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (featuring. Da Brat)
- 1998: “Same Ol’ G” by Ginuwine
- 1998: “Are You That Somebody?” by Aaliyah (featuring Timbaland)
- 1999: “She’s a Bitch” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
- 1999: “Hot Boyz” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (featuring Nas, Eve, Q-Tip, & Lil’ Mo)
- 1999: “So Anxious” by Ginuwine
- 2000: “Try Again” by Aaliyah
- 2000: “Bangin’ (Don’t Lie)” by Nicole Wray (featuring Prodigy of Mobb Deep)
- 2001: “Ugly” by Bubba Sparxxx
- 2001: “Lovely” by Bubba Sparxxx
- 2001: “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
- 2001: “One Minute Man” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (featuring Ludacris, Trina, and Jay-Z)
- 2001: “We Need a Resolution” by Aaliyah featuring Timbaland
- 2002: “More Than a Woman” by Aaliyah
- 2002: “Oops (Oh My)” by Tweet (featuring Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott)
- 2002: “Call Me” by Tweet
- 2002: “Work It” by Missy Elliott
- 2002: “Back in the Day” by Missy Elliott (featuring Jay-Z and Tweet)
- 2002: “Ching Ching” by Ms. Jade
- 2003: “Gossip Folks” by Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott
- 2003: “Don’t Know What to Tell Ya” by Aaliyah
- 2003: “Pass That Dutch” by Missy Elliott
- 2003: “I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott
- 1999: “Jigga What, Jigga Who” by Jay-Z (featuring Amil and Big Jaz)
- 1999: “Word Up!” by Melanie B
- 1999: “Big Pimpin’” by Jay-Z
- 2000: “Hey Papi” by Jay-Z (featuring Memphis Bleek)
- 2000: “You Owe Me” by Nas (featuring Ginuwine)
- 2000: “Snoop Dogg” by Snoop Dogg
- 2001: “Diamond Dogs” by Beck
- 2001: “Raise Up” by Petey Pablo
- 2001: “Rollout (My Business)” by Ludacris
- 2001: “Turn off the Lights (Remix)” by Nelly Furtado
- 2002: “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake (co-produced by Scott Storch)
- 2003: “Dirt off Your Shoulder” by Jay-Z
- 2003: “The Jump Off” by Lil Kim
- 2004: “Ryde or Die, Bitch” by The Lox
- 2004: “Who Is She 2 U” by Brandy
- 2004: “Afrodisiac” by Brandy
- 2004: “Headsprung” by LL Cool J
- 2004: “I’m So Fly” by Lloyd Banks
- 2004: “Potion” by Ludacris
- 2004: “Hey Now” by Xzibit
- 2005: “Put You On The Game” by The Game
- 2006: “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
- 2006: “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado
- 2006: “Wait A Minute” by The Pussycat Dolls
- 2006: “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
- 2006: “All Good Things (Come to an End)” by Nelly Furtado
- 2006: “Say It Right” by Nelly Furtado
- 2006: “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake
- 2006: “My Love” by Justin Timberlake featuring T.I.
- 2006: “Ice Box” by Omarion
- 2006: “What Goes Around…” by Justin Timberlake
- 2007: “Give It To Me” by Nelly Furtado, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake