Timothy Z. Mosley, better known as Timbaland, began his rise to fame in the mid-90s and had a steady progression of top Billboard chart hits annually from 1996 to 2001. In August 2001 his collaborative partner, R&B singer, Aaliyah met a tragic end which seemed to send the producer into anonymity.
On February 1, 2015, another of Timbaland‘s early career partners, Missy Elliott performed “Get Ur Freak On” during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The singular performance introduced the producer’s sound to a generation of Hip Hop lovers who were previously unfamiliar with the artist and the producer. By February 21, 2015, “Get Ur Freak On”, produced by Timbaland in 2001, made it back onto the Billboard Singles Chart. Inevitably, the 14-year old track thrust the artist and the producer to the forefront of the minds of fans and critics alike.
Many are questioning what happened to Timbaland?
Contrary to popular belief, he neither left the studio altogether nor did he fall off. Timbaland is well known for working outside the realm of Hip Hop as his music has a penchant for abandoning samples for refracting vocals and layering sounds. Timbaland‘s 20 best productions over the last 10 years have made it to the Billboard charts in pop, R&B, electronic dance music and overall hotness.
20-19. Produced in 2006, Nelly Furtado‘s “Promiscuous” won Billboard Music Awards’ Best Pop Single of the Year. Her second single that year, “Say It Right” was also a Timbaland production and reached number one status on the Billboard Hot 100 only 14 weeks after release.
18-17. Timbaland also made 2006 a strong year for his partner in chemistry, Justin Timberlake. The two seemed to effortlessly create one enormous hit after the next. Justin Timberlake‘s “Sexy Back” and “My Love” both made the Billboard Hot 100 with Timbaland‘s use of electronic chords, beat-boxing and even his own falsetto.
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16. It would be remiss to fail to mention Timberlake‘s “What Goes Around…Comes Around”. The song seems unusual in that it follows a very slow tempo uncharacteristic of Timbaland‘s more uptempo club music sound. Many actually considered it a sequel to the duo’s 2002, “Cry Me A River”. “What Goes Around…Comes Around” was number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
15. 2007 opened with the release of Timbaland‘s second studio album, “Shock Value”. “Shock Value’s” single, “Give It To Me” was downloaded 248,000 times the first week it was released, affording it number one status on the Billboard Hot 100.
14. In addition to creating his second album “Shock Value”, Timbaland seemed to have consulted with some outer space aliens in 2007, especially before producing “The Way I Are”. The sound is totally futuristic and U.S. audiences fell in love with sales tipping 3 million.
13. Continuing the ’07 futuristic vibe with keyboard samples, parts of Justin Timberlake‘s Billboard Hot 100 hit, “Summer Love” sounds like a landing UFO.
12. Despite his pop collaborations, Timbaland did not abandon Hip Hop altogether. His undeniable ability to take a song to the top of Billboard charts was not lost on Fabolous. In 2007, Timbaland did not let Fab down and did something audiences hadn’t heard from him since the 90s. He sampled the melodious middle eastern/belly dancing sound of Sherine’s “Al Sa’ban Aleh” on “Make Me Better”.
11. Produced in 2008, Timbaland remixed Nelly Furtado‘s electronic rock song, “Maneater” featuring ‘Lil Wayne, introducing the U.K. hit to American audiences.
10. Although originally produced in 2004, Jay Z‘s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” made a come back of sorts when President Barack Obama mentioned the song title during his 2008 campaign. “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.
9. While we’re mentioning come backs, Timbaland‘s production of “4 Minutes” in 2008 put the iconic Madonna back on the Billboard Hot 100 after selling 217,000 digital copies in its first week of release.
8-7. In December 2009, Timbaland released his studio album, “Shock Value II”. The single, “Morning After Dark” made it to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and can be heard on the video game, Def Jam: Underground. It is the hypnotic synthesizer on the album’s second most successful single, “Say Something”, that made it so noteworthy. The instrumentation almost coincided with the tone of featured artist, Drake.
6. In 2010, Timbaland produced Chris Brown‘s “Paper, Scissors, Rock” featuring Big Sean.
5. By 2011, Timbaland dropped “Shock Value III”. The single, “Pass At Me” featuring Latin rapper, Pitbull was so successful it made it to the Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Songs, Latin Pop Songs, Mainstream Top 40 and Rhythmic charts.
4-3. January 2013 Timbaland signed to Roc Nation where he had another phenomenal collaboration with Justin Timberlake producing his entire album, “The 20/20 Experience”. Both the mid-tempo “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors” made it within Billboard’s Hot 100 top three!
2. Roc Nation also offered Timbaland the opportunity to produce Beyonce‘s popular song, “Grown Woman”, which featured in the Queen’s Pepsi commercial. It was also included in “The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour” repertoire.
1. By the end of 2013, Timbaland returned to his Hip Hop roots and produced “Know Bout Me” featuring Drake, Jay Z and James Fauntleroy.
As of January 2015, Timbaland is still very current as his music can be heard on Lee Daniels and Danny Strong‘s television show, Empire.
Like Timbaland, Doprah No Filtah is a native of the DMV and a lifelong lover of the genre. Follow her on Twitter @SNSNightlifeMag.