The conversation about who is the best to do it behind the boards is a debate to be had. But our money is on Timbaland as the greatest of all time producer; no cap.
When the Hip-Hop community truly does the homework it should be no surprise why Timbo The King is just that—The King. The Norfolk, Virginia native has proven time after time that he breathes rare air and is to be treated as such. And please do not mistake this bouquet of flowers as a slight to his musical peers. Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Swizz Beatz and The Neptunes are all legends in their own right, but Tim is that dude for real for real.
Still have your doubts? We don’t blame you; it’s a moment of Rap clarity that few have yet to experience but need to. Luckily HipHopWired.com is here to set the record straight and we have receipts. Here are 5 undisputable reasons why Timbaland should be heralded as the greatest of all time producer.
1. THE TALENT
One thing about Timothy that sets him apart from the rest of the pack is his diverse discography. The man has not only planted an indelible flag in the Rap genre but he has also made magic with various talents from within Pop, R&B, EDM, Worldbeat, Latin, Dance, Rock, New Wave, Alternative and even Country music. And while the bevy of the roster have been high profile established artists, Tim also has a long history of developing emerging talent including Aaliyah, Genuwine and Missy Elliott.
2. THE INFLUENCE
When Timbaland really hit his stride as a producer in the early 2000’s he changed the game. Sonically, Hip-Hop went from the expected to the unexpected in a blink of an eye. He ushered in a distinctive “stuttering” rhythmic style that caught on like wildfire throughout the Rap industry. Additionally how he approached sampling felt much different (see Missy Elliott’s “The Rain”) than what DJ Premier or Pete Rock were doing at the time. And when we fast forward to his epic 2006 run with Justin Timberlake (Futuresex/Lovesounds), Nelly Furtado (Loose) and his own Shock Value album it is clear he opened the doors for the likes of Skrillex, David Guetta and Afrojack. Lastly thanks to him and Swizz we now have Verzuz to call our own.
3. THE CREATIVITY
While pinpointing Timbo’s “signature sound” down might be a daunting task, his tracks are often unmistakable and that is largely due to his his brilliance for beat bravery. He has shown the world on multiple occasions that there is no genre of music that he can’t flip. We can start with Arabic music (do yourself a favor and listen to the sample for Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’) or we can speak to his ingenious revision of Björk’s “Jóga” to make Missy Elliot’s “Hit ‘Em wit da Hee”. Additionally it would be a glaring oversight to not mention that he once threw all cares out the window when he sampled a baby laughing on Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody” and won. Game over.
4. THE LONGEVITY
Timbaland has been active on the boards for over 30 plus years. That means his work has spanned the globe for over three decades consecutively. He grinded his way from being a ghost producer on Jodeci’s classic Diary Of A Mad Band to at one point being the highest paid producer (getting upwards to $274,000 per track in his prime) without much fail. Yes he did have that weird Magoo era but with the seemingly endless amount of struggle MC’s we have in the game in the social media era “Up Jumps da Boogie” isn’t sounding too bad now a days right?
5. THE NUMBERS
Men lie, women lie, but the numbers do not. The super producer is credited for helping sell over 800 million albums worldwide throughout his career and without question gave Justin Timberlake the sauce with nine #1 hits (“SexyBack,”, “Cry Me A River”, “My Love”, “What Goes Around Comes Around”, “4 Minutes”, “Give It To Me”, “Suit and Tie”, “Mirrors”, “Not A Bad Thing”). Tim also has acquired 17 Grammy nominations with 4 Grammy wins. He also has 100+ ASCAP awards to his credit. Additionally he confirmed that his magic touch isn’t only limited to music when he served as Executive Music Supervisor of FOX’s Hit TV series EMPIRE for seasons 1 and 2.
Watch Timbaland get saluted on Urban One Honors Monday, January 17, 2022—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, at 8/7c on TV One and Cleo TV, a division of Urban One.