Artist

Timbaland

Timbaland

What do you do when you craft an iconic sound that is easily identifiable and massively popular before the age of 30? You make another identifiable sound that is also massively popular. Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley followed this tenet to a tee. The producer and rapper created a niche within R&B and hip-hop with songwriter, rapper and producer Missy Elliott from the mid-'90s to early '00s. Then he added "singer" and "songwriter" to his list of modifiers, moved into the pop arena and produced more hits that charted throughout the '00s.

The Virginia native grew up in the company of several future hip-hop stars, including Pharrell, the Clipse and his eventual partner, Magoo. After striking up a partnership with Missy Elliott, the two moved to New York as a part of DeVonte Swing's Swing Mob record label crew Da Bassment. Throughout the '90s, Elliott and Mosley developed a reputation as an in-demand songwriter and producer team. After Mosley achieved widespread success with his friends, labelmates and/or close assocites Ginuwine, Aaliyah and Missy Elliott, he was tapped to produce hit records for other big-name artists, like Ludacris, Jay-Z and Nas. He brought many lesser-known artists to the fore, like Petey Pablo, Tweet and Bubba Sparxxx. He released three albums with his MC partner Magoo. And in 1998 he released his first solo album, Tim's Bio. Throughout this time, Timbaland developed a distinct rhythmic bounce and approach to sampling and keyboard riffs that made his work distinct to public ears.

In the mid-'00s Mosley began to make an overt shift from R&B and hip-hop toward pop. He also began a long-term collaboration with producer Danja. In 2006 he produced a considerable portion of Justin Timberlake's popular FutureSex/LoveSounds album, as well as Nelly Furtado's Loose. In 2007 his resume expanded further as he worked with Björk, Duran Duran and 50 Cent. He also released his club-ready album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value. Throughout 2008 he worked broadly with artists ranging from Madonna to Keri Hilson to the Pussycat Dolls to Busta Rhymes. In 2009 he released a follow-up, Shock Value II, which featured more high-profile, pop and dance-oriented collaborations. ~Dan Nishimoto


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