News broke not too long ago that Hip Hop’s seminal entrepreneur and American Dream success story, Jay-Z, signed super producer and legendary music maker Timbaland to his Roc Nation imprint. And as expected, the Internet and Hip Hop worlds were all abuzz with the possibilities of what could happen between the two now that Timbo is officially an artist signed to Jay-Z’s venture.
And that’s just the way it should be. The combination of Hova and Timbo has proven to be more than a sure thing in Hip Hop for nearly 15 years, beginning in with “Nigga What, Nigga Who” from Jay’s 1998 Hard Knock Life album and continuing in 1999 with “Lobster & Scrimp” from Timbaland’s debut album Tim’s Bio: Life From da Basement. The combination of these two heavyweights in Hip Hop have also combined to make two of the most memorable and long-lasting Hip Hop favorites with “Big Pimpin” and “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, as well as “Off That” featuring Drake from the 2009 Jay-Z album Blueprint 3. Most recently, the pair worked together on Justin Timberlake’s return single “Suit & Tie”.
So what can we truly expect from Timbaland as he is brought into the fold of Hova’s label? Will it be the case that more collaborative music between the two will be on the way? Can we expect a Watch The Throne-type of collaborative, full-length album from the pair? Will we hear more tracks between Timbo, Hova and Missy Elliot? Could Timbo produce for the likes of Meek Mill, M.I.A., J. Cole and Melanie Fiona, all artists that have some sort of label of management connection to Roc Nation?
All great thoughts and potentialities, but it’s hard to say whether any of these things will actually happen. But a few things are for sure: Hip Hop has definitely been missing the peculiar and original sound of Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley for more than a few years now, from the baby squeals to the Indian flutes to the spacey, atmospheric synths. Not to say that Timbaland has been completely gone from the game, or even needs to make another beat in his life.
But when he and Missy Elliot burst onto the scene in the mid-90s, there’s no denying that they changed the way Hip Hop and R&B could sound. Couple that with the nearly effortless collaborations between Timbaland and Hova that we eventually became spoiled on, and it’s no wonder why mouths would be watering with delight at the signing of Timbaland to Roc Nation.
Now, if the musical results can live up to the announcement, we’ll really be in business.