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Timbaland – The Groundbreaking Beatmaker Who Redefined Hip-Hop

Timbaland is an acclaimed American record producer, rapper, singer, songwriter and record executive who has been massively influential in hip-hop, R&B and pop music for over 25 years. Known for his innovative production style and futuristic, electronic-infused urban beats, Timbaland has crafted some of the most iconic hit songs since the 1990s and pushed the evolution of pop and hip-hop forward.

Here is an overview of the super producer:

Full Name Timothy Zachery Mosley
Birthday March 10, 1972 (age 51)
Birthplace Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Occupation Record Producer, Rapper, Singer
Years Active 1993 – Present
Spouse Monique Ida (m. 2008–2021)
Associated Acts Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Nelly Furtado, Aaliyah, Magoo, Keri Hilson, Bjork
Record Labels Blackground, Interscope, Mosley, Epic
Social Media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Early Life & Career Beginnings

Timbaland was born Timothy Zachery Mosley in 1972 and grew up in the city of Norfolk, Virginia. From a young age, he was drawn to music and taught himself to DJ and make beats. Timbaland began his career in the early 90s, producing tracks for R&B acts like Jodeci and Ginuwine.

In 1996, he began his pivotal partnership with fellow Virginia native Missy Elliott. Timbaland produced the majority of Missy‘s massive hits over the years, including "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," "Get Ur Freak On," "Work It," and "Lose Control." This kicked off one of the most successful collaborative partnerships in music history.

Breakthrough Style & Sounds

Timbaland had his mainstream breakout producing most of Aaliyah‘s 1996 album One in a Million. His experimental, syncopated beats on hits like "One in a Million" and "If Your Girl Only Knew" sounded futuristic and massively influential.

Some signature elements of Timbaland‘s innovative production style include:

  • Circular, hypnotic synth and drum patterns
  • Stuttering rhythms that almost mimic vocal beatboxing
  • Unusual structures with shifting tempos
  • Sparse arrangements that spotlight vocal melodies
  • Incorporation of unique micro-samples and world music elements

This distinctive style gave his music an edgy, futuristic sound that defined late 90s/early 00s urban music. Timbaland didn‘t follow trends – he set them.

Collaborations & Era-Defining Hits

Timbaland would go on to produce countless iconic pop, rap and R&B chart-toppers from the late 90s through today. Some of his most legendary hits include:

  • "Are You That Somebody?" – Aaliyah
  • "One in a Million" – Aaliyah
  • "Cry Me a River" – Justin Timberlake
  • "SexyBack" – Justin Timberlake
  • "Promiscuous" – Nelly Furtado
  • "Give It to Me" – Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
  • "The Way I Are" – Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson
  • "Big Pimpin‘" – Jay-Z
  • "Pass at Me" – Timbaland ft. 1/2 of 112
  • "Morning After Dark" – Timbaland ft. Nelly Furtado and SoShy
  • "Scream" – Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson and Nicole Scherzinger

Timbaland has showcased brilliant chemistry in the studio with artists like Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, and Nelly Furtado over the years. His collaborations have resulted in an astounding collection of culture-shaping hits.

Legacy & Lasting Impact

Timbaland‘s influence on hip-hop production since the 1990s is simply massive. Some of the key ways he has left his mark on music include:

  • Pushing urban music into new sonic territory and expanding the sound of hip-hop
  • Inspiring countless producers with his unique style and sounds
  • Earning widespread respect in hip-hop through exceptional music rather than hype
  • Displaying incredible longevity, adapting his production from the 90s to today
  • Accumulating one of the greatest hit-making discographies ever as a producer

Timbaland didn‘t just participate in hip-hop – he progressed the genre. Though he rose to fame in hip-hop and R&B, Timbaland‘s forward-thinking sounds laid the blueprint for pop, dance, and electronic music for decades to come.

As a lifelong Timbaland fan, I‘m amazed at how he constantly reinvents his style, adapts to new trends, and collaborates with both seasoned artists and up-and-comers. Nearly 30 years into his Hall of Fame career, Timbaland continues to inspire producers all over the world. His influence is impossible to overstate.

In conclusion, Timbaland has crafted an enduring legacy as one of the most pioneering, important hip-hop producers and musical innovators ever. The hits speak for themselves – Timbaland has reshaped the sound of pop music for over 25 years.