Birth name – Timothy Zachery Mosley
Also known as – DJ Timmy T, Timbo
Born March 10, 1972 (age 41)
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Genres – Hip hop, R&B
Occupations – Rapper, record producer, singer
Years active – 1990–present
Labels – Blackground Records, Mosley Music Group, Interscope Records, Roc Nation
Associated acts – Justin Timberlake, DeVante Swing, Swing Mob, Jodeci, Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Ginuwine, Magoo, Danja, Jerome “J-Roc” Harmon, Nelly Furtado, OneRepublic, Keri Hilson, Sebastian, Bubba Sparxxx, Jay-Z, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Pussycat Dolls, Ne-Yo
Timothy Zachery Mosley (born March 10, 1972), better known by his stage name Timbaland, is an American record producer, songwriter and rapper. Timbaland’s first full credit production work was in 1996 on Ginuwine…the Bachelor for R&B singer Ginuwine. After further work on Aaliyah’s 1996 album One in a Million and Missy Elliott’s 1997 album Supa Dupa Fly, Timbaland became a prominent producer for R&B and hip-hop artists. As a rapper he initially released several albums with fellow rapper Magoo, but later released his debut solo album Tim’s Bio in 1998. In 2007, Timbaland released the first album in his Shock Value series, Timbaland Presents: Shock Value. In 2009, Timbaland Presents: Shock Value II. His work ranges from Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Missy Elliott, as well as other R&B artists of the mid-90’s, to Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Ludacris, and other hip-hop artists of the early and mid-2000s. In 2006 he produced Justin Timberlake’s album FutureSex/LoveSounds, which sold over 10 million copies worldwide and spawned hits such as “Summer Love”, “SexyBack”, “My Love”, “What Goes Around… Comes Around”, “Until the End of Time”. In 2006 he produced Nelly Furtado’s Loose, which also sold 10 million copies worldwide and had hits such as “Promiscuous”, “Maneater”, and “Say it Right”. In 2006 and 2007 alone, Timbaland was responsible for 11 Billboard top-ten singles.
Timothy Zachery Mosley was born on March 10, 1972 in Norfolk, Virginia. He graduated from Salem High School of Virginia Beach, Virginia. During his time as a DJ, he was known as “DJ Tim” or “DJ Timmy Tim”. His brother, Sebastian, is six years younger. Timbaland began making hip hop backing tracks on a Casio keyboard. While attending high school, he began a long-term collaboration with rapper Melvin Barcliff, who performed under the name of Magoo. The teenage Mosley also joined the production ensemble S.B.I. (which stood for surrounded by idiots) which also featured Neptunes producer Pharrell. Mosley was also high school friends with Terrence and Gene Thorton, who would go on to be known as Pusha T and Malice of the rap group Clipse. In 1986, when Timbaland was 15 years old, he was accidentally shot by a co-worker at the local Red Lobster restaurant and was partially paralyzed for nine months. During this time, he began to learn how to DJ using his left hand.
Singer and rapper Missy Elliott heard his material and began working with him. She and her R&B group Sista auditioned for DeVante Swing, a producer and member of the successful R&B act Jodeci. DeVante signed Sista to his Swing Mob record label and Elliott brought Mosley and Barcliff along with her to New York, where Swing Mob was based. It was DeVante who renamed the young producer Timbaland, after Timberland construction boots. and Magoo became part of SCI Zakys School stable of Swing Mob signees known as “Da Bassment” crew, joining artists such as R&B singer Ginuwine, male vocal group Playa (Smoke E. Digglera, Static Major and Digital Black), and the girl group Sugah. Timbaland did production work on a number of projects with DeVante, including the 1995 Jodeci LP The Show, The After-Party, The Hotel, and Sista’s (unreleased) début LP 4 All the Sistas Around da World. Elliott began receiving recognition as a songwriter for artists such as R&B girl group 702 and MC Lyte. Due to Timbaland’s connection with her, he was often contacted to produce remixes of her songs.
Timbaland began his producing career strictly for R&B acts. In the early to mid-1990s, he produced a few songs for R&B acts such as Jodeci and Sista. In 1996, he made his mainstream breakthrough by producing the majority of both Aaliyah’s sophomore album One in a Million and Ginuwine’s debut album Ginuwine…the Bachelor. This included the major hit singles “If Your Girl Only Knew” by Aaliyah and “Pony” by Ginuwine. While Timbaland was initially producing for R&B artists, his trademark sound was very much rooted in hip-hop with its fast-paced nature and clear drum breaks. He was taking a hip-hop sound and applying it to R&B, and in this way his sound was instrumental in blurring the distinction between hip-hop and R&B production. In 1997, he fully produced Supa Dupa Fly, the debut album of Missy Elliott, who had been a childhood friend of Mosley. In this album Timbaland continued with his now trademark electronic production style, but since Missy frequently rapped the music was considered hip-hop. Timbaland’s sound was something very different from typical hip-hop up to that point, which often had a “grimey” sound and used samples. Timbaland’s clean, electronic, and non-sample based productions were something very new to hip-hop audiences. Also in 1997, he released his first album with his partner Magoo, Welcome to Our World, also a hip-hop album. In the late 1990s, his hip-hop production sound would become very influential and common as he produced for many high profile hip-hop artists including Jay-Z, Nas, and The LOX. In 1999, he scored a major hit with Jay-Z and rap group UGK with the hit “Big Pimpin'”. He also fully produced Missy’s second album in 1999, Da Real World. Still Timbaland in this period produced primarily for R&B artists. He continued to produce for Ginuwine and Aaliyah, as well as contributing significantly to albums by Xscape, Nicole, Playa, and Total. He remixed Usher’s major hit “You Make Me Wanna”. In the early 2000s Timbaland became an even more high profile and highly sought after producer for both hip-hop and R&B artists. He produced songs including Ludacris’ “Roll Out (My Business)”, Jay-Z’s “Hola’ Hovito”,Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up”, and Beck’s cover of David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” during this period. He also contributed three songs, all eventually released as singles, to Aaliyah’s self-titled third album, the exotic lead single “We Need a Resolution” (featuring himself rapping a verse), “More than a Woman”, and the ballad “I Care 4 U”. He also makes an appearance in Aaliyah’s single “Try Again”, which he also produced and co-wrote.
Timbaland & Magoo’s second album together was slated for release in November 2000. Indecent Proposal was to feature appearances by Beck, Aaliyah, as well as new Timbaland protégés—some from his new Beat Club Records imprint–Ms. Jade, Kiley Dean, Sebastian (Tims brother), Petey Pablo, and Tweet (who was a member of Sugah during the Swing Mob days). The album was delayed for an entire year, finally released in November 2001. It was a commercial disappointment. Beck’s vocals for the track “I Am Music” were not included on the last version, which instead featured Timbaland singing along Steve “Static” Garrett of Playa and Aaliyah. The first release on Beat Club was the début album by Bubba Sparxxx in September 2001, Dark Days, Bright Nights. The loss of Aaliyah deeply affected Timbaland. In a phone call to the MTV show Total Request Live, Timbaland said:
She was like blood, and I lost blood. Me and her together had this chemistry. I kinda lost half of my creativity to her. It’s hard for me to talk to the fans now. Beyond the music, she was a brilliant person, the [most special] person I ever met.
Timbaland contributed three tracks to Tweet’s début album, Southern Hummingbird, and produced most of Elliott’s fourth and fifth LPs, Under Construction and This Is Not A Test!. He also produced tracks for artists such as Lil’ Kim (“The Jump Off”) and southern rapper Pastor Troy during this period. Collaborating with fellow producer Scott Storch, Timbaland also worked on a number of tracks on former *NSYNC lead singer Justin Timberlake’s solo debut, Justified, including the song “Cry Me a River”.
Late in 2003, Timbaland delivered the second Bubba Sparxxx album, Deliverance, and the third Timbaland & Magoo album, Under Construction, Part II Both albums were released to little fanfare or acclaim even though Deliverance was praised by reviews and embraced by the internet community. In 2004 Timbaland produced singles for LL Cool J, Xzibit, Fatman Scoop, and Jay-Z, and he produced the bulk of Brandy’s fourth album, Afrodisiac. Timbaland co-wrote two tracks (Exodus ’04 and Let Me Give You My Love) and produced three tracks of the American-Japanese Pop star Hikaru Utada’s debut English album, Exodus. He continued working on tracks for Tweet and for Elliott’s sixth album, The Cookbook: “Joy (feat. Mike Jones)”, and “Partytime” and continued to expand his reach with production for The Game and Jennifer Lopez (“He’ll Be Back” from her fourth studio album, Rebirth).
2006–07: Timbaland Presents Shock Value
Timbaland started a new label, Mosley Music Group, bringing some talent from his former Beat Club Records label. On the new label are Nelly Furtado, Keri Hilson, and rapper D.O.E.. In 2006 he produced Justin Timberlake’s second solo studio album FutureSex/LoveSounds. His vocals feature on the songs “SexyBack”, “Sexy Ladies”, “Chop Me Up”, “What Goes Around…/…Comes Around” and on the prelude to “My Love” entitled “Let Me Talk to You.” In early 2007, Timbaland mentioned he wanted to work with female artist Britney Spears on her album Blackout. Timbaland provided vocals on the singles the Pussycat Dolls’s “Wait a Minute”, Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous” “Ice Box” by Omarion and Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack”. This song is well known as being the first appearance of his signature lyrical style of using his Tourettes tick of “Eh” to his advantage. The use of his disorder within the song was widely acclaimed within the music industry and commended by such organisations as the International Paralympic Committee for its forward thinking and liberal approach. In an interview published in August 2006 in the UK Timbaland revealed he was working on a new LP by Jay-Z and that he had worked on tracks with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
Timbaland worked on seven songs for Björk’s new album, Volta, including “Earth Intruders”, “Hope”, and “Innocence” and he later worked on tracks for the new Duran Duran album, Red Carpet Massacre, including one featuring his frequent collaborator Justin Timberlake. Later in the year, Timbaland produced songs for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s LP, Strength & Loyalty and the song “Ayo Technology” on 50 Cent’s album Curtis. Timbaland also produced most of the tracks on Ashlee Simpson’s third CD, Bittersweet World, including the song “Outta My Head (Ay Ya Ya)”. On 3 April 2007, Timbaland released a collaboration album featuring artists including 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Fall Out Boy, Nelly Furtado, Missy Elliott, and others called Timbaland Presents Shock Value. A rivalry flared up between Timbaland and record producer Scott Storch in early 2007. The tension initially started on the single “Give It to Me”, when Timbaland anonymously backlashed Storch: “I’m a real producer and you[‘re] just the piano man”. In an interview, Timbaland confirmed that he was talking about Storch. The dispute partly stemmed from controversy regarding writing credits for Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River”. In 2007, Timbaland’s daughter, Reign, was born to his wife Monique Idlett.
Main article: Timbaland plagiarism
Timbaland’s plagiarism controversy occurred in January 2007, when several news sources reported that Timbaland was alleged to have plagiarized several elements (both motifs and samples) in the song “Do It” on the 2006 album Loose by Nelly Furtado without giving credit or compensation. The song itself was released as the fifth North American single from Loose in July 2007.
Timbaland’s legal troubles would continue. In lieu of a copyright lawsuit over the song “Throw It On Me” from his Shock Value album, Timbaland and David Cortopassi, the composer of “Spazz”, which was originally recorded by The Elastik Band and released by ATCO/Atlantic and EMI, reached a settlement agreement in July of 2009.
“Spazz”, noted as being “one of the most tasteless records ever made”, was initially banned by radio stations and even pulled mid-stream while on air when first released in 1967. At the time, the DJ even apologized to his listeners for playing the record.
Terms of the settlement are undisclosed.
Timbaland helped produce many albums for various artists in 2008, including Madonna’s Hard Candy,Ashlee Simpson’s Bittersweet World, Keri Hilson’s In A Perfect World, Flo Rida’s Mail On Sunday, Letoya Luckett’s Lady Love, Lindsay Lohan’s Spirit in the Dark, Chris Cornell’s Scream, JoJo’s All I Want Is Everything, Nicole Scherzinger’s Her Name is Nicole, Missy Elliott’s Block Party, Matt Pokora’s MP3, Keithian’s Dirrty Pop, The Pussycat Dolls’s Doll Domination, Busta Rhymes’s B.O.M.B, Lisa Maffia’s Miss Boss, Teairra Mari’s Pressed For Time,Jennifer Hudson’s début album, Dima Bilan’s Believe, Samantha Jade’s My Name Is Samantha Jade, New Kids on the Block’s The Block, and Keshia Chanté’s Night & Day. Timbaland produced the Russian entry the Eurovision Song Contest 2008, Believe by Dima Bilan, which was co-written by Bilan and Jim Beanz. The song then won the contest when it was held in Belgrade, Serbia in May 2008. In February 2008 the first ‘Fashion against AIDS’ collection -an initiative of ‘Designers against AIDS' and sold in H&M stores in 28 countries- was launched, for which Timbaland designed a T-shirt print, posed for the campaign and spoke out in a video, to help raise HIV/AIDS awareness among urban youth and to advocate safe sex. On 8 February 2008, it was announced that Timbaland would be releasing an album exclusively for Verizon Wireless’s V CAST cell phone service and was designated its very first “Mobile Producer in Residence.” Timbaland will be joined by Mosley Music Group/Zone 4 singer/songwriter Keri Hilson to begin work on the mobile album’s first track aboard the fully equipped Mobile Recording Studio. The only track to surface so far is Garry Barry Larry Harry “Get It Girl”. In his first effort within the video game industry, he worked with Rockstar Games to produce Beaterator, a music mixing game for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Network, and iOS released in the September 2009.
In September 2008 it was announced that Timbaland would be inducted into the Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin as an Honorary Patron in October 2008. Timbaland is producing the movie Vinyl which follows the lives of 5 young women facing life-altering decisions about their relationships to members of a rock band. Timbaland’s Mosley Media Group is teaming up with Effie T. Brown’s Duly Noted Inc. to create the movie. Marcus Spence, Monique Idlett Mosley (president of Mosley Music, Timbaland’s wife, and publicist) will be producing the film. Shooting starts in spring with Richard Zelniker as director.
2009–2010: Shock Value II and robbery case
Timbaland spoke to MTV’s Shaheem Reid back in July 2008 to confirm that he was working on the follow-up to his platinum selling Shock Value. At the time he confirmed that he had one track with Madonna which although recorded for her album Hard Candy it had not been used and could end up on this album instead. He was insistent that he would also collaborate with Jordin Sparks, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus and T.I. However, none of these collaborations (except Miley Cyrus) made it to the final tracklist. He also said that alongside T-Pain who will definitely appear, he hoped to get Jay-Z on board, although he ultimately failed to do so. Timbaland began working on the sequel to Shock Value in July 2008. In March 2009, he filed a lawsuit against his label, Blackground Records, alleging that they attempted to blackball him after he decided to move from music performance into production.
In September 2009, Timbaland announced that Shock Value II will be released on 23 November in Europe and 24 November in North America. However it was pushed back to 8 December, preceded by the first single which features a new recording artist named SoShy entitled “Morning After Dark”. New featured guest appearances on the album include DJ Felli Fel, Justin Timberlake, JoJo, Bran’Nu, Drake, Chad Kroeger, Sebastian, Miley Cyrus, Nelly Furtado, Katy Perry, Esthero, The Fray, Jet, Daughtry, OneRepublic, Keri Hilson, Attitude and D.O.E.. Ultimately Madonna, Jonas Brothers, Rihanna, Usher, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Linkin Park, The All-American Rejects, Paramore, Gucci Mane, T-Pain, T.I. and Akon never appeared on Shock Value II. Shock Value II is infamous for its use of over-the-top vocal effects. Despite charting low, Timbaland has had three top forty singles to date.
“Morning After Dark” featuring SoShy and Nelly Furtado is the lead single from Timbaland’s third studio album. The song was written by Tim Mosley, Jerome Harmon, Deborah Epstein, Michelle Bell, Keri Hilson, Nelly Furtado, James Washington, John Maultsby and produced by Timbaland and Jroc. The single premiered on October 16, 2009 on Ryan Seacrest’s KIIS-FM radio show, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest with Timbaland describing it as the kick-off song from the project. Following her performance, the song was sent for radio adds on May 25. The song peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. With this success, the song became Sparks’ fifth consecutive top 20 hit and third nonconsecutive top 10 hit. On May 24, Sparks headed to Europe to begin promotion for the single.”Say Something” featuring Canadian rapper Drake was released to US iTunes on November 3, 2009. It was officially sent to U.S. radio on January 5, 2010. It is the album’s second single and has so far reached number 23 on the Hot 100, making it the second most successful single on the album. “Carry Out” featuring Justin Timberlake is the third single from the album but was initially only released in the U.S. It was sent to US radio on December 1, 2009. It is the most successful single on the album, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video premiered on February 18, 2010. It was released as the third UK single on April 26, 2010. “If We Ever Meet Again” featuring Katy Perry is the album’s fourth single. The music video premiered on January 18, 2010. In the UK, it was released February 15, 2010 and reached number one in New Zealand and number three in the UK and Ireland. The song has reached number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 so far.
Timbaland worked with Nelly Furtado, Katy Perry and British X Factor winner Leona Lewis on their upcoming projects. He has also produced tracks for Mariah Carey, Wyclef Jean, Missy Elliott, Stufje Aburkina, Keshia Chanté and Jay-Z’s upcoming albums. Timbaland also produced Chris Cornell’s 2009 album Scream. Shakira was asked to record vocals on the song “Give It Up to Me” to be included on Timbaland’s forthcoming album but it was placed on her third studio album She Wolf and released as the second US single instead. Additionally it was revealed that one of the songs Timbaland had produced for Beyoncé’s 2008 album I Am… Sasha Fierce was reworked by Keri Hilson and Jay Z for Shock Value II but not included. He was a guest host of World Wrestling Entertainment’s Raw on 28 December 2009. Timbaland appeared on the 25 March 2010 episode (titled “Blowback”) of FlashForward as an evidence agent. His songs, “Morning After Dark” & “Symphony”, appears on the video game, Def Jam: Underground
On 26 March 2010, it was reported that Steven Tyler, intrigued by the 2009 Chris Cornell record Scream, would be teaming up with Timbaland to record a rap album. Guest appearances by Reverend Run and Darryl Mac of Run-D.M.C., Kid Rock, and T-Pain are rumored to be featured on the new project. In April 2010, a feud between the producer and R&B singer, Ginuwine, arose after Timbaland failed to make an appearance at the singer’s music video shoot of “Get Involved”. Later in April, Timbaland released a new single featuring T-Pain and Billy Blue titled “Talk That”. In June 2010, when questioned by RWD magazine about the UK music scene he made the bold claim to be the inspiration for the dub-step music scene. “The UK scene… they’re always telling me that I started it. You have Dub-bass…”.
When questioned further about it he went on to say: “It’s funny cos they went back to some of my old music that really created that sound and just, instead of going fast, they went slow with more bass.” In August 2010, a “possible suicide attempt” APB was put out for Timbaland after his home was burgled. When his family were unable to contact him, they called 911 and a manhunt began. Police eventually found his car and brought him back home, where paramedics examined him, before declaring he was not a threat to himself. When questioned, Timbaland said he only took a drive to think about the robbery as he thought the possible thief could have been someone close whom he trusted.
2010–present: Shock Value III and recent activities
In 2010, Timbaland split with longtime label Blackground Records, but stayed with Interscope Records. Later in the year, Timbaland was featured on the deluxe edition of Chris Brown’s album, F.A.M.E., producing the songs “Paper, Scissors, Rock” (feat. Big Sean) and the Japan-only bonus track, “Talk Ya Ear Off”. Timbaland was also featured on David Guetta’s LP, Nothing But the Beat, on “I Just Wanna F.” with Dev and Afrojack. Timbaland also worked with teen star Demi Lovato; he produced and had a small feature in her song “All Night Long” on Lovato’s Unbroken album, and confirmed that a brand new track with Lovato will be featured on his new album, Shock Value III. In November 2010,
Timbaland announced that he would be releasing a new song every Thursday, called Timbo Thursdays; a copy of the initiative shown by artists such as Kanye West (via G.O.O.D. Fridays), and Swizz Beatz (via Monster Mondays). In an interview with Rap-Up.com Timbaland stated, “So, my brother told me Kanye is puttin’ out a new song every Friday called G.O.O.D. Fridays, Swizz got Mondays, I don’t know if they are on Twitter but can you hit them up, and tell them reserve that Thursday for Timbo the king baby. We’ll call it Timbo Thursday, cool?”
On January 13, 2011, Timbaland began his Timbaland Thursdays free music initiative, with the first song released being “Take Ur Clothes Off”, featuring Missy Elliott.Keri Hilson revealed that the songs that Timbaland was releasing through the initiative come deep from within his vast back catalogue, so there was a good chance that she would be featured on at least one of the records.
 In early 2011, he stopped the weekly free music as he spent time in South Africa, and wanted to help produce tracks for his brother, Sebastian. The first official single from Shock Value III, “Pass at Me” featuring Cuban rapper Pitbull, with uncredited production by French DJ David Guetta, was released on 13 September 2011, after having been previously used to promote a book titled Culo. The album’s second single, “Break Ya Back” featuring American singer Dev, was released on April 17, 2012. For the latest installment in the Step Up movie franchise (Step Up Revolution), Timbaland released a track in June 2012 for the soundtrack called “Hands In the Air”, which features American singer Ne-Yo.
On January 30, 2013, Timbaland signed to Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation. Later in the year, Timbaland would serve as the main producer of Justin Timberlake’s recent LP, The 20/20 Experience, including the album’s singles: “Suit & Tie” and “Mirrors”. Timbaland has also recently produced Beyoncé’s song “Grown Woman” which was featured in her Pepsi commercial and 2013 tour, The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
Thomas Crown Studio
Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley built a private recording studio in Virginia Beach. The studio was conceived and developed with long time engineer, Jimmy Douglass. The studio is managed by Garland Mosley and Brian Byrd. This full service audio production center has been created in an existing (about) 5,000 sq ft (460 m2) two-story industrial park building. A complete renovation of the building resulted in a two-studio recording and post production facility, and continues the growth of the Virginia Beach music community, that has spawned the likes of The Neptunes, Missy Elliott and Nate “Danja” Hills.
Timbaland was supposed to support Shock Value on the Shock Value 2008 Tour in Australia, but the tour was cancelled one day before it began. In early 2010, he toured 13 cities in North America from January 15, 2010 to February 3, 2010 on the Shock Value II Tour.
Main articles: Timbaland discography and Timbaland production
Tim’s Bio: Life from da Bassment (1998)
Shock Value (2007)
Shock Value II (2009)
Shock Value III (2013)
Timbaland & Magoo albums
Welcome to Our World (1997)
Indecent Proposal (2001)
Under Construction, Part II (2003)
Red Everything Movement