One of the greatest producers of our time is Timbaland, who was born Timothy Zedd Mosley. 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, followed by his debut solo album Tim’s Bio in 1998. In 2002, Timbaland produced the hit single “Cry Me a River” for Justin Timberlake, going on to produce most of Timberlake’s subsequent LPs such as FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience and their respective hit singles.
Aside from the aforementioned artists, Timbaland’s production credits from the 2000s forward include work with Jay Z, Nas, Ludacris, Bubba Sparxxx, Madonna, Rihanna, OneRepublic, Brandy, Drake, Rick Ross and others.
As a songwriter he has written as of 2014, 85 UK hits and 99 hits Stateside. Timbaland has received widespread acclaim for his production style.
Timbaland has released 6 studio albums, 3 with Magoo – Welcome to our world 1997, Indecent proposal 2001, Under construction part II 2003, and 3 solo albums – Tim’s bio: life from da bassment 1998, Shock value 2007, Shock value II 2009.
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 burglary, as he thought the possible thief could have been someone close whom he trusted.
In January 2007, 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.
Timbaland’s legal troubles continued from there. 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”, a song originally recorded by The Elastik Band and released by ATCO/Atlantic and EMI, reached a settlement agreement in July 2009.
In January 2014, the Swiss newspaper Basler Zeitung revealed another plagiarism case concerning the track “Versus” by Jay-Z, which was produced by Timbaland. The track’s instrumental is very similar to, if not directly sampled from “On the Way” by Swiss musician Bruno Spoerri. According to Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger, the plagiarism case was settled by March 2015. Jay Z and Timbaland were to pay 50% from the song’s revenue to Spoerri as royalties for the music, with Jay-Z retaining 50% for the lyrics.