How Timbaland Revolutionized R&B + Hip-Hop and then Reinvented Himself After Addiction | Blueprint



you joined this you're right mm-hmm okay you know I try to keep sometimes people talking about the past it's like they get a little bored but no it's it for me is just like giving the truth you know I'm saying like you need to understand who Tim Mosley was let me show you what I had to overcome to get to this glory point or not even reach my glory point yet but look where I'm at you knows him but look at the obstacles that I had to face iconic record producer songwriter and performer Timbaland reinvented the sound of hip-hop and R&B in the 90s and then created definitive works with Beyonce Justin Timberlake and jay-z this is his blueprint growing up was there a person in your life that opened your eyes to the possibilities of being a musician as a profession there was nobody like to open my eyes up as being a profession you know it was like it was a gift that was untamed I had no guidance but I had this amazing gift so I and think that because I was making a beat on a Casio keyboard I didn't think a Casio keyboard would turn into this what was the first beat you ever made what did it sound like I remember making it with my mouth and it was like then my friend cam was like y'all do that again another and he was like you know you kind of dope and then you took that and eventually started sort of emulating that on the keyboard I took like all I had when mom brought me a keyboard a Casio keyboard and all I had was one second so I had to manipulate one second sauce it and speed it up on a tape deck and resample it back into the keyboard and like double time like I speak it is wit but it won't be on beat so I had to find the click so like so I was like man one second what you can do in one second and I just took that and then that's when Missy came so that was in high school I was in high school and what was that chemistry like between you and Missy in those first sessions you guys are hanging out yeah Missy let me gave me confidence she let me know that your beast is dope she's to hear it and sango written that this might bug me out like I never heard that I still then was like what is this so she introduced my ears to melody and that's when I start hearing melody and and something I start understanding rhythms or what I was doing but it was hard to kind of introduce me to being who I am today so in high school you're running with Missy for Ella's around the Thornton brothers later the clips are there as well did that feel totally normal to you or did you have a sense of the level of musicianship that you were bearing witness to man I was so young I didn't like it's like I felt like a superhero when I watched like Marvel's I'm like I'm this guy who has his power but who didn't understand his power I'm just a guy we were just people that was always in our own zone I knew Pharrell was dope because we made dope some homes in our house and he wrote this song look in the water you should always keep writing songs and so he was as people just passing off ideas never thought it would grow to be at least I didn't miss he introduces you to Devante swing from Jodeci you're a teenager they're grown men very successful at that point how did you ingratiate yourself to them and become a part of that whole scene you know Missy brought me in and she said it's just producer that we want to bring in Devante by the grace of God was open to it I came down there I'm just like anybody else who might look up to me I'm looking up to him like so he's showing me the studio life but then I started making beats and when I was around him he liked you pretty dope and when he said I was a dope I was like welders you know and it made me just want a better but I wanted to watch him more to learn more so I could build my craft are you feeling like you are like this is a viable option for as a career for you by this point I always look at like this I always heard this story and this story sticks with me and and I heard actually heard this person said and that's Quincy Jones he didn't make thriller – he was 15 he had records quite a few right oh he made thriller the whole spectrum change now I take that same model because look what he had to work with and look what I got to work with everything that I couldn't do back then I can do today cuz everything is available to me thriller could come in a different type of way it's not the size of it is not what it sells you know those things are once of a lifetime but it's about the moment speaking of thriller moments in 1996 you have the alia album and genuine and you introduced all of these really unorthodox sounds in the melody part I mean Pony first that is I believe you doing the the main melody yes right I can't take the credit for that I gotta say it was a plug-in not no one even a plug-in it was a module that nobody used and I took two sounds and made that sound I had one that said Walter and I just put it like a voice in loud and it just gave it that sound and I just sampling and made it one so I kind of did do it but I didn't do it my mom put it away i manipulated that make it sound like it was my mom do you know when you make a hit record no and I'm glad I don't because I used to oh that's a hit that's a hit and when you get caught up into that it's like a spirit that comes with that and it's like a arrogancy you know I'm saying so I try to stay away from that be cuz I got caught up in today and when you get caught up in today you just kind of like slack on your music you slack homie and you just take it for granted and you think you something that you're not the beauty of a hit is not known as a hit but you know it feels good you know I'm saying so sometimes it's like you kind of can feel it but it's always good to just be humble just be like you know just love the music that you created you know I'm saying and like and let it be that's what got me to this point because I let it be I know it was a feeling like when I did sexy back I know it was a feeling and everybody was like dang it I'm like yes yes after getting his footing with Missy Aaliyah and Jodeci Tim found his voice and transitioned into the next chapter of his career with help from Sean Carter and a former boy bander when you and timberlake made Crimea River how long from finishing that record did it take for you to decide to work exclusively on the next record together music speaks to the soul in funny ways and it's like what cry me a river if I could see like I watched him come in the studio I just watch his body language and I'd run it in the booth and I and I knew that sound will move him in a different way because I knew the chemistry that we both had I'm like man me and him got something you know I'm saying like musically we Leone to something and it's like I didn't have to say it it's like we both knew at that time and that's how our team you know form so when you make a record like future sex love sound and it is this enormous moment both musically and a pop culture and the dust settles and it's time to make the next record with that artist how do you approach that like philosophically what happened five years ago it's like vie Senor five years and you see a man fire it's the energy of two people so it's the energy of how you know what's gonna go next you don't know you just know it's either good or bad you know like you and then it kind of you got her if it's bad you got to revisit but every time with him it's like I go off as his energy what he feeling he feel my energy and we both look at each other about you and we say just like I didn't mean you you ready I'm ready with you what you want to do let's go pull up some say hello that's how we start another person who you've had many epic collaborations with is jay-z when he first reached out for volume 2 at the time you hadn't really done very much straight rap music you've done a ton of R&B music a little bit with Magoo but he reaches out what was your expectation of what he was looking for did I just follow his rhythm he had an idea is that first the first beat I did and I heard him mumbling the rap you know what mr. Duncan until he started modeling the flow out like Oh so for me I saw the cadence of what he was doing I said oh give me five minutes I'll put on my headphones that's it there you go he's like five minutes I dream the headphone like and it fit – you know what you go and that's what I know we had a chemistry what do you feel like you bring out of him that is completely unique with jay-z is like he brings like for me it's a challenge of his mind so I'm like let me challenge see if he can flow to this rhythm so here maintain because the way he flow and how he'd say and put the story together I wanted to put the music to match to make the thing of the whole operation be like this is a masterpiece I was like I want it to make how when he first said to rap to me you know that song Holy Grail and didn't hey poppy I don't only somewhere he's like we think it's Ali a party right for a birthday I believe and he said you say – I see so I go back to the studio and I remember the melody who says I think so already I saw the vision for the for the rap so I was like he gave me kind of new ideas you know saying I had a kind of attack a beat in a way you know it was weird and I think that I always wanted to make the Sonics of my beats and the music behind the beats to match the theme of his raps so we've talked a lot about how things have changed particularly like in a technology one of the big things is streaming is it frustrating that a huge part of your catalogue with Alia is not available to the world now it's not my catalogue you know saying it's my music you know saying so I don't own you know someone I can't control that sing and you're at peace with that I feel like when the time is right it would be released I feel like you can't hold nothing from the universe that you know the universe wanted it would get it so it's kids going back now like yo this girl was dope yeah you know I'm saying so now might be the time throughout particularly at those peak years in your career you seemed to sort of step in and out of trying to start a label at the beach club and then you had the Moseley music group was being an executive not as fulfilling as you perhaps thought it could be man when I look back at it I think just not understanding the rows of life you know I'm saying and I think I had a good ear but I wasn't the guy to run a runner label I can bring it in I don't know how to function it and didn't know how to ask for help to function you get what I'm saying because ego when I should have said look I don't know what I'm doing how did we do this somebody help me you know I'm saying like and Jimmy was the best mentor you know at that moment like you know you saw a mom you can't be emotional Lawrence admitted he's to say that you know saying I never understood it and he always is it really I remember tried to sit me down and like give me certain rope you should be doing this I'm telling you but me and my own thinking no you should be doing no you should be going no you should be that you know I said it and that's when just inexperience just not ready I had to build a team around me at the same time like fine what I'm good at and find what I'm not good at and now I have that core base around just like I envisioned and what I'm growing just as well as they growing but it's the right growth and I think I'm on the right path now by the late arts Tim's production was omnipresent but as his artistic reach expanded so too did his ego testing his relationships and sense of balance along the way throughout this conversation talked a lot about sort of a newfound perspective that you have and you alluded to this coming in part from what you went through over the last few years and dealing with addiction can you tell me a little bit about what happened and and what you've taken away from that oh you know I heard two guys say once and he's so right God don't give you nothing that you can't bear or get out of you know situations he he he don't put us in self that the self-destruction is it's a matter of you being strong and understanding like you can get out of this you know I'm saying you got anything you can get out of so for me I think one of my beauties or a gift that I loved about me a trait that I fact that is when I put my mind something I really go and even though I had an injury you know and that's how to get you you know you gotta injuries like football players you know they get a dick didn't you take taking it and you get addicted yeah yeah like you know and then I started working her arms started hurting it just weird and next thing you know you own it one time I remember clear as day waking up and be like oh no that was it what happened I don't know it was like some people can relate as how I says I can't really explain it is one of the things like it's like it's a guy gift like just snap you out of it like he's just like no more you hear a voice say no more or like and just I woke up and just went hardcore you said bump that what did you feel like the pills were medicating for you like emotionally you know just a bit so lungs I can't even I just know what this feel it's just a in an after Wow whatever you you know I'm thinking whatever the fill in the words I wanted to create when you take that pill it would happen so I guess the feelings of feeling good you know I'm saying I think and then it took stress levels or dealing with life you know regular this this stuff in your mind once God broke me away in this life say no more like that voice just no mores like all I saw was who I'm becoming today that's all I saw like at the end in the room so it was like walking down a road that I know that I don't have to be a moment of truth you gonna have to script down to build back up you know I'm saying that to become the person that God wanted you be that God wanted me to become and also what I know I could become what happened to the music my fingers didn't feel disconnected to the keyboard and how I was touching it fell off and that's when in light the big blow you know saying I looked back hit like wants me and the music disconnect oh no like oh we don't find each other and that's what we like God gave me a gift for music and that's how God speaks to me you know through music through sound you know and I hear his voice and I'm like oh we should move this way so it's like I got to do a clean up you know saying about firing people of my crew just reach RiRi back I know I have to shrimp that like stuff that always try to escape but whatever I had to deal with a moment of truth you know saying everybody goes to their moment of true some people don't make it through they more than the trooping some people give up you know now I look back and like I can do anything how long did it take from that that morning when you wake up and decide to kick the drugs until you were back in the studio and felt like I got it back I realized that I fell back in love with music again so it's not about what I realized is we didn't have the same love me true love before so now it's like it's not about getting it back it's about loving it loving it back like bringing it back into you like doing what you always wanted would have done when I was 12 years old I feel like a kid again now when I do it I'm like I wake up middle of the night and I'm like so is the stuff you haven't done in a long time but still excite you like it was the first time that's that's when you know you own the song would you characterize yourself as a competitive person so the old Jim was very competitive but in his head competitive right to where you can make up things and not even don't even as this what got me in the door was me just loving music and me just doing what I think the world needs at least a part of it you know I'm saying so I feel like now I'm not competitive I embrace all newness because it just makes me better you know when I see something like oh I know you can do that oh and then you know people share information information is key and these young producers really be knowing how to flip the computer and the sounds that I might not be savvy about but hear it but they're gonna show me the way how to do it and I'm like oh you got to do this it's like so now I love to collaborate everybody got a strengths somebody might do eight oh eight amazing and then there's a guy who know how to make warp sounds that sounds different from anybody else so you put all that you put what I do you put that all together now you got a masterpiece what is success look like for you today success looks like being humble just enjoying the blessed man the blessing as they come and just never change in your mo like if you had a if I matter right now I'm at a peaceful level I'm happy with myself I'm changing myself every day so for me is like I ready to start high when I first came in keep my eye you only good as your team so my team I took this keep that away from me let me don't I don't never want to leave this zone of creation I don't it's like and once you know who you are it's like understanding who you are I still got more going to do you know I'm saying like I still I still haven't tapped into the big one yet I did big moments but is it making me now to be like no it's still much of it more it might take you 20 years to get to hit see that Thrilla moment might take 30 years to get to that thermal moment might take 40 like I said I would know that moment and you want to stay on course and just always go and respect point A to point B to Point C to point D and just look back at it and just acknowledging it

37 comments

  1. The shit he did n the mid 2000's 2007-2011 he was at his best. Hr changed the sound of pop music during that era.

  2. Thanks for creating this!! I have a suggestion for future videos. When they are referencing songs, beats, etc; what would it take to put a sample of that track in there?

  3. Timberland representing Pharrell Williams shoe collab with Adidas. Legends supporting other legends. I'm here for it.๐Ÿ˜Ž

  4. This asshat deserves no respect, this was his response to the artist he stole an entire track from.
    "It makes me laugh. The part I don't understand, the dude is trying to act like I went to his house and took it from his computer. I don't know him from a can of paint. I'm 15 years deep. That's how you attack a king? You attack moi? Come on, man. You got to come correct. You the laughing stock. People are like, 'You can't be serious."

    Fuck him.

  5. i really appreciate the depth of conversation in this interview its why im alive to hear such intense description i guess the word for it is passion..

  6. This guy knows how to create quality sound beats. He has the talent to take any music artist in the world, create music sound beat, take a written song, apply the sound beat to their voice, and create great music. From high school to college, I rocked Timbalandโ€™s! music!!!๐ŸŽถ ๐ŸŽผ ๐ŸŽต

  7. The video was amazing. Timbaland really was at one with himself and talked about a lot of things in goin through too. So I appreciate this video a lot. Hopefully anyone lookin into makin music or whatever it is you want to do donโ€™t let your demons stop you. Together we can do anything and thatโ€™s something that hit me. Creating a masterpiece. Anyway that beat in the end was beautiful!

  8. these 25 minutes, recharged my energy. i'm a self made music producer, made 3 songs, got down because of very low exposure, but now i know, music is for your own self, if you are satisfied for yourself, it does not matter how others see it.

  9. Never underestimate those Sound Bank Modules and tweaking them… when he talked about Pony….That time was a different sound. Appreciated this

  10. Made a beat with some things Tim said that inspired me. Here's the link https://soundcloud.com/christopher-angel-gonzalez-vargas/issa-god-gift

  11. Someone needs to edit this so after every question timberland replys by beat boxing just for the meme value.

  12. Man this motivate me to work hard in my producer world ๐Ÿคด๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŽน๐Ÿง—๐Ÿฟโ€โ™‚๏ธ@nasheone

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