Top Ten Timbaland Produced Songs of ALL-TIIIIIIIME
Earlier this week, someone on Twitter asked for thoughts on the best Timbaland-produced song of all time. I quickly rattled a few off in my mind before I realized that it would be practically impossible to come to any reasonable conclusion for myself almost pointless to ask a group of people to reach a consensus.
I shared this thought with a friend and we challenged each other to come up with our own list of ten favorite/best Timbaland-produced songs.
Before I get to my list, here is the criteria that I used to determine the group and order:
- Primary focus on the beat- Timbo did a lot of beats for a lot of people (Petey Pablo, I’m looking in your direction). The song didn’t necessarily have to do well on the charts or even be commercially successful. And on the flip side of that, the artist could have been a total flop, but if Timbaland brought the heat, I would not deny the song.
- How much did I like the song? Every list is subjective, especially lists created by people who aren’t paid to do this stuff. So how much I liked the song matters.
- Do I make a scrunch face like Hov when he first heard the beat for Dirt of Your Shoulder?
- In order to include enough variety, similar sounding songs from the same artist may get pitted against each other with one getting bounced somewhat unfairly (which actually happened to the aforementioned track)
So with all that said… here are my top ten Timbaland productions OF ALL TIIIIIIIME
Strong horns and a thumping bass drop open this track up. The hook is the real winner here though.
I get that this may be a lot higher up for other people, but the competition is just way too fierce for me to put this any higher than #9. Now there is certainly a lot to be said for making a chart-topping beat out of a burping sound, but a classic moment is made when Ginuwine breaks into the music scene with the unforgettable line I’m just a bachelor/looking for a partner. And then following that up with someone who knows how to ride/without even falling off.
This beat was so good that:
- Bleek took the time to sit down and write something halfway decent
- Hov delivered one the most disrespectful verses in the history of rap (including the line: "I got my feet up on ya sofa, man")
- After the track released, Bleek and Jay sat back and thought “damn, we could rap FOREVER on this beat” and ultimately turned around more bars for the “Lost Verses” version
- Just watch this to see how much everyone (crowd included) has fun with this one. And check out the Missy scrunch face during Jay’s rap
When two artists vibe and compliment each other, particularly two artists of this caliber, the results can be magnificent. My Love is a great representation of that sort of work. Timbaland doesn’t beat box for just anyone, and JT slays the falsetto.
Here is one that may have slipped under the radar for a lot of people, but I challenge you to go back and give this song a spin. It starts off with classic Timbaland building up the beat by egging on Jay until he hits you with the bounce, which is a futuristic beat that thumps throughout.
I took this song over: Dirt of Your Shoulder. I know… I know. But look, this just knocks a little harder and I just can’t help but get swept in by the beginning when Tim shouts (seemingly from the control room) “I got you, Hov… freaka freaka AHHHHHHH!”
There is no build up here, it hits hard right out of the gate. I’m not a huge fan of the hook, but I am a major fan of the Clipse/Re-Up Gang version. This is the type of beat that makes you want to hop on the highway at 2am and test out how fast your car can go before the governor kicks in.
I took this song over: Jadakiss- Nasty Girl. This is an under-appreciated joint from 2001, but give it a quick listen and it’s obvious that Timbaland was on the decks for this one. A solid beat but too poppy for Jada, which is why it didn’t make the cut.
I could have easily made a top ten of songs that TImbaland produced for the Aalyiah/Ginuwine/Missy crew, and probably could fill my top five with just Aaliyah.
I took this song over: Aaliyah- Are You That Somebody? These are similarly fantastic beats, but again I want to try and diversify this list so I wanted to only pick one.
It was really hard to pick the best Timbaland/JT collaboration, but as my friend points out above… this is definitely better than SexyBack. The real gem of this song is the transition between the LoveStoned and the interlude. Here Timbaland dusts off some melodic strings and shows that he’s more than just synthesized riffs and hard- hitting bass.
I chose this song over: Justin Timberlake- Cry Me A River. This was a hard, hard choice. I picked LoveStoned because it is a lot different from what you normally get from Timbaland and stands alone sonically, versus Cry Me A River which is mostly memorable because of the epic flaming JT gave Britney Spears. Not to say that beat wasn’t crazy but… it gets overshadowed the second you put a lookalike of your ex in your video.
This track has special meaning for me because it was on one of the first CDs I made back in high school after I got two 10” MTS Blue Thunder subs put into my 1989 Ford Escort. It was a hatchback, and it THUMPED. This is a great example of a solid Timbaland beat that holds its own independently of the actual content of the song. Jay-Z pretty much naps through the track (to be fair, it was on The Nutty Professor soundtrack), though he does give us a memorable line in No room service/just snacks and shit which, in turn, inspired a hip-hop quote site of the same name.
I took this song over: Jay-Z - Jigga What, Jigga Who. Again, another song that could easily be in the top ten but the bass on Hey Papi is just too lethal.
When I started thinking about Timbaland beats, this was the very first that came to mind. I don’t really know how else to really put it… this is just a really good song.