There is no question that Timbaland is a permanent fixture in music history. Yet, to the little people, like me, who are born and raised in the southern state of Virginia, Timothy Mosley is a hometown hero, who shows us that anyone can make it. I was thrilled to know Timbaland was releasing a memoir, giving fans more insight into his upbringings and groundbreaking career as a producer. So thrilled that I finished the memoir in one sitting and surprisingly, I learned more than I thought I would about The Emperor of Sound.
1. Timbaland Was Shot Outside of Red Lobster
“At Red Lobster, I had just one problem…One night, a “friend” came into the back area looking for another guy….Before I could even make out what was in his hand, I heard a loud pop! It was a gun shot. The man had pulled out his revolver and the gun had gone off accidentally….I realized my arm was hanging slack at my side and there was a burning sensation from underneath my left armpit all the way down to my wrist….My left arm was completely paralyzed”.-p. 47-48
Thankfully, doctors were able to save his arm, but still to this day, Timbaland lives with a bullet in his arm.
2. Timbaland Produced Tupac’s “No More Pain“
We always hear stories of some of our favorite artists being got at the early stages of their career. Unfourtunately, Timbaland was another one of those artists who got, got. While in New Jersey under the “guidance” of DeVante Swing, Timbaland was apart of “Da Bassment, where artist’s like he, Missy Elliot, and Ginuwine made music day end and day out, with no real deals, compensation, or leads. Instead, DeVante used them and their work as his own.
“Not too longer after the release of Diary of a Mad Band, DeVante did a side project with Tupac. The song was called “No More Pain” and the first time I heard it on the radio, my heart started thumping real fast. I knew that beat.” -p.74
As Timbaland describes, Missy knew the beat too and know everyone else knows the true brains behind it as well.
3. Aaliyah’s Nickname For Timbaland was “Teddy Bear”
No Timbaland story is complete without mentioning his musical relationship with Aaliyah. We all know that his affectionate nickname for her is Baby Girl, but Aaliyah also had a special name for Timbo as well.
“Soon after our arrival in Detroit, Aaliyah started calling me Teddy Bear and we started calling her Baby Girl. She realized pretty quickly that all she had to do was call me by my new nickname to get me to do whatever she wanted.” -p. 115
Throughout the memoir, Timbaland describes working with Aaliyah, as well as finding out about her death and how he coped with it. The moments that he shares in the memoir are especially bittersweet.
4. His Favorite Record That He Produced Is “Running Mate”
After Aaliyah’s death, Timbaland had a hard time getting back into the flow of music. Yet, he was able to rejuvenate his passion by working Jay Z, Brandy, and Ms. Jade. Yet, surprisingly, his favorite record that he produced was Kelis called “Running Mate”.
“The next track I worked on remains one of all-time favorites. The artist was girl from Harlem named Kelis…My song with Kelis was called “Running Mate” and it was bass-heavy, electronica influenced jam about wanting someone who would always be by your side, who would hold you down and lift you up. Writing that song made me realize how much I missed having a running mate. I started to feel social for the first time in months.” -p. 164-165
Even though “Running Mate” was never officially released, it did help Timbaland heal and get back to his true self.
5. Timbaland’s Wife, Monique, is a Fashion Consultant on Empire
Nowadays, people are associating Timbaland’s brand with a different tune and that is to the soundtrack of Fox’s breakout show Empire, but did you know that his wife, Monique is the brains behind Cookie’s most infamous attire?
“Early on in the shoot, Monique and I visited the Empire set in Chicago. Monique was dressed to the nines in a Chanel runway lace blouse, a Balenciaga skirt and some seven inch Christian Louboutin heels with spikes on them. Lee took one look at her and said, “Hunty, this is what I imagine Cookie looking like.” So he hired her as a fashion consultant. “-p. 208
Talk about a family affair.
Currently, Timbo is working with a whole new slew of artists including Mila J, Zendaya, and Tink, and one can only think that even though Timbaland has already accomplished so much in his over two decade long career, he has so much more to go.
Order and learn more about “The Emperor of Sound” here.