In the season finale of Blueprint, former Complex Editor-in-Chief (now executive vp of brand strategy and content at Def Jam) Noah Callahan-Bever has an in-depth conversation with one of the most innovative and prolific producers of all time, Timbaland.
Timbo walks us through the journey of his musical career, from honing his craft on a Casio keyboard to meeting Missy Elliott in high school to discovering his trademark sound on a secret module.
From there, Timmy Timbo discusses developing Aaliyah and Ginuwine’s careers. Details his collaborative relationships with Justin Timberlake and JAY-Z, his short tenure as a label executive. Explains why he doesn’t chase hits and why he doesn’t like calling everything a hit from the jump. “The beauty of a hit is not knowing it’s a hit, but you know it feels good,” he says. He touches on idolizing Quincy Jones, and knowing he hasn’t made his biggest hit of his career yet, he went on to say “Q made Thriller at the age of 50, he still hasn’t made his Magnus Opus.”
Despite his glittering career, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Timbaland. The 45-year-old producer also opens up his near-death addiction to painkillers, which he has managed to overcome. In the process, he’s also rekindled his love for music.
“I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m like, ‘Wow, I ain’t done this in a long time,’” he says. “It’s the stuff you haven’t done in a long time but still excites you like it was the first time, that‘s when you know you’re onto something.”
Expect big things from Timbaland in 2018.