NEW YORK — With all the talk about Jay-Z hanging up his jersey after he drops The Black Album in November, it's gone under the radar that another hip-hop mainstay has been openly contemplating retirement soon.
"I'm Jordan. I'm about to get out of it," Timbaland said last week, explaining that he's getting tired of what he sees as a stale hip-hop climate. The famed producer has provided beats for such artists as Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Ludacris and Justin Timberlake.
Tim isn't sure exactly when he's going to stop making beats, but he does know that shutting down his imprint, the Beat Club, isn't in his game plan yet.
"Beat Club is more of pop label," he explained. "I'm doing something different with it. Everybody is doing rap labels — that's why I took Bubba Sparxxx all the way over to top 40. My girl Kiley Dean, I'm taking her to that side. That money is longevity. Hip-hop money is here today and gone tomorrow."
One hip-hop act that is always money in the bank is Tim's longtime friend and musical partner Missy Elliott. Timbaland is making beats for her new album.
"Missy's first single is stupid," he gloated. "It's stupid! If it comes out right now, it might be a shock for radio. If you thought 'Work It' was dope ... ain't no comparison [to this new record]. You seen '28 Days Later'? It's something just like it, bugged out like that. Sort of like a movie. Real different. She has a song with Jay-Z called 'Wake Up.' She's bussing just as hard as Jay-Z. People wanna know if can we do it again. Can we do it again? Hell yeah, we can do it again."
For a man who's talking about quitting, Tim's workload seems to be increasing. After finishing Missy's last LP, Under Construction, last year, he went directly into producing Bubba Sparxxx's Deliverance and his group LP with Magoo, Under Construction 2. He also just wrapped up work on another high-profile project.
"I just did Brandy's album," he said. "I wanna be selective. I wanna be like [Dr.] Dre — very selective. Right now hip-hop's very boring to me. It's no excitement. Brandy's first single is insane. [Working on her album] was fun for me. She's got big records. I put my foot in it. She's singing about dudes, her relationship, everything. A Brandy album keeps my drive going. Missy's albums keeps my drive going."
Bubba Sparxxx's LP is due this month. Under Construction 2 is slated for October, and no release date has been given for Missy's next album. A spokesperson for Brandy said her LP is due early next year.