Hit producer Timbaland played coy recently when asked what projects lie around the corner on his busy production calendar — "It's a surprise. But it's going to be big," he said, with a wink — but now the details of his clandestine project have become available. The hip-hop and R&B mega-producer is going to be helming a tune in the vein of the USA for Africa song "We Are the World."
Timbaland is calling his project and song "The World Is Ours," and in conjunction with the YouthAIDS organization, he hopes it will become a new global anthem for AIDS awareness. Timbaland has already recruited Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott to co-write the song, and other artists, including Timbaland's own Beat Club Records artists Kiley Dean and Bubba Sparxxx, will participate as well. The single is to be recorded in early 2004 and subsequently released through Beat Club and Interscope in the spring.
"I will use the legendary model of 'We Are the World' but update it in a way that works for the trends of the music industry today," Timbaland said in a statement. "We will create an anthem with today's most talented artists to produce a song that will bring the world's attention to the AIDS pandemic."
Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and produced by Quincy Jones, "We Are the World" was released in 1985 to raise funds to fight famine in Africa. The world's top musicians at the time — Jackson, Huey Lewis, Steve Perry and others — gathered to record the song and an accompanying album that raised $90 million for famine relief.
"The World Is Ours" will also have an accompanying DVD to be helmed by Quincy Jones' son QDIII.