VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — Thanks to his work on recent projects by Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado, as well as the upcoming 50 Cent LP, Timbaland is enjoying what he's been accustomed to for the past 10 years of his career — success.
But even with his storied discography of classics for everyone from Aaliyah and Missy Elliott to Jay-Z and LL Cool J, Tim said that over the past couple of years, when he wasn't putting out as much music, he heard whispers that he might be losing his touch.
"Everybody was talking their little trash, y'all know who y'all are," Tim said at his studio last week. "They said, 'Timbaland is falling off.' I don't never fall off. I just relax like a vampire in the coffin. When I wake up, you better be prepared, because somebody is going to get bit on the neck. Next thing you know, I have a slew of vampires running around. When you become the best like me, you never fall off, you just lean back."
Well somebody call Blade, because Count Drac is wide awake and ready to wreak even more havoc next year when his upcoming LP, tentatively titled Timbaland Presents Shock Value, comes out. "I'm not just hip-hop," Tim insisted. "My mission is to take over top-40 radio — what they call popular music, different genres of music — and reach all types of people."
It seems like Tim reached out to almost everyone in every corner of the music industry for the project, which he's calling a compilation. One track is "what everybody is waiting for," he revealed, "me and Dr. Dre. I did [the beat], it's hard. I got 50, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne. The other stuff is rock: She Wants Revenge, the Hives, I'm about to get the Fall Out Boys, Björk, Elton John." Tim went on to say that he's interested in eventually signing the Hives and M.I.A.
"Last Piece of the Puzzle," his collabo with John, was recorded in Las Vegas. "It was cool. I didn't have him sing, I had him play. I was like, 'Go ahead, John.' I might get a choir to sing on top of it."
Though the album is packed with headline-making names, Tim's first single is already newsworthy. "Give it to Me" has Nelly Furtado, Justin Timberlake and Tim throwing subliminal jabs in their verses, and it's up to the audience to figure it out what — or who — they're talking about. "I seen you try to switch it up, but girl you ain't that dope," Furtado sings. Tim's verse includes the lines, "I'm a real producer and you just a piano man/ Your song moved up the charts I heard, but I'm not a fan/ N---as talking greasy, I'm the one that gave them they chance/ Somebody need to tell them they can't do it like I can."
The Internet has been most abuzz about Timberlake's verse, though, with gossip sites speculating that his harsh words are aimed at Janet Jackson: "I saw you tryin' to act cute on TV, 'Just let me clear the air'/ We missed you on the charts last week/ Damn, that's right, you wasn't there/ Now if sexy never left, then why is everybody on my sh--?/ Don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it."
A source close to the record said that Timberlake's lyrics have nothing to do with his infamous Super Bowl co-star — but he is responding to another pop artist who has seen career heights few other singers can boast.
Tim's album will come out via his Mosley Music imprint, like Nelly Furtado's Loose. He's hoping to have the LP ready for a March release date.