In the hip-hop world, veteran figures flaunt retirement in interviews about as often as you see girls and cars in the videos.
Perhaps encouraged by the way Jay-Z is going out, Timbaland's retirement chatter has been gaining momentum over the last few months (see "Is Timbaland Gonna Beat It? Producer Talks About Retiring").
"Hip-hop is the same ol', same ol'. I can do a beat and keep doing it, but it's not the same," the heavyweight producer said recently from the comfy confines of his New York nightclub, Suede. "All the other stuff out there ain't creative. It's just a bunch of lollygags."
So what does Timbaland think can save him? "The only [artist] I'd like to do a song with is Coldplay," he said. "That's the only one I really want to work with now."
Tim and Coldplay's Chris Martin met the night of the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards and talked about maybe collaborating one day, but nothing's officially in the works. Still, it's not like Timbaland fans don't have anything to look forward to — especially for someone who's supposedly disinterested with the current state of hip-hop.
First, he has Tuesday's release of his third album with rapper Magoo, Under Construction II (a sequel to Timbaland's work with Missy Elliott on the original Under Construction). Already the album's two singles, "Cop That Disc" and "Indian Flute," have shaken dance floors with their exotic takes on standard hip-hop beats. Still, Timbaland says it's not select songs that do it for him anymore — he likes to make statements with entire albums.
"It don't benefit me doing just a record. I'm used to getting a #1 record, that ain't nothing," he said. "I do albums — that's what I get a kick out of, making a whole project complete and selling the whole project for what it is."
Timbaland also worked on Missy's next disc, This Is Not a Test, but he's not sure why. "I don't know why Missy did another [album]," he admitted. "She said, 'Come on, Tim, let's do another one.' And I'm like, 'For what? What are we doing it for?' Because we might do something that's over the top and don't never get the props."
In addition to helming songs on Alicia Keys' sophomore album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, Jay-Z's recently released The Black Album, and some tracks for an upcoming LL Cool J disc, Timbaland has also been hard at work with Brandy, producing her entire new album, due in the spring.
"Me and Brandy had a chemistry. I think I have a real chemistry with women when it comes to my music," he said. "Brandy gave me the feeling that we should have been working together. Her singing over my beats is incredible."