Timothy Mosley, commonly known as Timbaland, turned 44 today. Which means that he’s pretty much been producing music for half of his life, starting in the early 1990s. Over 20-plus years, Timbo’s not only given artists some of the best music of their careers, but he’s also managed to give fans some of the best music hip-hop and R&B have ever had.
By design, trying to parse out Timbaland’s best works from his Library of Congress-sized discography is going to miss a few things. I mean, unless you expect me to write about 50 billion songs, something’s getting left out here. So there’s your invitation to list your favorite Timbaland songs in the comments.
Anyway, here are some the best songs Timbaland worked on in his career behind the boards as one of the best producers we’ve ever seen.
“One In A Million” – Aaliyah
Timbaland and Aaliyah both had strong starts to their careers before coming together for One in a Million, the singer’s sophomore release. When you check the album’s credits, Timbaland pretty much had his hands on every track. If the two had never met, they probably would’ve still had successful careers because that’s what talented people do. But them coming together for songs like “One In A Million” and “4 Page Letter” helped propel both of them into a league of their own.
“Pony” – Ginuwine
“Pony” has led to a record-breaking number of drunken, sloppy lap dances — and resulting injuries — over the years. Both because of Ginuwine’s effortless shirtless dancing in the video and because of Timbaland’s trademark production that seems to make hips move on their own.
Note: Thank everyone involved in the making of this song for this unforgettable moment.
“Can We” – SWV
While we often rag on how many boy band clones there were in the late 1990s, we don’t talk about how many strong female R&B trios there were nearly enough. We had TLC and Destiny’s Child of course, as well as Total, 702, Xscape, and Brownstone just to name a few. But one of the most slept-on groups, as far as history is concerned, was SWV. The New York trio had so many hits that “Can We” barely cracks their top five behind “Weak,” “Right Here (Human Nature)” and “I’m So Into You.”