Timbaland is known for being a very reserved person, but the producer drops some fascinating and shocking gems in an exclusive interview for Diddy‘s Revolt TV. The main topic of the revealing interview surrounds his work on Jay-Z‘s latest project Magna Carta Holy Grail (which he calls “hip-hop at its finest”), but he also discusses his thoughts on Yeezus (“Rage Against The Machine in a black culture way”), working with J. Cole, the Grammys and his past oxycontin addiction.
Jay-Z and Timbaland have been a hit-making duo and good friends ever since Hov’s 1998 album Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life, but the producer opens up about their sometimes rocky relationship. “Me & Jay fell out, I missed his 40th [birthday]. He didn’t miss mine, he sent me a gift. But I missed his, it was over petty stuff, personal stuff and disagreements,” Timbaland explains. “It was not industry-related, it was more personal and I was wrong. When I was working with Justin [Timberlake], he sent me a text: ‘Yo, we need to talk. We need to hook back up.’ I flew down to Brooklyn when he had them shows and we just gave each other a hug.”
The “new rules” promotion behind MCHG turned the rap game upside down, but it wasn’t all Jay-Z’s idea. Timbaland says, “Man, I forced him, I was in his head. I didn’t know if he was gonna do no record. We had something, energy. It wasn’t about doing no album man. The energy at Jungle Studios was so powerful. I was working on Bey, I was doing like seven songs on hers — he wasn’t in the picture.” He continues, “We didn’t plan it, it just came. It just happened. The energy was so great. It was two friends reuniting.”
But Timbaland wasn’t the only producer who had a hand in the album. He discusses how Boi-1da, The-Dream (who first produced “Holy Grail”), Mike WiLL Made It and Pharrell (“BBC”) all played important roles in the process. He went on to call MCHG Jay-Z’s best album thus far: “All the Blueprints, Reasonable Doubt — those were good. But this is your first, first big album for the new millennium.”
Tim also talked about Hova’s right-hand man, Kanye West. “I love it, love it, love it because he gives me diverse. He’s trying to tell y’all ‘I don’t want you mentioning my name with these other rappers! I’m not them, I’m rock n’ roll rap. I’m the hardest thing walking on Earth,’” Tim ays about Yeezus. The producer, who has never worked with Ye before, would love to collaborate with him on an album: “He’s gonna take it to the wonderful land of Oz. Now I’m the wizard who’s gonna take him over the top.”
When asked if he sees himself as a legend, he says “I probably will be. I’m just here to guide the game. I’m always the underdog, I’ve always been that way even if I get producer of the year this year…whatever. I gotta speak, because there’s a lot I gotta say. I’m gonna touch some hearts at the Grammys. If I’m nominated, I have to speak. It’s not about winning. I need to speak to the world.”
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