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Artist biography Timothy Z. "Timbaland" Mosley
Timothy Z. Mosley (born March 10, 1971), better known as Timbaland, is an American musical composer, R&B beat creator and record producer. He also raps. Timbaland's style influenced both genres even helping to blur the distinction between R&B and hip-hop, as well as pop and dance music.
Mosley was born and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, where he became acquainted with Missy Elliott and Melvin Barcliff, whose MC name was "Magoo." Originally a disc jockey known as "DJ Timmy Tim," Mosley began making hip-hop backing tracks on a Casio keyboard he owned. Elliott heard his material and, taken by Mosley's unique sense of rhythm, immediately began working with him. After several collaborations, the trio moved to Suffern, NY.
Like Brian Eno, Phil Spector or Norman Whitfield, Timbaland's production sometimes overshadows the credited performer and becomes the actual "star" of the song. With songwriters Steve "Static" Garrett and childhood friend Missy Elliott, Timbaland has helped to create some of the most successful songs in modern pop music and urban music, including songs for Elliott, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, Nelly Furtado and The Pussycat Dolls.
In 1996, Ginuwine released his debut album, "Ginuwine... the Bachelor", which was produced entirely by Timbaland. The album was both a commercial and critical success, and its first single, Pony, was the first example of what would later become the signature Timbaland sound.
The track for Pony, which Timbaland had created two years prior during the Swing Mob days, was characterized by a shifting, syncopated rhythm, similar to samba or jungle music, which used snare and kick hits on typically non-accented beats in the measure. Stuttering high-hats typical of southern bass music accompanied the basic drum sounds, which were, unusual for hip-hop and R&B of this period, severely gated to create short, strong sounds. This use of the "short snare" is in marked contrast to the "long snare" sound in New Wave music in the 1980s, which featured a heavily amplified, almost white noise snare drum put through reverberation.