Over the last 5-10 years, the music industry has been on a decline. Not because of the internet, not because of people "stealing" music, but because a lot of the music that has been put out there has been bad. Artists are basically coming out with a few songs that are worthy of listening to.
In hip-hop, a lot of the "good" music is attributed to big beats from big-name producers. Or it's deemed as good because the artist has had a good record before. In the end this has nothing to do with what I'm writing, so I digress from the topic.
On to what I want to write about. Timbaland's new album, Timbaland Presents: Shock Value.
In a year where super producers Kanye West, Dr. Dre and Scott Storch are rumored to be putting out albums, Timbaland comes through first setting a high standard for those who will follow.
Shock Value brings a slew of guest appearances which really highlight the album. The lead single Give It To Me (which may or may not take a jab at Storch) features Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, whose albums were executive produced by Timbaland. Timberlake takes a jab at the general public with his line "Now if sexy never left, then why's everybody on my sh*t/ don't hate on me just because you didn't come up with it."
JT also stars on the track Release, while adding a third appearance by singing the hook on Bounce which also features verses from Dr. Dre and Missy Elliot. Missy steals the show on the track, opening with "Hold up hell naw/like Britney Spears I wear no draws."
Other guests include G-Unit members 50 Cent and Tony Yayo (Come & Get Me), She Wants Revenge (Time), Fall Out Boy (One & Only), and Elton John (2 Man Show). Yes, I said Elton John. Tim also reunites with Magoo on the track Boardmeeting.
Think of Shock Value as a modern day Chronic: 2001 with banging beats and guest spots that are absolutely on the money with their delivery. Yeah, I put Tim in the same category as Dr. Dre, and if you've heard the quality and quanitity of Tim's work, or as college hoops experts would call it 'the body of work,' then you'd probably agree with me.
Lyrically, you're not gonna get much more than classic Timbaland boasting about money, cash and girls. It's not original, but it's not like it's terrible. Tim's one of the best in the game, he's earned his bragging rights.
To be straight forward, what makes the album so great are Tim's beats. Tim has done an amazing job in changing with time, keeping his music relevant and keeping it good. I also love the variety of artists he works with. Where else can you (legally) find Timbaland, Dr. Dre, Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent, Elton John and Fall Out Boy all on the same album? Don't worry, I'll wait.
Though it's relatively early in the music year, Shock Value has taken an early lead in the race for my favorite album of the year. It's an album that I would encourage you to get (however you get your music.)
- Give It To Me (featuring Nelly Furtado & Justin Timberlake)
- Bounce (featuring Dr. Dre, Justin Timberlake & Missy Elliot)
- One & Only (featuring Fall Out Boy)