Timbaland Credits Missy Elliot For His Success, ‘If It Wasn’t For Missy, I Probably Wouldn’t Be Timbaland’
Timbaland is reflecting back on his start in music and crediting Missy Elliot for being one of the first to believe in his unique sound.
The decorated Grammy award-winning producer was in Austin for AfroTech on Thursday, Nov. 2 for the “From Producer to Founder” panel and provided insight into his career journey. Music was always in his soul, Timbaland shared. But had it not been for one of his longtime collaborators, Timbaland might not be the mega-producer we know him as today.
“So my mom got me this Casio keyboard, which only had like a one-second sampler, and I’m like, ‘Well, what can I sample in one second?’ So what I did is [I] got creative, sped up the beat, the music, or what I was trying to sample real fast, plus put it on 45 and go to the end of the keyboard and slow down. So, I would take time and stretch it,” he explained.
“Once I found that I could do that, and it worked, then came along, you know, Magoo, he was always around as my friend, but not rapping, but he introduced me to the one who really started me and said I had a gift. [It] was Missy Elliott.”
18 Grammy nominations, four Grammy wins, and 200+ ASCAP Music awards later, Timbaland still credits Missy as the reason why he acquired success in mainstream music.
“So if it wasn’t for Missy, I probably wouldn’t be Timbaland today,” he said.
“She was the one that said, ‘Yo, you have a gift. Your sound is unique’ when I thought my sound was trash, but she thought it was unique and she pushed me to go super hard. And that’s when I knew that I wanted to be a producer.”
Timbaland’s praise of the “Supa Dupa Fly” rapper came one day before Missy Elliot became the first female rapper inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame joining the likes of Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Tupac Shakur. She received her honor at the 38th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony last week at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Friday.