December 20, 2007

Timbaland - Tim's Bio: From the Motion Picture 'Life From Da Bassment' (November 24, 1998)


For starters, there is no motion picture called Life From Da Bassment. I'm sure that Timbo, along with every other rapper in history, has aspirations of starring in his own movie, and even came up with the title, but then lost his nerve. (Mobb Deep, we're still waiting for that Murda Muzik movie!) Even if there were such a film (and I just shuddered when I typed the word 'film'), Tim's Bio would be a terrible soundtrack for it, since the songs themselves don't follow any sort of conceptual flow.

Tim's Bio is best considered as the precursor to Timbaland Johnson's pop-radio-dominating Shock Value, since the entire purpose of Tim's Bio was to aid Timbaland in his attempts to take over urban radio (a market that he had already conquered, so the conceit of this project was mostly self-serving). Timbaland even briefly separated from his counterpart Magoo during the course of this disc, to reposition himself as a solo artist that could make hits with anyone, but especially with people that he worked with on a daily basis, such as Missy Elliott, Magoo, and Ginuwine.

Tim's Bio sold decently enough to allow Timbo to continue his journey into sound, but not well enough to dominate the radio (unlike Shock Value, which is all over the airwaves in my neck of the woods). It only really spawned two singles to my knowledge, which I will get into later, and later Tim Mosely ran back to Magoo to record a second full-length effort with his partner at his side.

Obviously, this all took place before his chance meetings with Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberland...sorry, I mean, Timberlake.

I remember picking this up because I actually still liked Timbo and Magoo's Welcome To Our World (for some reason), and was starting to become a Timbaland junkie. I also remember not listening to it until much later, because better things kept coming up. Except for one song, it didn't leave much of an impression on me, but hopefully enough time has passed to allow a more thorough write-up.

We'll see.

1. INTRO (FEAT T.K. KIRKLAND)
Rap album intro. Zzzzzzzzz..............

2. I GET IT ON (FEAT BASSEY)
Timbaland has admittedly gotten a lot better on the mic (see his more recent output on Shock Value), but back in 1998, he was still pretty weak. The production on this song doesn't help.

3. TO MY (FEAT NAS & MAD SKILLZ)
Nasir Escobar is alright on this song, but hopefully Nas and Timbo will never work together again, since "You Owe Me" is a good enough reason for them to avoid each other's calls. The formerly mad Skillz, however, is effortless on a track that even Nas seems to find a bit awkward.

4. HERE WE COME (FEAT MAGOO & MISSY ELLIOTT)
The first single, which rips off the theme song from the old Spider Man cartoon. The video was visually interesting, but the song without visual representation is meh at best.

5. WIT' YO BAD SELF (FEAD MAD SKILLZ)
Mad Skillz rhymes come-ons to an unknown female over the theme music from I Dream Of Jeannie. The hook is terrible (most Timbaland hooks are), but the concept itself is decent, and the execution is, admittedly, pretty damn good.

6. LOBSTER & SCRIMP (FEAT JAY-Z)
The second and final single, and bar none, the best Shawn Carter/Timbaland collaboration available today, and it's not even on a Jay-Z album. "Dirt Off Your Shoulders" and "Big Pimpin'" may have gotten more airplay (rest in peace, Pimp C), but "Lobster & Scrimp", ridiculous spelling notwithstanding, wears the crown. Seriously.

7. WHAT CHA KNOW ABOUT THIS (FEAT MOCHA & BABE BLUE)
I always kind of liked Mocha. Whatever happened to her?

8. CAN'T NOBODY (FEAT 1 LIFE 2 LIVE & LIL' MAN)
The part toward the end, where the beat changes completely, is much more interesting than this song in its entirety, rhymes and all. There is a reason you've never heard of 1 Life 2 Live until today, folks. And, for the love of God, that Lil' Man alias of Timbaland's (I'm just assuming here) is fucking annoying, kind of like Warren G's G-Child character.

9. WHAT CHA TALKIN' 'BOUT (FEAT LIL' MAN, STATIC, & MAGOO)
Nothing that's of your concern.

10. PUT 'EM ON (FEAT STATIC & YOSHAMINE)
Thank God Timbaland switched up his sound a bit. If he were still making beats like this weak shit, his career would have ended years ago, and he would be working the register at Burger King while Magoo handled the fryer.

11. FAT RABBIT (FEAT LUDACRIS)
Since this album didn't sell as well as everyone involved would have hoped, many people missed out on the mainstream debut of Chris Bridges, who has his rap name misspelled in the liner notes as 'Ludichris'. Truthfully, he comes off as nothing special, except for the fact that it seems to be easy for him to keep up with the beat. SInce this song was later included on his Def Jam debut anyway, most Luda fans aren't missing anything. The term "fat rabbit", as used here, though, is unsettling.

12. WHO AM I (FEAT TWISTA)
Brilliant collaboration. These two need to work together more often. Next!

13. TALKING ON THE PHONE (FEAT KELLY PRICE, MISSY ELLIOTT, & LIL' MAN)
We have now entered the R&B portion of Tim's Bio. Timbo has made some damn good R&B songs (most of which with the late Aaliyah), but this is not one of them.

14. KEEP IT REAL (FEAT GINUWINE)
My favorite Ginuwine song is "What's The Difference?", which featured that Godzilla sound effect layed into Timbo's beat. Damn, I wish I were listening to that song right now, just so I could ignore this travesty.

15. JOHN BLAZE (FEAT AALIYAH & MISSY ELLIOTT)
Probably the best R&B track presented here, but unnecessary nonetheless.

16. BIRTHDAY (FEAT PLAYA)
I always kind of felt bad for Playa, since they pretty much disappeared off of the musical map after dropping their Timbo-produced debut (along with Ms. Jade, now that I think about it). This song rescinds some of those feelings.

17. 3:30 IN THE MORNING (FEAT VIRGINIA WILLIAMS)
Meh.

18. OUTRO
...

19. BRINGIN' IT (FEAT TROY MITCHELL)
And for no reason, some unknown rapper finishes off the album by hammering the final nail into its coffin.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tim's Bio is a rambling mess. There are a handful of tracks (not surprisingly, they're all rap, not R&B) that are worth seeking out, but Tim's Bio was proof that not all of Timbaland's friends were musically talented. His premonition regarding Chris Bridges, though, was impressive, and he did reinvent Nelly Furtado for a more mainstream audience, so I'm not saying that Tim doesn't have an ear for talent; he's just said "yes" way too fucking much back then. (I'm guessing that, with the insane amounts of money he makes these days, saying "no" is a hell of a lot easier for him now.)

BUY OR BURN? Track down the songs listed below, pull up your iTunes, and burn them, but leave the disc itself in the bargain bin of your local f.y.e. Trust me, you don't want to actually buy this one. That's why I'm here, to take the monetary hit for you, my dear two readers.

BEST TRACKS: "Lobster & Scrimp"; "Who Am I?"; "Wit' Yo Bad Self"

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Timbaland & Magoo - Welcome To Our World

3 comments:

  1. do you count lurkers in your list of two readers? just curious.

    anyways, the BEST jay-z/timbo collab is "nigga what, nigga who (originator 99)" on Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life. NW is a monster of a track, what with the the frenetic pacing of the beat, the deep ass bassline, and the rapid-fire flow of Jay-Z (nobody cared about Jaz-O then or now).
    whatever happened to Jay's rapid-fire flow? i miss it, sometimes, when i can be bothered. i'm awaiting your take on American Gangster...

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  2. Amp Geez aka LayLow JonesJanuary 11, 2008

    Hands down, "Lobster & Scrimp" is the best Jigga/Timbo collabo ever.
    Jay was at His most arrogant on that one, even though it sux they wasted it on this turd of an album.
    "Can't Nobody" wasn't that bad for a bunch of unknowns. I think that joint was supposed to be 1 Life 2 Live's 1st single. They had a video & the whole 9. Obviously that album never dropped. Timbo's almost wasted more beats on no talents than Primo. Almost.

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  3. The Murda Muzik movie DID came out about 4 years ago, altho it was pretty wack.

    Pz

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