Timbaland is an iconic hip-hop and R’n’B producer who has worked with the best in the business. From Jay-Z to Kanye West, the beatmaker has an unfathomable amount of platinum-certified records and is widely considered a “super producer.”
First arising in the early 1990s from Virginia, Timbaland (real name Timothy Mosley) first garnered attention for his work with Missy Elliot, Aaliyah and SWV in both a writing and production capacity. As well as his work alongside Missy Elliott, Mosley was praised for his material as part of the rap duo Timbaland & Magoo, comprised of himself and Melvin ‘Magoo’ Barcliff.
Mosley is known for his distinct sound, sonics and unique sample selections. The Virginia beatmaker has always used a lot of djembes, bongos, triangles and African sounds to give his music a world feel, and his style was a hit with listeners worldwide. Timbaland has made a range of hits from ‘Sexy Back’ to ‘The Way I Are’. However, Mosley’s most beloved anthems were made alongside the late singer and songwriter Aaliyah. In an interview on the I AM HIP-HOP podcast, the legendary producer revealed that one of his biggest hits with Aaliyah was made by mistake.
In a conversation with podcast hosts Brandon Marshall and Chef Danie, Mosley addressed the Aaliyah track ‘Try Again.’ Released in 2000, for the Romeo Must Die soundtrack, the beat was made in 1999 by Timbaland and written by the producer alongside Static Major.
The track also featured on the vocalist’s third and final album Aaliyah which is often referred to as ‘The Red Album’ recalling the day the beat was made, Mosley explained, “I was playing with this keyboard, and it was a mistake, and my engineer Jimmy Douglass caught it. I said, ‘Jimmy did you catch that lil rhythm?, [and] he said, ‘I sure did. So [after] he caught it and played it back, I put the beat on it. I said, ‘Ooo, chop it right there,’ and he chopped it right there.”
Further detailing the creation of the instrumental, Mosley recollected it was Jay-Z who confirmed it was a hit, revealing, “When JAY-Z came in the studio, he was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and that’s when I was like, ‘Yeah, we got one.’” Aaliyah laid vocals over the beat at Sound on Sound Studios in Manhattan.
Once it was released the futuristic song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and got nominated for a Grammy in the ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’ category. The track has an electric alien-like bassline that continues throughout the track, yet the instrumental is extremely progressive, with the official release being over six minutes.
You can hear Timbaland talking about ‘Try Again’ in the video below.