Timbaland picks the four most important people in hip-hop
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Timbaland picks the four most important people in hip-hop

Grammy-award-winning super producer Timbaland is a one-of-a-kind artist, and since his emergence on the scene in the mid-1990s, the musician has gone on to achieve incredible things within the genres of R’n’B and hip-hop. From ‘Sexy Back’ to ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’, the Virginia act is responsible for countless chart-topping songs. As a 51-year-old man who has stepped out of the limelight, the beatmaker (real name Timothy Mosley) is now at the stage of his career where he can relax and, most importantly, reflect on his epic industry journey.

As a legend in the culture, the ‘Work It’ producer recently sat down with Chef Danie and Brandon Marshall of the I AM HIP-HOP podcast to speak on his life journey and his opinion on rap music past, present and future. Many know Mount Rushmore, the Mountain face carved to depict the most important and influential US presidents ever. During the producer’s lengthy conversation with the hosts, Timbaland revealed who influenced him and unveiled who he believes belongs on hip-hop’s metaphorical Mount Rushmore. 

Commencing with who musically inspired him as an adolescent, Mosley revealed how at first, he didn’t like hip-hop. However, many artists converted him, stating, “Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, they changed my life. I started getting more into it. [It was] Rakim who really set the bar high for me. I was like, ‘Oh, this bubblegum rap gotta go.’ Then Big Daddy Kane, you know what I’m saying? Then I was like, for me, like who is this? Then came LL Cool J. I’m goin’ from my DJ career. I’m naming them from that perspective.” Mosley continued, “And then there was RUN-DMC. RUN-DMC might’ve been before LL Cool J because RUN-DMC had a lot of lyrics, and they was poppin’. Now, if you want to talk about lyrics, I’m goin’ by what moved and changed lives. Then after that, then came DJ Premier and Guru. Then Wu-Tang, Method Man. Then came, I can say after that, Fat Joe and Big Pun for me. But, then Outkast. Then Ludacris.”

However, Timbaland was eventually asked the burning question. Who belongs on rap music’s Mount Rushmore? After a lengthy period of self-deliberation, Mosley finally came to a conclusion. Assured of his decision, the four acts the Shock Value rapper listed his choices as Jay-Z, Biggie, Tupac, and Nas. Tombo also paid homage to Eminem. Below you can watch the super-producers complete I AM HIP-HOP interview.