The relationship between Jay-Z and Timbaland is complicated, but there’s no denying that when they successfully leave their problems at the studio door, what they can create together is magical.
The two notoriously fell out when Jay was working on The Blueprint 3, and he later said that Timbaland’s “ego” was why they stopped working together. However, they’d soon patch things up and put their problems aside for Magna Carta Holy Grail.
“The fall-out happened at the end of that album. A couple of songs was getting leaked and they were his songs, and it just ruined the whole process,” Jay later reflected to Radio 1.
“Kanye, who was executive producer of The Blueprint 3 was like, let’s get Tim, let’s bring Tim in, and we were all inviting of him and he just wasn’t accepting of the process. It seemed like it was more about him than the actual album. When you go and make an album, you have to put all ego aside… he wasn’t accepting of that thing and that was almost the last straw type of thing, and we just went our separate ways.”
This rare footage of them working together in the studio provides a fascinating glimpse into their relationship, and the chemistry they share is spellbinding.
Timbaland is lost in his element and proudly brags to Jay, “Take your pick, I’m the best there is,” after playing a selection of seductive beats to ‘Hov’ who can’t hide his joy. The clip then follows the rapper as he brings ‘Dirt Off Your Shoulder’ to life and does what he does best by adding pure fire to an already sizzling beat.
The single is bestowed in hip-hop history, and it’s unbelievable that footage even exists of this sacred moment Jay first spat over Timbaland’s iconic creation. Soak it in below.