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.” The Virginia musician (real name Timothy Mosley) first garnered attention for his work with Missy Elliot, Aaliyah and SWV in both a writing and production capacity and has been an integral player in the industry since the mid-1990s.
As one of the freshest and most exciting producers of the late-’90s, Mosley crossed paths with many figureheads, including the now-incarcerated Suge Knight. Although Knight was for many years a credible record executive, many still consider Knight a gangster, criminal and bully who fuelled the war that ended in the murders of 2pac, Biggie Smalls and many others. However, in an interview with Vulture magazine, Mosley implied quite the opposite and labelled the man a visionary.
Speaking to Erik Parker, the producer looked back on his lengthy career, and things fell into place for him. Mosley opened up about his ASR-10 sampling keyboard and disclosed the tricks and techniques he has used to make tracks such as ‘Big Pimpin’ and ‘Cry Me A River.’ However, he also spoke about his business relationships.
In Mosley’s memoir, Emperor Of Sound, he detailed how he got to know Knight in the late-’90s and early-2000s while working on projects with Dr Dre. The ‘Sexyback’ beatmaker insinuated that he even tried to steer clear of Knight. Speaking about that period of his life with Vulture, Mosley explained, “It was just trials and tribulation.”
He continued, “Suge was young. Everybody was young. Suge was probably one of the biggest visionaries there was. But sometimes, visionary and power can be too much. Sometimes you can’t handle both. Suge is a great man. But having all that power and losing it can eventually mess you up.” Not many would label Knight as a visionary but Mosley’s interesting insight reveals that there was probably more to the former Death Row owner than what met the eye.
You can hear more about Knight in the video below.