House of Hawthorne

Part 2 of My Guide to Watch the Throne: The Missing

Posted on: August 15, 2011

Most notably, to me, what’s missing from Watch the Throne, is Timbaland.

Jay-Z albums, ratio of songs that Timbaland produced/contributed to total songs:
Reasonable Doubt,
0 of 16 (Jay-Z’s debut, and of course in ’96 Timbaland produced both Aaliyah’s One in a Million and Ginuwine’s debut, Ginuwine… The Bachelor. I’m good with that.)
In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, 0 of 14 (This year Timbaland was making Missy’s Supa Dupa Fly and the first Timbaland and Magoo album, Welcome to Our World. We make fun of Magoo, maybe, but for helping Missy Elliott become a star, we are forever indebted to Tim Mosley.)
Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life
, 2 of 14
Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter
, 4 of 16
The Dynasty: Roc La Familia
, 0 of 16
The Blueprint
, 1 of 13
The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse
, 3 of 25
The Black Album
, 1 of 14
Kingdom Come,
0 of 15 (I’m guessing the looming presence of Dr. Dre on this album has something to do with the lack of Timbaland.)
American Gangster, 0 of 15 (This is weird, producer-wise, no Kanye, lots of Diddy & co.)
The Blueprint 3, 3 of 15

We can see that Timbaland hasn’t produced the majority of the Jay-Z songs. Doesn’t it sometimes feel like he has, though? That’s definitely why I did all this counting. I’d guess that feeling comes from the truth that on any given list of the ten best Jay-Z songs ever, made by any given person, Timbaland has produced anywhere from 1-3 on anyone’s list, basically depending on how stuck that given person is on all the songs off of Reasonable Doubt. Also, Timbaland looms production-wise especially large for my love of Jay-Z, because I started liking Jay-Z in a major way because of the song “N—- What, N—- Who.” Also my favorite Jay-Z guest spot on somebody else’s song ever was on a Timbaland production, Missy’s “One Minute Man (Remix).” He raps, “50 grand I get this in one take,” which may be my favorite Jay-Z moment ever, actually. Jay-Z shows up in lots of Timbaland beats for other artists, some big (Missy, Keri Hilson) and some not (whatever happened to Rell anyway?)

I mentioned this a couple of blogs back, but apparently Timbaland’s studio was responsible in some way for The Blueprint 3 leaks. Also, we all know about them being sued for “Big Pimpin’.” On an album like Watch the Throne, it may just be an embarrassment of musical riches to complain about the lack of a Timbaland presence. The music is  magnificent. I hope that Jay-Z hasn’t wiped his hands clean of Timbaland. The prospect of never hearing another new Jay-Z/Timbaland collaboration in my life is a bleak thought indeed. Album leaks are bad news for musical artists, though, and clearly Jay-Z and Kanye were trying as hard as possible to avoid that situation.

I have at least two more posts about Watch the Throne to get out of my system. See you on the other side, friends.

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