First Hit #1: April 21, 2007
The nice thing about being Timbaland is that you’re one of the most in-demand producers in 2007. That means that you have a great working relationship with hit makers of the era, doing album length collaborations with artists like Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake, for example. So when you want to do a solo album, you can get those high profile guests on the single. Give It To Me is almost an advertisement for the joy of making records with Timbaland, especially with the video that’s heavily focused on how much fun everyone’s having performing and making the track. Timbaland is really a producer first, and while he makes a great sounding song it’s not really lyrically interesting or the best showcase of either collaborator, but then again that’s kind of the point isn’t it? If he is a producer first he’s going to make a song that’s going to sound great in the club first, and the collaborators are just there to kind of gild the lily a bit, give the beat some context so it’s not an instrumental and it actually gets played in the club. If I sound a bit hard on the guy, well he did kind of get ubiquitous, but outside of that he really is a pretty decent artist for the era. His productions never feel low effort, and in some cases he can make something of genuine interest. He also is probably less interested in lyrics than most, and when he releases a track under his own name it becomes more obvious than usual.