Monday Morning Jukebox: On The Grammys and Timbaland
The Grammys happened. No sense discussing it though, given that they almost certainly rewarded the wrong people. It’s what the Grammys is famous for. Here, in fact, is a just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg discussion of horrendous decisions made by the good people at Grammys. The name that popped out most at me was Timbaland‘s, both because he didn’t win a Grammy until teaming up with Justin Timberlake in 2007 and BECAUSE HE DIDN’T WIN A GRAMMY UNTIL TEAMING UP WITH JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IN 2007?!?!
That said, he’s been responsible for some of the downright hottest songs I’ve ever heard. And because today’s Monday and Mondays are awful, would it really be so bad if we explored a murderers row of Timbaland’s best work?
1. Missy Elliott’s “The Rain [Supa Dupa Fly]”
Again, I get it if Timbaland’s not your thing, but this is one of those songs that I remember hearing for the first time. I then remember talking with my friends at the time to ask if they’d heard the same thing, our consensus being that what was happening here was an entirely unfamiliar sound. That’s an enthralling feeling no matter when it occurs. The Grammys ignored this.
2. Ginuwine’s “Pony”
I have heard word that there are some ladies who might find this video appealing. For those that do, enjoy. But just listen. You can ignore the lyrics -- it’s odd that Ginuwine’s so encouraging of those with an interest in the equestrian arts, right? -- while still hearing something that sounds so utterly strange and yet, so utterly perfect. We’re only two songs deep. I hope it is painfully clear that I’m an enormous fanboy. The Grammys ignored this.
3. Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin'”
I think it’s fun trying to figure out how the scenario in which Timbaland first heard the song he “borrowed” from when he put this track together. I’ve never come to a satisfactory conclusion, but maybe that’s because I’ve never actually wanted to know. (Also, as a sidenote, Bun B’s “Go read a book you illiterate son of a bitch, and step up your vocab” is hilarious. I’d like to invoke that exact quote over at The Corner, not because it’d be appropriate, but just to see the eyeballs melt out of the angry skulls.) The Grammys ignored this.
4. Aaliyah’s “Try Again”
Again, the issue is the hotness here. Each of these songs has a distinctively different song than what was predominantly considered either R/B or hip-hop. Timbaland’s work took genre’s and redirected their sound. Honorable mention goes to Aaliyah’s “One In A Million.” The Grammys ignored this.
5. Missy Elliot’s “Sock It To Me”
If you want to hold anything against Timbaland, it ought to be the time he let Da Brat sneak onto this otherwise perfect track. She poison pills the entire thing. But right up until the point that she carpetbombs the place, this song is throbbing. And yes, I hear you giggling. Please note the Mega Man video. The Grammys ignored this.
6. Timbaland and Magoo “People Like Myself”
This wasn’t a hit. I’m not sure anybody, anywhere ever heard it. Timbaland’s decision to release albums with the execrable Magoo is unforgivable; that said, I’m not sure I’ve ever found any beat as entrancing as I find the one in this song. It is outrageous in the best possible way. The only thing I can ever think of when I hear it is softly falling snow. Don’t ask me to explain that one. I can’t. The Grammys ignored this.
7. Missy Elliott’s “Gossip Folks”
Seriously though. Seriously. Forget Missy’s attempt to address her critics. For Ludacris’s “ten-and-a-half gators.” It’s that repetitive thump that never stops sounding great, simple though it might be. I remember everybody being enthralled with the song at the time; it doesn’t sound any worse ten years later. The Grammys ignored this.
8. Aaliyah “Up Jumps Da Boogie”
Magoo’s appearance here notwithstanding my earlier critique, it’s the song’s relatively simple music that gets me, to the point that I’m able to ignore some of the song’s remarkably offensive lyrics. The Grammys ignored this.
9. Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
My liberal politics are showing I suppose. I could listen to these tracks without the MCs if I had to, even though I don’t. But it’s certainly saying something when listening to tracks sans lyrics is an appealing possibility.
10. Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me A River”
I’m a 32-year-old man, happily married, happily the father of two kind of occasionally okay kids. I’m still man enough to admit that I passionately love this dis track, a song publicly telling Britney Spears to kiss off. Whether or not that drama warranted the attention, the song it produced almost certainly did.
And here’s the thing. Even if you disagree with me about all of these songs, surely, you’re not going to argue that Justin Timberlake’s “