Monday, 23 June 2008

Dear Timbaland

I do not understand you. You are the hip-hop producer who has worked with most of the leading American rappers, including Missy Elliott, Pharrell, and Jay-Z, all of which is fine as far as I am concerned. What I don’t understand is why you feel the need to produce work for people like Nelly Furtado. She had an interesting thing going on until you took her and made all her music into sexist nonsense about being promiscuous and all that. She never used to write songs all about having sex with strangers until you came along. But at the same time, her career was rapidly going nowhere and you are a famous producer. So taking her on, in your opinion, was a way of helping to promote her work and keep her famous and in the business. That was a very nice thing of you to do… but then her music suffered as a result. Your beats and production are good, that can’t be doubted, but your focus meant that Nelly Furtado was no longer Nelly Furtado. She became ‘anonymous woman’.

Admit it, Timbaland. You and Justin Timberlake decided to get together and stop interesting female singers, didn’t you? You started off by turning Nelly Furtado into a weird person who mimes in Nickelback videos and who goes to clubs. She was perfectly fine before! Dressing up in odd dresses and walking round in European fields, and all that. She used to be Canadian, for goodness sake! Now she’s an American who you can’t tell apart from any others. Despite this, I do like that “Say It Right” song. But Timbaland, you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, now. You should’ve known that nobody can stop Bjork, despite your best attempts. And Madonna was already completely obliterated as a musician long before you took over and turned her into a glorified backup singer for your little pal Justin. So what did you do?

I’ll tell you, because this is a rhetorical letter. You were asked to produce a song for M.I.A., another female artist who you have absolutely no hope of ever turning into another one of your pop puppets. You accepted the offer, though, and you must’ve read and listened to her lyrics, which discuss the way people go on after all the badness and violence that have happened in Sri Lanka, where she has family. She happens to have lived through a civil war, and her song mentions aspects of this and how she lives on despite it and tries to enjoy herself as much as she can. It’s a clever approach to the song. You know this, and you are tasked to provide a beat for it – and you do. A good one, one that suits the vibe of the song. But then what do you do?

You try to hit on her. And not to mention, you tell her you want to go to her ‘teepee’ to go have sex. Do you even know what Sri Lanka is? It’s a country NEXT to India, Timbaland. Oh, and… Timbaland? India is NOT where native Indians come from! Indians are their own culture altogether, people who live in houses and have rickshaws and the Taj Mahal and food that everybody around the world thinks is rather good. They do not wander round hunting tigers and living in teepees, worshipping a giant totem pole. This is a mistake you have made here. You also call her, frequently, ‘baby girl’. If you call her baby girl, Timbaland, then you are really not going to be allowed to ‘hit that’. Your attitude towards the song is off-putting and ruins the whole thing. You have helped her to sell more copies of her album, which was a great piece of work you-aside, but in the process you have attempted once more to turn her into a lesser person than you. You seem to have something against women, Timbaland. You didn’t even need to rap on the song, you were simply tasked to provide the production, but you could not help yourself. I do not understand why you feel the need to do this.

By all means, destroy Madonna or The Pussycat Dolls as much as you can, because their reputations are already mostly based on their ability to be a series of off-putting sexist mannerisms instead of real musicians. Just keep away from the Sugababes. I noticed you have been working with them, and with Beyonce, and with Jennifer Hudson. Please do not work your sexist magic on them too, or else we will have an online ‘beef’ – and this will not end well for you, for as far as I know my use of grammar and ellipsis is far more educated than yours. I may not know how to create a great piece of musical backing, but my superior use of compound sentences will be the end of you.

This is my warning.


  1. He also gets points for working with the Hives. (Sorry, I liked their colaboration.) That said, looks like you have your own war to wage, my good friend. I wish you the best, and any support I can lend to you, it's yours.

  2. I couldn't agree more, Timbaland is a complete gilbert. I'm seriously sick of his assault on the charts with gutter music, as well as being puzzled over the popularity of the songs in questioN!

  3. Nice post! I enjoy a good humorous and rhetorical blog letter every once in awhile. :)

    Thanks for the comment, btw!