“This will be the last time I talk and I’m going back into hibernation.” – Tim Mosley, “Timbaland,” to THS upon sitting down for his interview
In the span of just a few years, Tim Mosley transformed from a struggling teenager sleeping on an air mattress to a Grammy-winning artist known worldwide as Timbaland. Having collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Madonna, Timbaland’s music is as infectious as it is successful. However, his life has often been far from glamorous. A true survivor, Mosley was shot at close range, nearly dead after a tragic car accident, and has been broke, hungry and on the brink of suicide. Sheer will, determination and a love of music pulled Timbaland up from despair and allowed him to create an unmatched body of work in pop, R&B and hip-hop. For the first time ever on television, Timbaland and his family reveal the details of his triumphant story. This hour-long THS packs some major star power: Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Missy Elliott, Keri Hilson and Ryan Tedder all sat down with E! to share their thoughts on this musical savant and what his work has meant to them. The E! True Hollywood Story: Timbaland premieres on December 20th at 9:00 PM on E!.
Timbaland’s early life was rough and money was tight. Still, Mosley’s love of music was always apparent.
“I had this record player that I always used to play. This Fisher-Price record player and it had grooves in it, and it played stuff like ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb.’ But it was cool to me. I always used to cut up the stereo and jam in my little underwear.”
“We didn’t have clothes. We had holey drawers. I rode in a car with no brakes…we lost our house twice. Not once, twice.”
While still in high school, Timbaland partnered up with Missy Elliott.
Timbaland – “How she [Missy Elliott] sung onto my beats – nobody was doing that. And putting harmonies and stuff, nobody had done that, she was just super dope.”
Elliott – “I was at his house every day after school. From that moment we knew, it was something both of us had.”
Timbaland – “It was Godsent; that was my sister.
When Timbaland met Timberlake, the connection was instantaneous.
Timbaland – “Me and Justin, it’s the weirdest thing. We just say we’re gonna kill them and then we kill them.”
Timberlake – “There’s no bull****with us. We get together, we break bread and we spill out music. That’s what we do….I think my sound is – half of it is him.”
At one point Timbaland battled some self-esteem issues.
“I was almost 400 pounds…so I got very depressed, like suicidal depressed.”
Tim Mosley came through the depression and then got lucky – when he met and married his wife, Monique.
Monique – “It was the most amazing day of our life [their wedding day] the emotions that were there that day, I just always remember that.”
Timbaland – “It’s probably hard to be married to me. It’s not easy. I’m a musical genius. I’m weird, I do crazy things, it’s not like the average norm. But I’m a loving guy.”
These days, Timbaland is about giving back – but he doesn’t draw attention to his deeds.
Rapper and friend Melvin “Magoo” Barcliff, “This dude gives so much money, so many opportunities to people and never says a word. I’m talking about saving people’s lives, making sure people don’t lose their homes.”
The fascinating E! True Hollywood Story: Timbaland premiers on December 20th at 9:00 PM on E!.
*Press Release courtesy of E! and The Style Network
*photo courtesy of E! Network