Guns (we got em, you want em)
Look how neatly he fits!
Anyone who’s thought, “Gee, pop stars should release more disstracks,” few as we might be, behold “Give It To Me” — the purported first single from Timbaland’s upcoming solo release. Tim’s had no trouble filling Magoo’s tiny voice/big shoes, (though he might be found elsewhere on the record, TBA) cashing in some chart-topping karma from Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado. Their verses (and hook, in Nelly’s case) are brazen, success-flauting taunts at detractors and rivals. Furtado sounds more like Gwen Stefani in timbre and tact (+ out of tune) than ever before, even flaunting her status as Mean Girl, no, a Rich Girl, her days as a happy bird long since slammed in a Phantom door. JT, of course, is no stranger to stuffing songs with ill will; this is the first time we hear him pop (chart?) opponents in the jaw with his triumph. Although it’s unclear who he’s gunning for, I suspect he’s aiming at Janet Jackson when he mentions “let me clear the air” and “we missed you on the charts last / damn, that’s right, you wasn’t there.” Unclever critics also get skewered: “if sexy never left then why’s everybody on my shit / don’t hate on me because you didn’t come up with it.” The man has a point. Timbaland has always been an excellent braggart so diss wasn’t as much a reach for him. Here he bites a little deeper and throws his producing crown in Scott Storch’s: “I’m a real producer and you just a piano man” and “niggas talking greedy / I’m the one that give them they chance.” Perhaps Tim pushed JT and Nelly for aggressive barbs like these to match his needed hardass, “I’m behind the boards and up front in respect, I fart better songs than you” persona. I guess when heavy bobby & whitney talk makes pop radio tick you can’t just be awesome anymore.
Timbaland bust out the door so fast with this single, firearms ablaze, that it sounds unfinished and unrehearsed, leading me to believe this wasn’t meant for our ears just yet. Thick, bang on the floor drums provide a quaking foundation, a likewise dizzy interplay of synth puffs fills the air, and the stability of the track is questionable. Rhythmically, “Give It To Me” is an escalator shunning its track and bucking its passengers — too many beats for some phrases, not enough for others. Tim chops verses up (chopped & screwed sort of chopped) a bit to fit his unwieldy pattern, which keeps it an unpredictable, sometimes uncomfortable listen. I have a hard time believing Timbaland, with the quality control he exercises, would be satisfied with a theoretically interesting (kooky rhythms, pop stars chatting shit etc.) and musically mediocre track, let alone as the first shot fired from his solo record. Retooled and with a dollop of polish (or not, if we’re going for a lo-fi hip-hop kind of feel) this could work its way onto pop radio. Because if something this jaw-droppingly gawky can make a splash, Tim can empty the proverbial pool. With that much oil on his arms he’ll still be shiny too. What a fun, sexy time for you.