Timbaland is in a great space.
Today, the superproducer celebrated the release of Xscape, a long-gestating posthumous Michael Jackson album that he executive produced alongside album producer/curator L.A. Reid.
Sprawling, fun, retro, and accented with the feel of a classic album cherry-picked from the Off The Wall sessions, Xscape raises the bar for all posthumous records from here forward, but when speaking with REVOLT on the day of the project's release, Tim admitted that he didn't anticipate the challenges he'd face in working on the King Of Pop's new record.
"I didn't know how much, emotionally, it would take a toll on me, dealing with somebody that you looked up to," Tim revealed, looking more than relieved to watch the project finally find its way to the world.
As far as his approach to overseeing the project and pulling together a superstar team of producers to create a cohesive offering, Tim explained: "We just did whatever Michael would want us to do. We let [the music] talk to us, instead of us talking to it. We let Michael talk to us." Spiritual advisor in tow, all involved went on to create a tribute album that sounds as timely as it does timeless.
Still, that emotional toll may have proven to be too great for Tim, as when asked if he saw himself taking on another project like Xscape in the future, he was quick to come back with a prompt "No," asserting that the album was "one of a kind."
One thing Tim is excited about, however, is his own upcoming solo LP, once dubbed Textbook Timbo, which has since evolved into Opera Noir, a result of Tim discovering "what I want to do." He'd later confirm: "I found who I am and what I'm comfortable with, and what I want to do."
Asked about the meaning of the album title and its central theme, Tim humbly said, "It's a culture thing. It's the truth. It's just about life in general. My life. My personal life, and I found myself as an artist and human being and as a man. I found who I am," sounding strikingly similar to another Virginia native, Pharrell, who famously detailed the mental clarity he found when writing and recording his recent G I R L.
Unlike Pharrell, despite Tim's long list of collaborators - Legends Of The Summer Jay Z and Justin Timberlake among them - the Xscape producer went on to reveal that Opera Noir finds him keeping things bare bones.
"Me and my new artist, her name is V. Just me and her. And Cee-Lo. That's it," Tim said of the artists featured on the upcoming album. Not a bad cast of characters, though to any casual fan, it's obvious he could've called upon any number of his superstar homies to lend a helping hand. Still, Tim clarifies that "When [Opera Noir] comes out and you see the whole package, you'll understand why. You'll see it, and you'll be like, 'Wow, I've never seen nothing like this.'"
If you're wondering what iconic hip-hop album the esteemed producer would compare his surely cinematic Opera Noir to, he likens it to his version of Dr. Dre's 1992 masterwork, The Chronic.
"I finally made my Chronic," Tim assured us. With his history, we're likely not the only ones excited to hear whatever it is that sounds like.