Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What really happened to Timbaland, Missy Elliott, and (Mad) Skillz

You all remember Skillz right? He was a member of the Supafriendz crew and has appeared on Aaliyah's "Are You That Somebody" Remix, Tim & Magoo's "Clock Strikes" Remix, and a few others. Recently Skillz talked about the reasoning behind why he, Timbo, and Missy parted ways:

On a much-expected Timbaland-produced Skillz solo album never making its way out to the people following his absorption into Tim’s “Da Bassment” crew in the late ‘90s, and subsequent appearances on Tim’s first solo album, Tim’s Bio, in 1998 and the remix to Aaliyah’s smash-single earlier that year, “Are You That Somebody?”:

Skillz: “I think people were excited Tim was with a real lyricist. He was with a real spitter. But, I don’t think he was ready at that time to focus on anything else. He didn’t have his label situation together. He had just started a situation with Jimmy [Iovine]. I just don’t think Tim was ready [for me yet]. I think Tim was on a different level. I don’t think he had pretty much grown into a producer at that point. He was a real good beatmaker, but early, early I don’t think he had grown into a producer. Missy was doing a lot of the songwriting.”

On Timbaland’s decision to essentially dissolve the Bassment crew that had migrated with him following their exodus from the original oversight of famed Jodeci member
and producer Devante Swing:

Skillz: “I would say Tim had one of the meanest collectives before he knew he had it. You had Missy, who was already huge. You had yourself in a group with Magoo – Timbaland and Magoo, they squeezed out a couple of joints. You had Ginuwine, who had the ladies on smash. You had Aaliyah, who was moving into the Pop [realm]. She was a star in her own right. You had Playa, [which featured] Static [Major] – God rest his soul, rest in peace. [He] was an amazing songwriter. You had me. You had Danja Mowf and Lonnie B [from my Supafriendz crew]. Man, that was a mean squad, kid. Nicole Wray, [Tweet]…You had all the people right there. And I didn’t really understand how he could come from the situation that he came from, as far as dealing with Devante, and what that did to him, and then turnaround and do the same thing.”

On Timbaland’s choosing to forgo pursuing projects from the aforementioned artists and instead launch his Interscope Records-backed label, Beat Club, with then unheard of and unproven newcomers:

Skillz: “Petey [Pablo] was gon’ do Petey anyway [apart from Timbaland]. Petey Pablo is a force to be reckoned with on his own. Bubba [Sparxxx], by that time [2000/2001] I was on my way out the door [from the camp] anyway. I didn’t understand how he could…I just didn’t understand his movements. Like, I didn’t understand how you could get with Jimmy Iovine, who’s one of the most important men in music, who already had Dr. Dre – Dr. Dre has Eminem… So Jimmy already has the biggest white rapper ever so far, and then you sign a white rapper. Jimmy had Eve, who was through Ruff Ryders, who’s a force to be reckoned with, doing her thing, homegirl from Philly holding it down. And then you sign Ms. Jade who’s from Philly as well, [and] kinda close [stylistically] to Eve. And no disrespect to any of these artists, I don’t think they had anything to do with it. I think Tim was so busy trying to kinda do what Dre was doing when Dre can’t even do what you do. Dre can’t make R&B. That’s not his forte. I mean, he can make it, but if it don’t pop then he’ll be like, ‘Ah, that’s not my shit anyway.’ Tim can make R&B songs, Pop songs, Hip Hop. So I don’t really understand why he was so busy trying to follow the same format [as Dr. Dre].”

And finally, Skillz spoke on what led to the final dissolution of his once apparently rock-solid relationship with Timbaland and Missy Elliott:

“I see Tim every now and then. It is what it is. Missy, I see Missy. It’s just that every time I see Missy, or everytime I hear like ‘Get Ur Freak On,’ I get a bad feeling because of something that happened [between us] in the past. If I can say anybody kinda did me dirty at one point it would be her. You know what it was? I’ll say this, fuck it. It was one particular time where she needed me to do a show. Missy might not even remember this. She needed me to do like Hot 97 Summer Jam and my daughter was sick. Like, I’m in Virginia and my daughter’s sick and Mona Scott, her manager, is calling me. They blowing my phone up: ‘Skillz we need you in New Jersey.’ And I’m like, ‘Yo, I can’t come. My daughter is sick.’ [She then replies back] ‘Skillz I really need you to make this happen. What is it gonna take to make this happen?’ And I’m like, ‘Yo, my child is sick.’ I [was] a new father [at the time] and I don’t know [what to do] and I’m like, ‘I can’t do that.’ So she was like, ‘Aww, just come. You can bring her. I’ll have a nurse here for her. I’ll make sure everything’s taken care of.’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know about all that.’ So you know, me milling it over from being younger, I needed the money. And they had upped the money to about like three or four thousand I think it was, just for me to come to Summer Jam and do the show with Missy.

So, I went. I left my daughter with her grandmother. I went and did the show. And you know, they paid me. They took they time. Elektra [Records] always used to take they time cutting me the check. So I finally got my money. Anyway, to speed the story up, I signed to Rawkus. [And then] I’m like, ‘Missy, what’s up, I need you on [my] album.’ She’s like, ‘Alright cool, I got a hook for you.’ She said, ‘Send me the beat.’ So I sent her the Hi-Tek beat, which [became] ‘Crew Deep.’ Missy sung the hook. Hook was hot! I had The Clipse and Pharrell on the remix, song [was] ready to go. And then it’s time for me to shoot the video. I was like, ‘Miss, I just need you to come through, show a quick cameo, mouth the hook a little bit.’ And I already had to take Missy off of the hook and put Kandi from Xscape on the hook because [Elektra] wouldn’t clear Missy’s voice [to be used for the song]. So, I go to L.A. to shoot the video. And I remember calling [Missy] and calling her, and calling Mona, and she never came to the video. And from where we were shooting she was like maybe five or six blocks [away]. Her hotel was maybe five or six blocks [away]. And she never came to the video. So like, it’ll be times when…Like, I remember one particular time I was watching TV, and they showed an old performance of us on the MTV Awards. It was me, Missy, Ludacris, Trina and Petey Pablo. I’m hyping Missy up, singing ‘Get Ur Freak On.’ And my daughter, she’s old enough, she’s like, ‘Dad, you on TV with Missy.’ And I just turned the [channel]. Every time I see that, or I see [the video to] that song, I think about being like a bad father. You live and you learn. And what that taught me is never put anything before your family – money, it doesn’t matter. Never put anything before your family.”

All I can say is who knew?


  1. timbaland is a genius, but truth be told, both him and missy are sellouts.

    it seems like these days, tim will do a track with anyone. i missed the days when he just kept that sound we all fell in love with for his crew--missy, aaliyah, ginuwine, and a few others.

  2. I met Skillz in Pittsburgh last year
    real cool dude, he talked about how he can't stand stuff like Laffy Taffy but he'd rather his daughter sing that around the house than sing what he was singin @ that age which was Akinyele - Put it in Your Mouth, real funny dude too, and I'm one of the biggest Tim fans, but I agree with Skillz, I don't understand his movements

  3. That whole thing about Bubba/Em and Ms Jade/Eve is the truth. There is no way around that. And their albums all dropped around the same time too.

  4. Could someone post the Skillz, Danja Mouf etc remix of "AUTS" by Aaliyah if possible? I never got to hear it! Many thanks! ;)

  5. I guess 2001 was the turning point for the crew after all. Everybody was going in different directions. Missy dropped everybody and signed Tweet. Timbaland started Beat Club. Aaliyah died and Ginuwine had a Timbo-less album (except 1 track). At least they were successful at the time. Still like them though.

    Co-sign the comment about Bubba & Jade.

  6. Imagine if Tim would have signed or gotten with Skillz and Luda tim was doing his thing like Skillz said with the Supafriends and in that way Tim needs to go back.I still enjoy timbo tha king no one can do it better.

  7. That Dre comparison is an angle i never thought of..... It makes so much sense lol. This man is speaking the truth man..... what he was sayin then, came true.

    He sounded hurt by the missy thing too man that is messed up man.

  8. i agree with that, but if you look at it Dre was a huge producer, and tim was not really a household name like he is today, so i could see why he would make moves the way he did to i guess be a huge producer like Dre, but Tim dissing someone that grew up in the same boat he was in is kind of messed up

  9. you know what... i agree with him about somehtings but in the music industry there are rules, execs, and higher people looking down on you. it's not a game and when everybody is looking at the artists (the fans) the artist has more people looking down on them (the execs). and tim didnt sell out nobody. he still does do tracks with most of these people it's just they never make the final cut... why.. i dont know why but it all has to do with the final say of the label. and everybody on beatclub actually cancelled their contracts and parted ways. This business is really messed up and unfortunately it can change a person but i blame no one for the break-up but i am mad that we havent been able to hear a ginuwine/ timbo colobo for some time now. but after aaliyah passed i think everybody knew then that the superfriendz were gonna have some tough times ahead of them. i'm still reppin tim cuz it aint about the music anyways???

  10. Musically the crew is still talented. But they are at best when they collab. It's like that for Em and Dre and 50. Ginuwine's ablums sound dry as well as Missy's with the exception of one or two hits. Tim is still the best though. I think its a money issue. Tim's tracks are around a million or so and Ginuwine nor any of the other artist are willing to do an entire album with tim produceds tracks. The label has to front the mula.

  11. Hey atleast Tim & Magoo got back for one song. Board Meeting is one of the hottest joints on that record!

  12. The funny thing about a memory is that time has a way a skewing what really went down. I'm not saying that his accounts aren't accurate, but he seems bitter because they all blew up and he is still in the periphery of the mainstream. If it bothers him so to hear or see Missy why not call her to clear the air. Anyway that song is like from 01 get the hell over it.As far as Tim, he was in a whole other zone back then. Besides when are people going to realize producers who rap or sing tend not to make the best record execs, I'm just saying look at BadBoy.

  13. Tim is trying to be a better one than before but i agree all of them are at their best when they work together.


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