20 Years Later, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah & Magoo Still Boogie Down (Video)
With their platinum-selling 1997 debut LP Welcome to Our World, Timbaland & Magoo invited millions of music fans into their native Norfolk, Virginia, a city (not to mention, a state) that had not made the kind of splash in the culture as had other Southern cities. With Timbo’s innovative, electronic style of production and Magoo’s distinctive voice, the duo would release three albums and two compilation LPs before disbanding. But in ’97, when Biggie’s Life After Death, Wu-Tang Clan’s Wu-Tang Forever, and P. Diddy’s No Way Out sported the highest first-week sales numbers, two fresh perspectives were offering up another side of the East Coast.
Prominently featuring Louisville, Kentucky’s Playa as well as Richmond, Virginia’s Skillz (whose annual Rap-Ups have become an honored tradition) and Washington, D.C.’s Ginuwine, Welcome to Our World lived up to its name in that it showcased the talents in American regions not necessarily thought of as being dominant forces by Rap’s growing audience. But also in tow were two of music’s fastest-rising women, whose combined influence gave Tim and Magoo an infusion of spunk and soul that would in many ways become its very own duo. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott and Aaliyah – hailing from Portsmouth, Virginia and Brooklyn, New York, respectively – were featured on the LP’s chart-topping single, “Up Jumps da Boogie” as well as its remix (the women also appeared elsewhere on the album, on “Man Undercover”).
Conceptually, the video is an homage to how it goes down in VA, with all of the 1990s cultural earmarks Heads could ask for. From the fashion, the dance moves, and the lingo, it’s definitely a throwback affair. But there are small, quirky details that speak to the innovation and attention to detail that makes artists like Timbo and Missy so unique. From Tim’s subdued but eye-catching work with the camera framing to winks of carnival sights and clever mirror work by Missy and Ginuwine, “Up Jumps da Boogie” is all about the little things that make a vibe a vibe.
#BonusBeat: The four reunited for the remix, which also served as Welcome to Our World‘s closing track, and features some fightin’ words from Timbo, who chastises other producers for jackin’ his beats…
20 years later, and Timbaland continues to be one of music’s most sought-after minds, reportedly working with everyone from Sam Smith to longtime collaborator Justin Timberlake. But for Hip-Hop fans, its his continued work in the Rap world – including this recent collaboration with Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat – that makes him one of the greatest producers of all time.