Skip to main content

Timbaland Explains the Danger in Producers Trying to Predict "Hit" Records

"The beauty of a hit is not knowing it's a hit."

Timbaland has produced countless hit records over the past 27 years, but according to the legendary producer, in addition to not always knowing right away if one of his records has the potential to become a "hit," he also avoids making educated guesses.

"I used to [think], 'Oh, that's a hit, that's a hit,'" Timbaland told Blueprint host and former Complex CCO Noah Callahan-Bever. "When you get caught up into that, it's like a spirit that comes with that, like an arrogancy [sic]. I try to stay away from that because I got caught up in that. And when you get caught up into that, you slack on your music and you just take it for granted and you think you are something that you are not."

Scroll to Continue



5 Songs You Need to Hear: Best of the Week

Lil Nas X, Lil Durk, Teni, Ekkstacy, and dhruv released new songs you need to hear — all available for stream on the Audiomack app.


5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

Tap into new projects from Giveon, Moelogo, Chucky73, Bils, and Cochise.


“Let It All Out”: An Interview With PGF Nuk

PGF Nuk is the newest prodigy of Chicago drill. He breaks down his career journey for Audiomack World.

He continued: "The beauty of a hit is not knowing it's a hit, but you know it feels good. You kinda can feel it, but it's kinda good to just be humble and just love the music that you created and let it be. That's what got me to this point. I let it be."

According to Timbaland, an example of "this feeling" came when he finished work on Justin Timberlake's 2006 single "SexyBack." While label execs weren't sure if the eventual No. 1 single, 3x Platinum-certified, would be a smash, Timbo says it just felt right. "Yes, that's the one," he recalled.

Fresh off beating a nasty addiction to OxyContin, the 45-year-old Virginia veteran is currently hard at work on material that, he says, has the potential to be a "classic," similar to the work that fellow legendary producer Quincy Jones did with Michael Jackson on Thriller, when he was 50 years old. 



Eminem Explains Why He Records "Close to 50 Songs" for Each Album

"You’re not going to hit it every single time."


Atlantic Records Has Reportedly Called Albums “Mixtapes” to Avoid Fairly Compensating Producers

"They didn't treat it like it was an album, which is just their way of not paying me a whole lot."


What Happens After You Produce a Hit Record?

Hit producer Rogét Chahayed explains the trappings of life once you produce a massive song for Audiomack.


DJ Mustard Tells Young Producers "Stand Your Ground" Against Major Labels

"Nobody can tell you nothing when you're the hot dude."

Danger Mouse Is Rap's Great "What If" Producer

Danger Mouse Is Rap’s Great “What If?” Producer

Imagine the creative chemistry Danger Mouse might share with rappers like Danny Brown, Action Bronson, and Tyler, The Creator. I know I have.