Naima Cochrane Profile picture
Jul 15, 2018 50 tweets 17 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Happy Sunday! We will be continuing our special #MusicSermon series on The Superfriends tonight with Timbaland. Doors of the church will open around 8. In the meantime, catch up on the latest church news with this week’s bulletin!…
Alight y'all, I'm getting organized and then well get started with tonight's #MusicSermon.
Ushers, you may begin seating. ⛪️
*Steps into pulpit*
*Adjusts mic*
*Cleans glasses*
*Opens text*

Good evening, family. Sorry for the late start. For one, it's hard for me to settle into a sermon while it's still daylight. Second, I was hit with a massive bout of sleepiness out of the blue...
Before the holiday weekend we started a special series on The Superfriends artist collective with Missy Elliott.…
Tonight and tomorrow, we're going to continue with Timbaland...
Our Missy Sermon happened to fall on her birthday, and today is appropriately the 21st Anniversary of Supa Dupa Fly (how old do you feel right now?). Missy & Tim had already turned the music world on it's side with One in a Million (we'll get to that). This turned it upside down.
We covered a lot of Tim & Missy's origin story in the last sermon, so I encourage you to back if you weren't in church that week, but let's do a quick recap.
First of all, this happened last weekend at Essence (also, Missy killed it) 😁
OK, so Timothy Mosley grew up in a God-fearing household in Norfolk, VA, and earned his music chops in the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ along with Pharrell Williams. They were in a group together, but eventually P told him he wanted to focus on what he & Chad were doing.
Random fact: Tim was accidentally shot in the left arm at 14 working in Red Lobster (No, not a robbery. Someone trying to pass someone a gun through the drive through). He was partially paralyzed for almost a year, but still DJ'd using his elbow. The bullet is still in his arm.
Anyway, mutual friends introduce Tim and Magoo to Missy, who's finding success with a local group and looking for someone to produce their demo. They click immediately. Tim has called her his musical soulmate.
Missy sneaks her group backstage at a Jodeci concert to audition for Devante and lands a deal, making Tim's production part of the agreement. They all move to NJ and become part of Swing Mob, and this is where we pick up on Tim's story.
This is a Superfriends series instead of a Tim & Missy series bc you can't tell their story without the Swing Mob story. The Superfriends are basically the Swing Mob survivors. Tim, Missy & Magoo met Static (of Playa), Genuine & Tweet through their indentured servitude to Devante
Da Basement, Devante's NJ home which housed Swing Mob artists + in house writers/producers was - by reports - closer to a type of work camp. Devante (allegedly) didn't believe in per diem, royalties or a whole lot of freedom, and the artists and producers were broke & starving
There was also a real sense of Stockholm syndrome, and the thought that if they kept grinding, they'd eventually be rewarded.
One day Tim and Missy heard a joint Devante produced for Pac on the radio, and it stopped them both cold.
Tim didn't produce it, but it was HIS sound.
Between her group being dropped and album never coming out, a year of uncredited writing/production work for Devante, and increasing violence in the house now that Jodeci was with Death Row, Missy was over it. Her leaving sends a ripple through the camp, but Tim stays and works.
When you listen back now, you can hear Tim in his ghosted stuff for Devante in a way I don't think you hear Pharrell in his Teddy stuff (maybe that's just me).
When Devante's not in the studio, Da Basement crew work on their own stuff. Tim & Static have been working on a joint for Playa. Tim's recently started playing w/ warped albums/ distorted sound. It's unlike anything he's done before. Genuwine begs for the record. Put a pin there.
Tim's mother loses their house to foreclosure and he feels helpless with only dollars to his name. Soon after that, he's in a car accident while running an errand with DeVante's girl. She doesn't make it. Still a very religious person, Tim heeds it as a wake up call.
Jimmy Douglass, an OG engineer that also worked with DeVante, helped Tim plan his exit. The biggest problem was that Tim was forfeiting all the music he'd been working on, including the song for Ginuwine, which now had the title "Pony". But he was able to recreate the track.
With just the "Pony" demo, two things happen: Jimmy sets up a mtg with Epic & lands Ginuwine a deal (but G had to literally give DeVante the slip on the streets of NY with just the clothes on his back to sign the papers).
2. Tim gets a pub deal.
That song is now his sound.
Almost immediately after the pub deal and shopping "Pony" to Epic, Barry & Jomo Hankerson - of Blackground and Aaliyah family fame - call Missy & Tim to meet Aaliyah. She wants her sophomore album to be edgy - her version of "Control". They have something special for her...
Aaliyah loves the song, and the Hankerson's immediately put Missy & Tim up to finish it plus additional tracks. The end result (with the help of Static): an album that changed the sonic course of R&B, and solidified Aaliyah as a star.
The combination of Tim, Missy, Static, and Aaliyah together is simply magic. It's a perfect formula of production, lyrics, style, movement and aesthetic.
Later the same year, Ginuwine gets his turn at bat, and as we all know, "Pony" was a monster hit.
Here's a reminder, though, that for some reason he remade "As Dove's Cry" (listen, they can't all be winners).
Remember that to this point both Tim AND Missy are primarily known as writers/producers + Missy as a feature artist. Then TODAY in 1997, they drop the game-changing Supa Dupa Fly. Done in two weeks, & expressly produced by Tim. We'll skip most Missy stuff since we did her sermon.
Aside from Aaliyah, Missy and G, Tim at this time has his hand in more remixes than straight up singles. But don't forget, he's part of his own group!! Ya'll forgot abut Magoo, didn't you. SMH.

"Up Jumps da Boogie" is like, the Superfriends posse cut.
Poor Maganoo...
This was a jam, though.
Tim's sound evolved from futuristic slow groove to futuristic bounce. That Timbo bounce was one of the dominant sounds in urban music from 98 until like 02...
He once said his mental store of sounds includes everything from his mom stirring a pot to his baby brother's gurgles.
And where he'd mainly been doing R&B (with the exception of Missy) and remixes, but now he was getting tapped for more singles and more hip hop.
And of course with all the years working with Playa and Static, when they FINALLY released their album, he was part of it.
Even though Tim and Magoo had released their album, Tim also wanted to do a solo project. One that felt like an anthology. Tim's Bio: From Da Bassment had big features, but underperformed.
Missy was almost as busy as Tim with writing and producing projects in 98, and Its often coproduced with her, on "Can We" for SWV, "Trippin'" for Total, and this joint for the Soul Food soundtrack.
(And s/o to @XavierDLeau b/c "Total Help Me Sing" is a real declarative statement)
Tim is working stuff for Missy's sophomore album when Jay stopped by the studio. Tim plays him some stuff bc he trusts his input. One is an Egyptian sample he's been trying to figure out.
Jay's in the booth minutes later.
They just got out of court over the sample last year.
"Big Pimpin" as a song is damn near worth a thread of its own, but I'll just drop this here.…
Even though Tim is doing massive hit rap tracks outside of Missy, though, he still ain't leaving R&B alone, the game needs him. Specifically Elgin's sophomore album. He was... impatient. HA.

Ya'll remember that girl #OnHere who tried to say a few months ago that "Pony" was Elgin Lumpkin's only hit?
And the joints Tim was giving us at this point, even for straight up lyrical, head nod rappers, were certified party bangers. STILL...
Like it took me a minute to type this b/c I was trying to drop it and type a tweet at the same time.
(I should also point out that a lot of this, like "Owe Me", is Tim & Static)
He was even producing for other producers' artist camps!

I never, ever thought I'd say this, but I miss parkin' lot pimpin'.
I almost forgot this song existed...
While the camp is still tight, by now (2000) Static is Aaliyah's main writer (Missy wrote heavily on One in a Million), with Tim, of course, still the main man behind the boards.
The Aaliyah self-titled album is going to be where we break for tonight, because Tim's career can so clearly be defined by before her death, and after her death... part because it affected him heavily both emotionally and creatively (and we'll get to that in a second), but also because it happened just as he was emerging into a full crossover space with his work.
I want to say this without sounding dismissive or "get off my lawn", but I notice that the folks who argue about Aaliyah and what her death meant for women in R&B would barely have been out of grade school when she died.
She was in her OWN lane. Nobody stepped in. Even now.
The whole camp was understandably deeply depressed after Aaliyah's death. Tim has just started coming out on the other side in the past couple of years. There was a time when none of them knew if they still felt the spark to create.
Tomorrow, we'll pick back up with Ms. Jade, Nelly Furtado, Justin, Tim's southern bounce moment, and more
But for now, if all hearts & minds are FULL

May the joy and beauty of music keep you.
May music wash over you, and be healing unto you.
May the warmth of music envelope you, and bring you peace.

And all the people said...
Should you feel moved to give to our streaming service subscription fund, our building fund, or just show your appreciation, you can do so @$musicsermon
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More from @naima

Sep 4, 2018
Alright ya’ll, we’re figuring out *our* hashtag for #BobbyBrownBET (bc, no shots to BET, but Bobby needs some flair).
Cast your vote below before 3pm ET.
To help prepare your soul and spirit for tonight (as we continue deliberations on OUR #BobbyBrownBET hashtag), let's revisit my reminder of why Bobby is the once and always KANG of stage and R&B...…
I expanded on it just a little bit on our site as a longform.…
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Sep 2, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam. There will probably be a sermon on tonight (but it may be tomorrow. I’m waiting for the spirit to hit). In the meantime, we finished counting down your Top 11 favorite #MusicSermons from our first year. Catch up with them here:…
And ICYMI, last week we had a special #MusicSermon Devotional to give proper acknowledgement to Tevin.…
Aight fam, this week’s #MusicSermon will happen manana. The spirit just isn’t moving on today.
I haven’t really moved beyond scrolling twitter and changing the tv channels from the comfort of my couch.
Read 61 tweets
Aug 12, 2018
Happy Sunday, fam! The *plan* is to do an early-ish sermon today (around 7) to be done in time for #Insecure.
But I’m also gonna be day-drinking, so let’s see what happens!! 🤷🏽‍♀️

#ICYMI, we finished our Director’s series on Monday w/ Hype Williams.…
Aight, I just got home. I need to get settled and organized but we ARE doing a #MusicSermon tonight. I expect to open the doors of the church around 8/8:30, we’ll rock until #InsecureHBO, take an intermission to watch as a family, then finish service.
*Steps into pulpit without robes*
*Adjust mic*
*Clears throat*

Happy Sunday, family.
I’m not ready to get started just yet (there’s alot of content. You’ll understand in a minute). I am, however, gonna break protocol and - for the first time - set the sermon up, then come back.
Read 76 tweets
Jul 29, 2018
It's #MusicSermon's BIRTHDAY!!! 🍾🎉
There will be a special Anniversary Service on this evening.

In the meantime, I wrote a little something about #MusicSermon's first year over on the site.

See ya'll this evening! ⛪️…
I’ll be opening the doors of the church around 8pm, and immediate after service I’m dropping the new #MusicSermon bracket 👀 #PleaseGovernYourselvesAccordingly
Grabbing food and getting organized, then we’ll get started on tonight’s special Anniversary #MusicSermon service. I think this might be a two-nighter.
Read 72 tweets
Jul 23, 2018
My ni**a this was on NATIONAL TV TWENTY YEARS AGO and ya’ll be like “I need receipts”...
I don’t even...
I also doubt the “pee” tape was still circulating by mid-00’s (at least I hope), but if you ever saw that tape, that was CHILD. She LOOKED like a child. There was no “I thought she was older...” nah.
Wait, the Toure interview happened in 08. I thought it was around the trial. STILL, that means he was FORTY something and couldn’t answer a question about teenage girls. Smh
Read 4 tweets
Jul 9, 2018
We’re taking the “long way” back home so we could stop in Montgomery to visit the lynching memorial. Found the counties we knew. Found the name of a victim my grandfather used to tell stories about.
The latest dates I saw were in the 1940’s. As late as 47. Some lynched for something as simple as standing around a white space, “frightening” a white woman. Sh*t is sounding way too familiar right now.
There are multiple places in the memorial that remind us there are *thousands* of stories we’ll never know the details of. Names that will never be called. These stories rise up in our spirit every time a black person is killed extrajudicially at the hands of police officers...
Read 6 tweets

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