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Special Issue
WWD Music issue 09/04/2008

Timbaland is at home wherever he hangs his many hats.

Rapper/Producer/Singer/Composer Timbaland has worn so many different hats over the years that it should come as no shock that he’s familiar with the world of style. The 37-year-old Timbaland (born Timothy Mosley and nicknamed after the workwear boot by Jodeci’s Devante Swing in the early Nineties) added “designer” to his long list of pursuits this year with a T-shirt created for the H&M and Designers Against  AIDS campaign Fashion Against AIDS. Last year, his music was the soundtrack for Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2008 men’s show, and he returned the compliment by wearing  one of their suits at October 2007’s Swarovski Fashion Rocks event.

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

But the man who helped Justin Timberlake bring sexy back has got more on his mind than clothes. In June 2008, he married publicist and longtime girlfriend Monique Idlett, and he’s currently working on “Shock Value 2,” the follow-up to his 2007 solo effort “Shock Value.” The new album has not yet been scheduled for release, but in a recent interview with, Timbaland confirmed that it would feature collaborations with Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Jordin Sparks and the Jonas Brothers. And that’s just for starters.

But even if he’s keeping some of the major names on this album a secret, one thing is obvious: It’s going to be huge. “I really do focus groups,” Timbaland said to MTV of his 2007 album. “I get reports, readouts. I’m a businessman and at the same time a [chief executive officer]. But I looked at the charts: I went platinum in 16 different countries….France? Platinum. They don’t like nobody unless you’re French, but they like me.”

As he raps in “Time,” off “Shock Value,” “Soon as I walk out the door there it is/‘Wanted’ poster with my face on it.” With his string of successes, it’s easy to see why.

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