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With Grit And Polish, Hip-Hop Comes Of Age At SXSW‏

From NPR:

“I do music for women,” said Timbaland, onstage at the Parish in Austin, Texas on Thursday afternoon to debut tracks from his as-yet-untitled and unfinished new album, likely coming this fall. “Y’all determine everything,” he added, gesturing at a hoop earring-clad fan standing at the lip of the stage. The venerable hip-hop producer then told a story about testing Justin Timberlake’s signature hit, “SexyBack,”‘ for four of the singer’s female friends. Their thrilled response convinced the two Tims to demand that their label release the single.

Judging from the press of women dancing at the Parish club as Timbaland (born Tim Mosely) shared tracks from his iPhone with assists on the mix by DJ Freestyle Steve, his first full-length release since 2009 will be a success.

The first song he played, the just-released “Break Ya Back” featuring the dance-pop seductress Dev, made for a slow start — its minimalist beat proved too solid to move the crowd. The room went electric, though, when he switched to a collaboration with “my sister,” Missy Elliott. The untitled song had the cool, mildly hallucinogenic vibe of the pair’s classic collaborations, and the audience yelled its approval.

Timbaland got much looser after that, dancing and rhyming along with his next several offerings, making this listening party more like an impromptu concert. With DJ Freestyle Steve adding to the mix, and because Tim repeated said the tracks were mostly unfinished, it was hard to get a sense of the project’s overall tone. But it seems that Timbaland has been keeping track of dance music trends: several songs had the big drops and squiggly noise elements of EDM (Electronic Dance Music), conjuring images of the 41-year-old Mosely lurking in the dance tents at Coachella or Bonnaroo.

Continue reading the rest of the story on NPR