Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Timbaland and Magoo

  • Welcome to Our World [Blackstreet/Atlantic, 1997] A-
  • Under Construction Part II [Blackground/Universal, 2003] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Welcome to Our World [Blackstreet/Atlantic, 1997]
Tim is as simple and deep as his unsampled bass-beats. In fact, he's so uncompromising about being laid-back that he finds himself charged with no less a responsibility than redefining reality, which in his unorthodox view is benign, within limits: "I got my man Big D./Rodney/In case somebody wanna rob me." Magoo does the Flavor Flav thing, leaving Tim free to keep the self-referential rhymes as clean as they wanna be: "I'm on my last verse/As you can see I did not curse/I wanna make it radio-friendly/So people in America can hear me." He's woman-friendly too--won't call you a ho, just lick on your toes. A-

Under Construction Part II [Blackground/Universal, 2003]
Good thing the two rappers have less personality combined than any of their 10-cameo-artists-in-16-tracks, because personality would distract from the beats, which with Timbo means what it says--no mainstream DJ relies so heavily on rhythm instruments per se. His sweetener of choice is chants--Tim, Mag, & Attitude re-singing Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane," Actual South Asian Person Raje Shwari softening a unison mutter of "That Sh** Ain't Gonna Work"--that cloy only with the standard-issue femme hooks toward the end (sure we miss Aaliyah, but Brandy makes it worse). Magoo's best line: "I don't own a plane or yacht or eat squid." Tim's (to Shwari, not Magoo): "I can't understand a word you're saying." A-