It’s no secret that Pharrell and Timbaland were part of a group named Surrounded By Idiots when they were young, unproven musicians from Virginia back in the early 1990s. Pharrell and Timbaland were respectively known as Magnum DJ Timmy Tim at the time. Until recently, though, there wasn’t much tangible proof of the group.
That was, until just a few days ago, when Larry Live, current Timbaland Productions A&R and former member of the group, liberated three tracks from 1991. Timbo’s future partner in crime, Magoo, also appears on some of the music.
So, what were Timabaland and Pharrell bringing to the table before they became stars? As the tracks below seem to reveal, they were well ahead of their time even back then, using samples that would years later be the backbone to other artists’ hits. Below is some of what we noticed about the tracks. What did you guys think?
“Skull Caps & Stripe Shirts” uses Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature” sample. Since the tracks were supposedly recorded in ’91, it means they sampled it before Teddy Riley (SWV version) and Large Professor (Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”). Pharrell later worked under Teddy Riley, so it’s not impossible that Riley got the idea to flip the track from him.
“If Ur Freaky Baby” samples Michael Jackson’s “Lady in My Life” (four years before Trackmasters sampled it for LL Cool J’s “Hey Lover”) and uses the Lisa Stansfield “All Around the World” hook, six years before Biggie Smalls interpolated it for Puff’s “Been Around the World.”
“It’s Like That” samples Patrice Rushen’s “You Remind Me” four years before Junior M.A.F.I.A. came out with “I Need You Tonight,” which also samples “You Remind Me.”
Though Timbaland’s voice would later become an unmistakable part of the hit records he made with Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Bubba Sparxxx, Justin Timberlake and more, he was just behind the boards on these tracks.
It’s said that The Neptunes officially came together shortly after they graduated high school, which was right around 1991, as Pharrell was 18-years-old at the time.