Who watched the Grammys last night? Mark Ronson’s name came up a couple of times, he was obviously sitting pretty close to the front row. Plus Kanye West literally spoke to him from the podium, so every Kanye fan who never heard of Mark probably googled him two seconds later. Then he was announced, toward the end of the show, to have won the award for Producer of the Year, non-classical, which if I’m not mistaken, was an honor bestowed upon Rick Rubin last year. He went on to become the Co-Chairman of Columbia Records. Go figure.
This is not an “I Hate Mark Ronson” post. I actually think the dude is a pretty good producer, a good DJ, and having talked to him a few times, just an all round good guy. He even works with some pretty good rappers (Wale, Rhymefest) and some pretty good singers (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Daniel Merriweather). So all is well in the world of Mark Ronson.
But are you seriously going to tell me that he had a better year than Timbaland? I can’t cosign that. Not only did Timbaland completely give pop music a make-over, he subsequently changed the entire direction of urban music in the process. Now you’ve got all these goofy r&b singers trying to make pop records. And every hip-hop producer sounds like they’re making wannabee Tim/Danjahandz beats. In one fell swoop of an MPC, traditional rap music has been made irrelevant. Keep your mid-tempo 808s and 2-finger synthesizer melodies. If Nas said hip-hop was dead, Timbaland put the nail in its coffin, from a sonic standpoint, that is.
I guess you could argue that Tim produced fewer records that actually came out in 2007, and Mark Ronson did do “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good” for Wino…err, Winehouse, and “Littlest Things” for Lily Allen. But nobody I know, and maybe i’m just a fucking weirdo, gave a shit about that Lily Allen joint, and Timbaland’s “The Way I Are” was a much hotter record to me than either of those Winehouse joints. Salaam Remi did a major chunk of that album too, why doesn’t anyone bring his name up?
Mark Ronson’s album of remakes, Version, vs. Timbaland’s Shock Value?
20 cool points to anyone who can tell me a song off that Version album.