It’s possible that we’ll never hear the pristine, tagless mp3 of “Movin’ Bass,” the Timbaland-produced single from Rick Ross’ Hood Billionaire that presently features Jay Z and originally featured young Chicago rapper Tink as well. (If you haven’t been bumping Tink already, return to this post once you’ve cued “Don’t Tell Nobody,” which is a perfect song f/ Jeremih.)
Tink is a Chicago rapper on the come-up, recently poached by Timbaland, who’s now working as her benefactor and sensei. The two have been collaborating since Timbaland discovered Tink during an L.A. studio session with Da Internz in 2012, with Timbaland signing Tink to a recording contract shortly thereafter. “I don’t help her with nothing,” Timbaland swears. “I gave her a song, ‘Movin’ Bass,’ and said, ‘If you get this right, I’m gonna bow down to you.’”
After Tink nailed her couple of verses in the studio, Timbaland played the track for Jay Z on a plane, and the rest is, well, the following:
A three-way Ross-Jay-Tink collabo is conceptual gold. Understandably, Timbaland would’ve preferred the version of “Movin’ Bass” that featured his own fledgling artist rapping in concert with two industry veterans. Also understandably, Ross wanted the potential hit for himself. The official cut of “Movin’ Bass,” released last week, cuts Tink’s rapping and melodies from the track and leaves Jay Z with only a hook to his credit. The final chemistry is neutered and unfulfilled.
Earlier this week, Timbaland addressed the switcheroo in an interview with Power 105’s Breakfast Club morning show. Among hosts Charlamagne tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy, the consensus is that the original version of “Movin’ Bass” is a more complete, compelling record than the version Ross dropped the other day. “As a producer,” Charlamagne asked Timbaland, “why didn’t you encourage Ross to put that version out? Because the version Ross put out needs some work.”
“Every artist has his own choice,” Timbaland shrugged. “It’s [Ross’] prerogative.”
I’ve listened to Hood Billionaire a few times already. The album is a remarkably Ross-centered project with little room for off-brand collaborations and breakout features. With Hood Billionaire being Ross’ second album of 2014—a career Hail Mary—maybe Ross is just sweating for a solo hit on which, unlike “Sanctified,” Ross does most of the heavy lifting. This would explain why Jay’s verses got chopped out of “Movin’ Bass” along with Tink’s bars and original, standout hook.
Ultimately, Hood Billionaire is Ross’ strongest solo project since Rich Forever, and his leanest album since Teflon Don. This time around, Ross dialed back the skits and features, even from the Dreamchasers and his own MMG roster. The original Ross-Jay-Tink cut of “Movin’ Bass” is too cluttered and collaborative to really fit the streamlined flow of Hood Billionaire. Luckily, the two conflicting mp3s fit in my iTunes library just fine.
Gunplay, my man, can’t we all just get along?