As sequels go, this may be one of the more puzzling ones released. There’s no Timbaland & Magoo “Under Construction Part I” to be found anywhere. Last year though, Timbaland’s chief star and protege Missy released the album “Under Construction” to the usual success and critical acclaim their work together receives. It’s not suprising that Mr. Tim Mosley would want potential purchasers to consider a Timbaland & Magoo album a follow-up to that smash, but there’d be nothing wrong with being a sequel to “Welcome to Our World” or “Indecent Proposal” either. Whatever you might think of the two as rap artists, any time Timbaland produces an entire album it’s almost guaranteed to be worth listening to.

“Under Construction Part II” is no exception in that regard. The only times Timb lets someone else take over on the boards are “I Got Luv 4 Ya” produced by Heavy D and “Don’t Make Me Take it There” produced by J. Nitti. The rest of the bangers are all his work, including the ultra-slick “Indian Flute” featuring Raje Shwari and Sebastian. The humerously honest Timbaland chorus echoes the thoughts of a rap nation on Shwari’s vocals: “I can’t understand a word you’re sayin.” Who needs to though? Any time you hear melody from India with aSINGER from India in a rap track, it’s a refreshing honesty all it’s own. Timbaland himself isn’t shy about tooting his own horn on the song “Can We Do it Again”:

“(Hu-huh!) I’m killin ’em with this music I’m innovatin
Penetratin your speakers, let me give you a demonstration
(Hu-huh!) You think that we ain’t hear the statement you hatin
I hit the strip in the Bentley feel me, you walkin and waitin sayin
(Hu-huh!) Me and Mag-a-noo hittin ’em hard
Got them feelin the nod, just because we pull niggaz cards
Quick as (hu-huh) I got a fool intoxicatin this hard liquor
Gimme the mic, I’ll spit a killer verse that’ll start with a

Not surprisingly Missy Elliott has a starring role on this sequel of sorts on the album’s lead single “Cop That Shit.” While Timbaland’s opening verse pays tribute to Rakim, Missy decided to reference MC Lyte:

“When you say you love me, it doesn’t matter
It goes into my head as just chit-chatter
You may think I’m egotistical or just very free
But, what cha say I go tell it to, TIMOTHY!
And, people say I’m whack but they don’t tell me so
Let them pretend to be me, then they know
I hate when one, pretend to fantasize
Fact I despise, those who even try
Sweat between my thighs {*sniff*} never stinking
Your dream is over, career sinking
I told all of you, like I told all of them
Whatcha say to me be DICK TO YA CHIN!”

As for Magoo, well, he still sounds like a lesser Q-Tip. In college I nearly had a heart attack when I made that comment to a fellow student and he said back to me, “Who’s Q-Tip?” If you feel the same way right now, take five minutes to read the “Midnight Marauders” review on the site and come back. All things considered though, a rapper could do far worse than to sound like a lesser Q-Tip. Magoo will never win awards for his dope rhymes, but he’s serviceable when paired with Timbaland on the beats, such as his rap on the brash “That Shit Ain’t Gonna Work”:

“You can pay a hooker money, put a gun to her head
for the pussy but – nigga, that shit ain’t gon’ work
You can take a time machine to my past, kill my mom
before my birth – nigga, that shit ain’t gon’ work
If you know I’m fin’ to kill ya, get the FBI
for protection – nigga, that shit ain’t gon’ work
Get a face job, that’ll make you look like me
You can’t write like me – nigga, that shit ain’t gon’ work”

There’s the usual variety of tracks Timbaland is known for throughout. The slightly country and silly “Shenanigans” features Bubba Sparxxx. “Naughty Eye” is a club bounce track so Timb can make girls “spell my name witcha tongue ring.” Brandy and an old school style beat star on “N 2 Da Music,” making it a sure fire choice for a single. “Hold On” is smooth symphonical soul perfect for Wyclef Jean, while “Insane” is tailor made for guest singer Candice ‘Gg’ Nelson but you could easily interchange Britney Spears or Justin Timberlake into this hip-pop funk. What’s odd though is that while songs like “Kold Cutz” and “Throwback” are good enough to merit listening to, none of Timmy’s tracks inspires a Joey Styles like “OH MY GAWD!” reaction. A Timbaland produced album usually has at least two or three such moments, so for this one to not have any is needless to say dissapointing. It probably doesn’t help that we’re all used to hearing him behind the boards by now. Since Timbaland chose to conceive this album as the sequel to Missy’s though, one has to note there’s no “Work It” type songs that truly break down and build back up the barriers of rap production. “Part II” is a decent album, but like most movie sequels these days it still seems less entertaining than the original.

Timbaland & Magoo :: Under Construction Part II
6.5Overall Score