Album: Timbaland & Magoo

Under Construction Part II, Blackground / Unique
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The Independent Culture

Apart from the guest list - which this time round features Wyclef, Brandy, Missy, Bubba and Beenie Man - there's not a lot of difference between Timbaland & Magoo's latest outing and last year's Indecent Proposal. Timbaland's grooves make the most out of as little as possible, with "Cop That Shit" built on just two synth-bass notes and a single high tom-tom figure, and "Shenanigans" riding a hummed bassline. His chum Magoo's rap style is engagingly light and wheedling, like Snoop Dogg's, but the pair between them don't seem to have too much to rap about here, with familiar hip-hop themes of fortitude ("Hold on"), sex ("Leavin'", "I Got Luv 4 Ya") and nostalgia ("Straight outta Virginia", with its wistful recollections of house parties helmed by DJ Timmy T) well to the fore. Less appealing is the surly victimhood of the anti-bootlegger rap "Cop That Shit" and Timbaland's attacks on his imitators, "That Shit Ain't Gonna Work" and "Don't Make Me Take It There", on which he complains of "niggas waitin' on my beats and robbin' me" - as though he never borrowed a beat in his life. Still, at least Magoo gets honest in "Insane", admitting that hip hop's purported hedonist lifestyle is just a fantasy: "I wasn't forced to lie to y'all, but I did/ I don't own a plane, a yacht, or eat squid." What, not even calamari?