Jay-Z and Timbaland have worked together numerous times for more than a decade, most recently on Jay’s platinum-selling new album Magna Carta Holy Grail. But shortly after the project was released, it was revealed that Jay and Tim had been estranged for several years following their work on Jay’s 2010 album The Blueprint 3. During a recent interview with BBC Radio 1, Jay-Z explained why the two had parted ways for a few years.
“He was still on Blueprint 3, but the fallout happened at the end of that album. It really happened —the way the album happened and a couple of songs was getting leaked, that was his songs. And it was like that whole thing was just like it just ruined the whole process,” Jay-Z shared. “I wanted him and Kanye [West] to produce, and Kanye who was the executive producer of Blueprint was like ‘Yo, let’s get Tim. Let’s bring Tim in.’ We were all inviting of him and he just wasn’t accepting of the process. And it seemed like it was more about him than the actual album.”
Timbaland was also in a bit of a commercial lull around the same time, despite having produced numerous hits in the late 90s and 2000s–it appeared to some that the producer’s chart-topping days were behind him. But this year has been a resurgent one, with Timbaland at the boards for Jay’s album and Justin Timberlake‘s successful comeback record, The 20/20 Experience.
“When you go in and make an album there’s not—you have to put all ego aside,” said Jay-Z. “I’m putting ego aside. Everyone has to put ego aside for the sake of the project. And he was accepting of that. That was almost like the last straw type of thing. We just went our separate ways. After those concerts he came back, I saw the new Timbaland. He had this maturity and this growth and I was like, ‘Oh okay. This is gonna work out.’”