Timbaland to produce the world's first album for a mobile phone

He dominated the charts in 2007, now the producer extraordinaire is set to issue the first album made solely for mobile phones

Hip-hop producer Timbaland is set to record and release the first "mobile album", issuing one song per month over the course of 2008. Each track will be created with a different artist and be made available exclusively to subscribers of the Verizon mobile entertainment service.

The first of these tracks, made with singer Keri Wilson, was previewed at a pre-Grammy party on Saturday night. That party ended with a tirade as Timbaland berated organisers for barring his friends from entering. "Next time I have one of my homeboys in line, let that (expletive) in!" he shouted, according to Billboard.

Earlier in the week he was in a more relaxed mood when telling reporters about the project, explaining that: "Every place don't get a CD [but] everybody has a mobile phone."

Though he is best known for his work with Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake and other hip-hop stars, the Verizon project is not limited to any particular genre. "I'm just going to have fun with it," he said. "I'll just do what comes in mind." Timbaland produced an upcoming album by rocker Chris Cornell and Timbaland's most recent solo disc, Shock Value, featured contributions by Elton John, M.I.A., Fall Out Boy and many others.

For the Verizon album, each song will be released just days after it's produced. They will be available as full-length download, ringtone and ringback. Some kind of compilation may also be available at the end of the year, again exclusively through Verizon. Timbaland will also be touring the United States on a Verizon-sponsored "Studio Bus", capturing making-of video footage for subscribers.

The deal does not mean that Timbaland is parting ways with his traditional label, Interscope, though he says his contract with them for solo albums has expired. The mobile-only tracks will feature numerous Interscope artists, and Interscope continues to distribute Timbaland's Mosley Music imprint.

His angry comments on Saturday came following performances by Chris Cornell, Paramore and Missy Elliott at Los Angeles' Avalon Club. Stars such as Paris Hilton, Ludacris, Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus were on hand. It was 2 am when Timbaland took to the stage to berate organisers from Verizon and People Magazine for security mishaps regarding his friends: "I don't like to see my people turned around for some (expletive) magazine!" he said, according to a rather chaste report by the Associated Press.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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