Timbaland's beats often sound exotic because the legendary producer has a habit of sampling and/or putting his own spin on Asian and Middle Eastern beats that weren't known to the Western world.
Apparently, a lot of people didn't know this because a video that compared the music from JAY-Z's "Big Pimpin" and Aaliyah's "More Than A Woman" and "What To Tell Ya" to their Arabic source material has gone viral on Twitter.
Everyone knows @Timbaland is a master of his craft. Did you know these three hits sampled these Arabic classics? 🎧 To hear more about the Middle Eastern influence in Western mainstream music (that was once called “Belly dance music”) head to my Plus 1 Radio show on Soundcloud pic.twitter.com/kCetOo6ONH— Nooriyah (@Nooriyah_) January 18, 2021
Timbaland really had TurnItIn 98% similarity on these tunes https://t.co/4qjNl1tqJn— browning stay clowning (@callmechi_chi) January 18, 2021
Timbaland stealing from the Middle East like a true American. https://t.co/VXdwNqpv5B— The Akyem Prince. (@MrBenjaminB) January 18, 2021
How did people not know those songs Timbaland produced were sampled??? pic.twitter.com/FspEuGByIT— Jerome Lewis (@DatDudeJerome) January 18, 2021
It’s hard to listen to this & think of Timbaland in the same way. He really was a copy & paste bandit who didn’t give these people (quite literally) any credit unless he was legally forced to do so...pic.twitter.com/V0AIxBsWdM— Lomo's Adjutant (@kay_sesen) January 18, 2021
Timbaland is notorious for not crediting samples. Timba and JAY-Z were famously sued for theft by the nephew of the composer "Khosara, Khosara" the 1957 piece of flute music that "Big Pimpin" was based on. The duo ultimately prevailed because a judge ruled that the nephew had no standing to make a claim on "Khosara, Khosara."