ON OCCASION, Tim Mosley will pour a glass of merlot, step by way of the sliding glass doorways of his spacious white Miami dwelling onto a patio perched over Biscayne Bay, and, as night softens the subtropical warmth, gaze out over the waves on the horizon. Known to the world as Timbaland, Mosley has earned this vista. For greater than 20 years, he has helped propel a lot of this period’s most profitable musicians, together with Missy Elliott, Beyoncé, Jay- Z, Drake, Rihanna, and Justin Timberlake. In his run as a producer, performer, and label proprietor, he has thrived within the mercurial world of widespread music. Yet he additionally understands the elusiveness of that shimmering view.
A couple of years in the past, Mosley was staring into a distinct type of vacancy, as a very powerful issues in life—household, funds, and well being—tumbled chaotically round him. He nearly misplaced all of it, and that menace sparked a renaissance. It’s a journey he’s nonetheless on, however it has included years of boxing, dropping greater than 100 kilos, and gaining a brand new perspective. But first he needed to kick the medicine.
Looking again, Mosley wonders if the issues weren’t inevitable. “I had to get whipped, because I didn’t appreciate anything,” the 47-year-old says in his syrupy southern lilt. He’s seated at a white stone counter in his kitchen, wearing grey exercise garments. Mosley, who sports activities a goatee with a bleached heart stripe, appears to be like you within the eye when he talks, looking for indicators that you just perceive what he means. “All my life I felt it was a little too easy.”
It’s true he has identified principally ascent. Success arrived early—working with Missy Elliott straight out of highschool in Virginia Beach, then serving to to provide Aaliyah’s double-platinum album One in a Million. Accomplishment could have come quick, however Mosley labored laborious to stick with it, spending hours within the studio hunched over mixing boards, headphones on, consuming vanilla ice cream by way of the evening.
Unhealthy consuming habits apart, the extraordinary give attention to the artistic a part of his life made different areas susceptible. In 2011, after receiving a prescription for painkillers following a root canal, Mosley began abusing OxyContin and Percocet. Then “my arm started bothering me,” he says, the remnant of an outdated damage—at 17 he was shot unintentionally whereas working at a Red Lobster. More ache gave him an excuse to ask for extra drugs.
As pressures mounted, his tablet abuse worsened. Divorce proceedings along with his spouse, Monique, which started in 2013, dragged on for years. His funds fell into disarray. The IRS filed a $four million lien for 3 years of unpaid taxes, a lapse that he attributes to confusion and inattention throughout his habit. The painkillers put him in a spot the place the whole lot felt all proper, even when it wasn’t. “It put me in a great feeling of not caring, of just being free,” he says. “I’m like traveling, doing shows, popping ’em, having fun, just being ignorant.”
He doesn’t bear in mind what number of drugs a day he was taking, apart from to say it was “way over the limit.” He started to really feel foggy, boring. Mosley additionally began placing on weight and developed prediabetes. He grew sluggish. Tired. Lost. And then there was a nightmare. “I had a dream that death was near,” he recollects. “I saw myself with a white face.” That’s when he awakened.
Mosley has a daughter, 12, and two sons, 17 and 27. He realized he wanted to avoid wasting himself for them. “It’s like a bright light going on in your brain,” he says about elevating kids. “That’s how you know what true love really is.”
Crawling out of the outlet his life had fallen into required technique and planning. He moved from a 14,000-square-foot mansion outdoors Miami to a 2,500-square-foot rental downtown. “I had to downsize, get all that superstar stuff out of the way,” he says. He settled with the IRS. Then he labored to settle along with his ex-wife. “The divorce at the beginning was very messy, but now we are good friends.”
That left his habit, and he determined to stop all by himself. “Just me and God,” he says, including that there was no different choice. “This was the path chosen for me. God was rebuilding my character.” Mosley, raised a Baptist and as we speak a follower of the nondenominational pastor T. D. Jakes, would lean closely on spirituality within the struggle to get clear.
His technique was to take fewer and fewer drugs from his current inventory till there was nothing left. That took about two weeks. Afterward got here withdrawal. “One of the toughest things I’ve been through,” he says, shaking his head on the reminiscence. “The only things that got me through it were my kids, my girl, the help of God keeping my mind still.”
By this level, Mosley’s girlfriend, Michelle Dennis, had moved to Miami to be with him. “I have a great woman who stood by my side through the whole thing,” he says. It was Dennis who discovered Punch Elite Fitness, in Miami’s Wynwood district. Mosley had by no means boxed earlier than however favored the problem. When he walked into the health club the primary time, he was in tough form, weighing about 350 kilos at five-foot-seven, recollects health club co-owner Ricardo Wilson. (Boxing coaches bear in mind these sorts of particulars.)
“He had a lot of aches and pains,” Wilson says. He had “glute and hamstring deficiencies” from lack of train, and he was hunched because of again ache. Before he ever stepped into a hoop, Mosley needed to work on posture and range-of-motion workout routines, Wilson says, together with hip openers, posture squats, and standing leg curls. Then got here shadowboxing, leaping rope, and hitting the bag for ten three-minute rounds at a time. Eventually Mosley graduated to sparring. The exercises had been laborious, however nothing in comparison with withdrawal. “When you get beat up the way I got beat up mentally, this ain’t hard,” he says.
As Mosley started reducing weight, Wilson observed one other change: “His energy levels increased, and then he started challenging other clients in the gym, to push them.” And Dennis saved pushing Mosley.
After a yr, he had misplaced 50 kilos, and the couple began understanding twice a day, boxing within the mornings and doing cardio and weights at evening.
When Mosley had dropped 40 extra kilos, he determined he needed to “level up” and prepare the place the athletes prepare. While persevering with to field on Sundays, he moved his weekday exercises to DBC Fitness. The health club focuses on biomechanics and works with a roster of professionals, together with Dwyane Wade, previously of the Miami Heat, and the Dolphins’ Reshad Jones.
For all of the progress Mosley had made at Punch, DBC co-owner David Alexander nonetheless thought of him “a work in progress.” His toes and ankles weren’t working proper, Alexander says, and he got here in “grossly overweight,” about 260 kilos. So Alexander designed a program round seven normal motion patterns: squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, twist, and gait.
“He has a no-quit mentality,” Alexander says. “He understands that this is his new life. It’s not something that’s going to go away in three months. And he’s committed. Tim is one of the most mentally strong guys out there.”
Alexander put collectively a diet plan and employed a chef to create a menu of weekly meals to be delivered to Mosley’s dwelling. Chicken, salmon, greens. Three and a half liters of water a day. No processed meals. “If it didn’t run, grow, crawl, or swim, we don’t eat it,” Alexander says.
Mosley’s cheat is a weekend glass of pink wine, poured from a bottle from his kitchen’s wall-length wine fridge; he enjoys it on that waterside patio now that his life has been restored and he’s dwelling in a luxurious rental. He says he’s clearheaded and newly impressed, centered on rising what he began almost 30 years in the past. “I’m more about the team building,” he says. He lately completed work with big-timers Kanye West and Coldplay, however he’s additionally collaborating with younger artists.
“God has me under construction, which I’m still under,” Mosley says. “I don’t feel like I’m complete. I don’t want to ever feel like I’m complete, ’cause my mind would probably get idle. God needed me to be clear so I could see what is needed, not what I want.”