There’s no doubt The Weeknd has a knack for pumping out hits. The Canadian crooner’s latest album, Dawn FM, is already being touted as R&B album of the year — despite being just nine days into 2022. On Saturday (January 8), veteran producer and Verzuz co-founder Timbaland offered his take on the album, which wasn’t exactly well received.
Speaking on Instagram Live, Timbaland confidently compared Michael Jackson’s 1982 masterpiece Thriller to Dawn FM, saying, “This album different y’all. This shit right here on some Thriller shit. Trust me when I tell you and the way he dropped this shit — yo! Congrats. This shit is amazing.” He added in bold text, “This album is beyond great. We need a vinyl to this.”
Unsurprisingly, the comment section quickly blew up with remarks such as, “Hold up, Thriller can’t be compared…like illmatic it’s just a classic body of work” and “Definitely not even close…not in the same realm. Highly disappointed. I get where they were trying to go with the 80’s/futuristic sound, but the album just drags on and gets boring. Sorry.
“Just because it’s a “concept album” doesn’t mean you should start comparing it to Thriller. That’s a MASSIVE reach. I think everything is so mediocre right now when people hear something that’s ‘ok’ they over exaggerate its greatness.”
And that was only the beginning. Fans quickly headed to Twitter where they expressed their displeasure as well. “I fucks with Timbaland but this type cappin is nuts and disrespectful to Michael jackson thriller Face with tears of joy,” one person wrote. “Man facepalming timbo wyling.”
I fucks with Timbaland but this type cappin is nuts and disrespectful to Michael jackson thriller 😂🤦🏿♂️ timbo wyling https://t.co/iU5YOPFjE5
— They Want Me Dead Like Pac (@KingMosesDaGod) January 9, 2022
Dawn FM arrived on Friday (January 7) with guest vocals from HipHopDX’s 2021 Rapper of the Year Tyler, The Creator and Lil Wayne as well as spoken word appearances from Quincy Jones and Josh Safdie. Serving as the follow-up to 2020’s After Hours, the 16-track project has been described as an “upbeat dance-pop record rooted in 1980’s synth-pop.”
Still, even with the ’80s vibe and smooth R&B vocals, people aren’t thrilled by the comparison to an iconic record such as Thriller (no pun intended). Released in November 1982 as the King of Pop’s sixth solo album, Thriller spent a record 37 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart. It produced seven Top 10 singles: “The Girl Is Mine,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin,'” “Human Nature,” “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” and the title track.
It ultimately became the highest-selling album of all time with over 70 million copies sold worldwide. Only time will tell if The Weeknd’s latest body of work will even come close to that. In the meantime, check out reactions to Timbo’s claim below.
Timbaland said weeknd album is on some thriller shit boy off it
— Stone Cold (@Oligotti_) January 8, 2022
I was expecting a Weeknd fan to post this, but Timbaland..?…..
How are you one of the world’s greatest producers, and you act like Q wasn’t around before Thriller? 🤣 pic.twitter.com/YyPV7DeuE9
— Armpit Austin🕺🏼 (@A_FarrisWheel) January 9, 2022
Even though Timbaland compared The Weeknd’s new album to Thriller, I may have to listen, Tim’s ear is intergalactic planetary so he may be on to something…or, I just can’t… pic.twitter.com/l8M1rnKvP6
— Ty C. Brix (@TyBrix) January 9, 2022
Timbaland smoking dick. Not this man just compared the Weeknd new album to Michael Jackson Thriller album. 🥴
— artmann (@King_Art94) January 7, 2022
Timbaland gushing about how Weeknd's new joint is some "Thriller shit" sent me. I was largely unmoved three tracks in and are in no rush to get back to it.
— Rafael (@TELEXDesignCo) January 9, 2022
Timbaland saying stupid shit like Abel’s new album is like “Like Thriller” when there ain’t even nothing on there better than this part of the ‘Bad’ 🐐 https://t.co/TDN9hhxDCP
— 🏁 Sledgo Peart 🏁 (@BrixxisKING) January 9, 2022
😭 thriller by michael jackson i’m crying timbaland on that good heroin https://t.co/nn44rJnEXf
— t (@40×34) January 9, 2022
OMG, what was I listening to, then? You clearly hear Michael Jackson’s influence in the Weeknd’s music but I did not get Thriller vibes at all. Timbaland wanna be starting something, too much for me. https://t.co/pk0zdz9oyb pic.twitter.com/aR3DYk27D7
— Tenny Don’t Give AF 😘🤩 (@nmecantbeblankk) January 7, 2022
Is it very great though??? I mean Thriller is the BEST SELLING ALBUM IN MUSIC HISTORY!!! Please lets stop disrespecting Mike! Timbaland u def outta pocket😭🤣🤣😭
— JAKE MCFLY (@JAKEMCFLY) January 9, 2022
Timbaland is arguably top 3 greatest producers of all time, but he need his ass beat for comparing The Weeknd’s new album to Thriller…
— ThoughtsbyTrey (@TreeyPorter) January 8, 2022
I just know I didn’t see Timbaland calling Dawn FM this era’s Thriller? We losing too many of the old heads to drugs and mental illness
— A sports, entertainment, media & tech company (@PeriwinkleRip) January 9, 2022