One of the few rap artists from Alabama with a major-label deal in the mid- to late 2000s, Brighton, AL, lyricist Attitude (born Timothy Clayton) debuted in 1996 with the funky, independent rap album Serious Times. The album was released on his Centa Street Records label, formed in part to ward off the lifestyle he was leading that kept landing him in jail. Attitude became a local heavyweight in neighboring city Birmingham's developing hip-hop scene, but he had to look in Atlanta to obtain meaningful opportunities. He kept bouncing from camp to camp, affiliated at times with DJ Drama's Aphilliates Music Group and Bubba Sparxxx's 11th Hour Entertainmnet. The latter connection proved the most fruitful as Sparxxx passed on Attitude's demo to reigning hip-hop/R&B producer Timbaland, who quickly embraced the Alabama rapper. Through working with Timbaland, Attitude soon picked up a side hustle as a songwriter, ghostwriting lyrics for Timbaland himself as well as others like Sean "Diddy" Combs. Unfortunately, almost right after he was signed to Timbaland's Beat Club Records, the imprint folded; however, Timbaland never gave up on him. The superproducer fired up another venture, Mosley Music Group, and had Attitude writing songs for him again. In fact, Attitude co-wrote Nelly Furtado's Timbaland-produced record "Promiscuous," as well as Timbaland's own "Give It to Me," which were both number one hits on the pop charts in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Very much impressed by his flexible songwriting abilities, entertainment conglomerate Warner Bros. acquired the rapper in early 2007. ~ Cyril Cordor
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