In 2002, Justin Timberlake and The Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) made pop magic with the release of Timberlake’s solo debut; Justified. Although fans of Timberlake rejoiced upon hearing the news that the iconic production duo would be creating tunes for Timberlake’s upcoming fifth album Man in the Woods, Timberlake addressed why the collaboration between he and the most notable member of The Neptunes, Pharrell, didn’t happen on his subsequent releases.
Per Timberlake, the root of the issue stemmed from label issues between record label Jive, and Clipse. Clipse was signed to The Neptunes’ Star Trak Entertainment which was distributed through Arista Records. In 2004, Arista went through a restructuring period, which tipped the Clipse toward Jive. Star Trak, on the other hand, became apart of Interscope.
I was not able to work with Pharrell… Everyone remembers Clipse. Clipse was signed to Jive Records, which I was also signed to. I don’t know what went on with their deal, but I do remember that Pharrell was very adamant about getting them out of the deal. So it became challenging for him to work with any Jive artist at that point. If I’m being totally honest about it, I was extremely hurt being caught up in the middle of it.
The label drama between Clipse and Jive resulted in delays of their second album, Hell Hath No Fury, released in 2006. While Pharrell was working on that album, Timberlake was already in the lab with Timbaland and Danja crafting FutureSex/LoveSounds. Nevertheless, it’s great that Pharrell will supply production for the first time in just over 15 years to Timberlake. Timberlake’s new album, Man of the Woods is scheduled to drop February 2.