“Timbland was the Thanos of producing in the 2000s”: Kanye West Moved Mountains to Beat Justin Timberlake After His Fiancée Liked Him a Little Bit Too Much

Kanye West made up his mind to top Justin Timberlake's hit song back in 2007.

Kanye West and Justin Timberlake
Credits: Wikimedia Common/contisole & Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore

SUMMARY

  • In 2006, Justin Timberlake came out with his chart-topping hit SexyBack which became the big sensation at the time.
  • The following year, Kanye West came out with Stringer to make a statement that he could also churn out chart-topping hits like Timberlake.
  • His fiancée, at the time, grew a bit too attached to Timberlake and West wanted to shake that off with Stronger.
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Outside of his solo musical; career, Justin Timberlake was once part of the beloved boy band NSYNC. He found huge success as a solo pop artist beginning with his first studio album Justified in 2002. However, it was his second album FutureSex/LoveSounds, that catapulted his career and made him a pop sensation.

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Justin Timerlake in the jusic video for SexyBack | YouTube
Justin Timberlake in the music video for SexyBack | YouTube

The album was a monstrous hit and its lead single SexyBack topped the charts and was played on repeat in various clubs and parties. It seems West grew jealous of the song as his fiancée at the time was obsessed with it and wanted to re-create its success with his own song Stronger.

Kanye West Made Stronger to Compete With Justin Timberlake’s Chart Topper SexyBack

Kanye West responded to Justin Timberlake SexyBack with Stronher | YouTube
Kanye West responded to Justin Timberlake’s SexyBack with Stronger | YouTube

Justin Timberlake’s stardom as a solo artist skyrocketed with the release of his 2nd studio album FutureSex/LoveSounds. The album boasted pop bangers like My Love, Until the End of Time, and LoveStoned. However, it was the album’s lead single SexyBack, that became a rage with audiences and was the talk of the town when it was released back in 2006.

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The record was co-produced by Timbaland who was one of the hottest music producers in the business at the time. The following year Kanye West released the song Stronger from his third album Graduation, In an interview with Lex Friedman, West stated that he made the song to compete with SexyBack.

West claimed that his fiancée at the time Alexis Phifer liked Timberlake way too much and he wanted to make a point that he could also make a chard topper like SexyBack. However, the song didn’t sound like the way SexyBack did when it played in clubs. He went to different artists like Pharrell Williams and Swizz Beatz to add drums to it, but it did not satisfy him.

Finally, West approached Timbaland who produced Timberlake’s record and the song. He managed to mix the song perfectly in the way West wanted and was in awe that no one could have elevated the song the way Timbaland did in just five minutes. West recalled (via YouTube),

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When I made Stronger, I did it to compete with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake because my fiancée, at that time, liked Justin Timberlake just a little bit too much. Then we have the song out, it’s number 1 on Apple. It’s blowing up, but then I play it in the club and it sounds muddy. It doesn’t sound the way SexyBack sounded in the club.

So I go to Pharrell to do the drums, and it sounds like a different record, then I got to Swizz Beatz it sounds like a different record. Then I go to Timbaland, the person who did SexyBack, and he did it in five minutes, and then spent the rest of the hour talking about how nobody could have done it except for him.

Fans commented on Timbaland’s influence and his ability to consistently churn out chartbusters at the time. One fan @fergalosanchez7675 wrote, “Timbaland was the Thanos of producing in the 2000s”. Another fan @J35TR stated how he knew his power over the industry writing, “Timbaland gave him his ’cause I’m dope and I do dope shit’ energy right back”. Clearly, fans are also aware of his legacy in the music industry.

Timberlake’s SexyBack became his first number 1 single on the Billboard 100 chart and it managed to stay at the top for seven weeks (via Billboard). Timbaland’s contribution to West’s Stronger gave the much-needed punch to the song and it also topped Billboard’s charts and stayed at the top for a week (via Stereogum). It remains one of West’s best songs in his career.

Justin Timberlake Feels His Latest Album is His Best Work Yet

Selfish was the lead single of his new album Everything I Thought It Was
Selfish was the lead single of his new album Everything I Thought It Was | YouTube

Justin Timberlake released his sixth studio album Everything I Thought It Was on March 15, 2024, with the lead single Selfish. It seems the artist has been hard at work on the album for some years now as he revealed in a new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1 (via Billboard), that he wrote 100 songs for the album.

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Narrowing it down to 18 was a tough task but he ultimately was able to select the best ones for the album. Timberlake also shared his excitement for the album and even went on to say that this new album is the best work of his career. The 43-year-old pop star said,

I worked for a long time on this album and I ended up with 100 songs,” he said. “So narrowing them down to 18 was a thing, and then, yeah, I’m really excited about this album. I think every artist probably says this, but it is my best work.

Fans and critics unfortunately did not share Timberlake’s sentiments as the album received mixed reviews. Pitchfork and Rolling Stone deemed it a familiar and hollow rehash of the pop songs of his past albums. Fans can listen to the album on any music streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music.

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Written by Rahul Thokchom

Articles Published: 1110

Rahul Thokchom is a senior content writer at Fandomwire who is passionate about covering the world of pop culture and entertainment. He has a Masters Degree in English that contributes to the richness and creativity in his works.