Justin Timberlake Reveals How Clipse Prevented Him From Working With Pharrell Until Recently

Justin Timberlake is on the album promo trail to support his upcoming album, Man Of The Woods, and his latest stop was Zane Lowe‘s Beats 1 Radio Show. Timberlake got extremely personal during the interview, going so far as to reveal the reasoning behind a decision that’s mystified fans for nearly 16 years: Why he and The Neptunes haven’t collaborated since Timberlake’s 2002 solo debut Justified.

“I gotta say this the right way because I don’t wanna blame anyone for anything,” he explains. “Everyone remembers Clipse. Clipse was signed to Jive Records, which I was 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, from my understanding, it became challenging for him to work with any Jive artist from that point.”

Timberlake goes on to elaborate that while he wanted to work with Pharrell, the fraught relationship between his friend and the label made it too difficult to do so. Justin also noted that because of prior business drama when he was with “the group,” as he calls his former band, N*Sync, with whom he started his musical career, he was wary of getting involved in the middle of another business dispute.

Hence, Justin’s last three albums, FutureSex/LoveSounds and The 20/20 Experience, Parts 1 and 2, were produced in bulk by Timbaland and Danjahandz. However, with his jump to new label RCA Records for Man Of The Woods, the avenue reopened to create with his longtime friend and collaborator once again. We’ll see whether they managed to recapture the magic of songs like “Senorita” and “Signs” on February 2nd when Man Of The Woods officially hits stores and streaming services.