Rare footage of The Neptunes working with Justin Timberlake
(Credit: Frank Schwichtenberg)

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Rare footage of The Neptunes working with Justin Timberlake

From Timbaland to Kanye, from Dr Dre to Swizz Beats, American hip-hop and R’n’B most definitely had and still has a plethora of talented producers churning out incredible beats. However, when it comes to producers, there are none more pioneering than the legendary producer duo The Neptunes.

Comprised of the renowned Pharrell Williams and the lesser-known Chad Hugo, The Neptunes rose out of a small Virginia town in the late nineties, but with their unique sound and beautifully simplistic sonics, swiftly took over the hip-hop charts with their beats and by 2003, were responsible for 43% of the songs on US radio, and the number only grew from there.

Having worked with rap stars and pop stars alike, including artists such as Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Keli and Britney Spears, The Neptunes were versatile in their production abilities; however, not everyone wanted their music.

In 2002, the duo took on a role as executive producers of Justin Timberlake’s debut solo album, Justified. Following his split from NSYNC, his label wanted Timberlake to come out of the gates strong and on the right foot. Subsequently, they asked The Neptunes to produce Timberlake in order to align him with the mainstream.

Recorded in Virginia Beach across Master Sound and Windmark studios, the majority of tracks from Justified were originally written and produced for Michael Jackson but altered and tailored in 2002 for Timberlake. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified three times platinum in the US and six times platinum in the UK.

You can watch the making of Justified featuring Justin Timberlake and The Neptunes, in the video below. Justin Timberlake also spoke about the recording process on Pharell’s OTHERtone podcast you can view the video below.