It was only seven years ago, but the iPhone didn't even exist. We were getting stoned our mom's basement listening to Amy Winehouse on an 'iPod,' back when every third person had Amy Winehouse's hairdo or possibly her tattoos, and Gnarls Barkley was the hot new group on everyone's lips. It was a more naive time, pre-FourSquare but post-Napster, and early in the reign of YouTube. Hurricane Katrina was only one year distant as was Kanye's chart-topping "Gold Digger."
Justin's FutureSex/LoveSounds was huge, outperforming expectations and becoming one of the year's best R&B records. It also resuscitated his career after the Janet Jackson "costume malfunction" that put Timberlake on the outs with people who thought he left Jackson to take the wrap. And he did it by making simply undeniable music, surpassing his solo debut and completely shaking the boy band stigma.
Now, Timberlake will release his first new solo material in seven years—starting with a new song featuring Jay-Z and Beyonce. A new album is on the way, too. But here's how things were different the last time we dropped a set of fresh tracks.