The 50 Best Timbaland Beats

4. Justin Timberlake "Cry Me a River" (2002)

Album: Justified
Label: Jive

Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" is a tale of relationship strife with a beat as dramatic as the hurt feelings that birthed it. JT's epic kiss off is ushered in on forlorn keys, Gregorian chant, and the sound of the rain. Then the beat drops, and save for a hammy string section, it's fraught with human voices where live instruments would normally be. Just when it looks to be building to a climax, there's a breakdown, and Tim pops in over a beat now completely comprised of his own voice to break the news that it's over. "Cry Me a River" was heavy on the heart and on the charts, and stranger still was the fact that everyone knew it was about Justin's fellow Mouseketeer turned pop star Britney Spears.

Tags: timbaland
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