Producer: The Dream, Timbaland, Jerome J Roc Harmon and No ID
Album: Magna Carta...Holy Grail
This is a weird song to hate as much as I do. Justin T meets Jay Z—what's not to like? The reason I hate it is due to the overall composition. The work as a whole. Taken separately, each individual element of the song doesn't bother me.
In fact, I kind of like them. Justin Timberlake sings a melodramatic piano ballad? I like Elton John as much as the next guy. Fine. Jay Z raps about money over hissing trap high-hats? Sure. Both of these two together singing the chorus to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit?" I appreciate the novelty! And then that cool, bottom-end industrial-churn part, when Jay says "You're still alive..." I love that!
But what do any of these things have to do with one another? It's like the biggest stars and producers in the music business took a bunch of unrelated musical ideas, poured them all into one of those little satchels that hold the letter tiles in Scrabble, shook 'em up and dumped them into the radio of every car that passed you on the street for a good two months this summer. Just a big pile of mess. —Dave Bry