The 7-Year Itch: Justin Timberlake's "Hiatus" vs. Dr. Dre's "Hiatus"

An extensive comparison of each superstar's notorious break from music.

Not Available Lead
Image via Complex Original
Not Available Lead

Apparently, both Timberlake and Dre caught the 7-Year Itch usually reserved for sexless marriages. We decided to take a look back at what was going on in each artist's career during all those years that they left fans worldwide anxiously anticipating their return.
It turns out, Justin Timberlake and Dr. Dre have a lot more in common than you think. Read on an extensive comparison of each superstar musician's seven-year "hiatus." 

Year 1 of a "Hiatus": The Coast

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist rides off the success of their new album, coasting their way to RIAA certifications, feature spots, and tour money. 

Justin Timberlake's 2007

Jan. 8 — Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds tour kicks off.

Mar. 2 — Timberlake stars as Ronnie in Black Snake Moan.

Apr. 3 — Timberlake is featured on “Give It To Me,” “Release,” and “Bounce” on Timbaland’s album, Shock Value.

May 18 — Timberlake voices Prince Artie Pendragon in Shrek The Third.

May 29 — Timberlake is featured on 50 Cent’s “Ayo Technology,” from upcoming release Curtis.Sept. 3 — The Madison Square Garden date on his FutureSex/LoveSounds tour is aired for an HBO special.

Dr. Dre's 1993

May 11 —The Chronic is certified double platinum by the RIAA.

Oct. 12 — Dr. Dre is featured on George Clinton's "Paint The White House Black," from the album Hey, Man, Smell My Finger.

Nov. 23 — Snoop Dogg releases Doggystyle. Dr. Dre and Suge Knight executive produce.

Year 2 of "Hiatus": The Side Hustle

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist has reached cultural ubiquity and uses it to leverage endorsements, award show wins, and ventures in film.

Justin Timberlake's 2008

Feb. 3 — Timberlake has recently landed a Pepsi endorsement. His commercial hawking the soda airs during Super Bowl XLII.

Feb. 10 — Timberlake wins two Grammy awards—Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "What Goes Around...Comes Around" and Best Dance Recording for "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows"—at the 50th annual ceremony.

Mar. 17 — Timberlake is featured on Madonna’s “4 Minutes” with Timbaland.

View this video on YouTube

Jun. 20 — Timberlake stars as Jacques Grande in The Love Guru.

Sept. 26 — T.I. releases Paper Trail. Timberlake is featured on future single “Dead and Gone.”Oct. 6 — Rihanna releases Good Girl Gone Bad. Timberlake is featured on future single, "Rehab."

Nov. 7 — T-Pain releases a remix of “Can’t Believe It” featuring Timberlake.

Dr. Dre's 1994

Mar. 1 — Dr. Dre wins a Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy award for "Let Me Ride."

View this video on YouTube

Mar. 22 — Dr. Dre gets a supervising producer credit on the soundtrack for basketball film Above the Rim.

Sept. 20 — Dr. Dre's earliest recordings are released on a compilation titled Concrete Roots.

Oct. 15 — Dr. Dre and Fab Five Freddy direct Murder Was the Case, a short film starring Snoop Dogg. Dre also produces on the soundtrack.

Year 3 of a "Hiatus": The Joyride

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist hits a noticeable stride of unfuckwittableness, despite being relative distance of their last release. Kinship with other artists sustains momentum and keeps public visibility at a peak.

Justin Timberlake's 2009

Mar. 13 — Ciara features Timberlake on “Love Sex Magic” from her album, Fantasy Ride.

May 9 — Timberlake is featured on The Lonely Island’s “Motherlover.”

View this video on YouTube

Aug. 18 — Timberlake co-stars in a Sony commercial with Peyton Manning.

Aug. 25 — Timberlake anchors ads for the launch of Givenchy's fragrance, Play.

Nov. 9 — Leona Lewis releases “Don’t Let Me Down," featuring Timberlake.

Nov. 20 — Rihanna releases Rated R. Bonus track “Hole in My Head” features Timberlake.

Dec. 1 — Timberlake is featured on Timbaland single “Carry Out” off Shock Value II.

Dec. 16 — Timberlake is named Audi's new “brand ambassador,” stars in an online mini-series dedicated to the automobile brand.

Dr. Dre's 1995

Mar. 7 — Dr. Dre releases "Keep Their Heads Ringin'" for the soundtrack to the film Friday.

View this video on YouTube

Sept. 7 — Dr. Dre wins an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rap Video for "Keep Their Heads Ringin.'" 

Nov. 7 — Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg contribute "187um" to Million Man March compilation, One Million Strong.

Dec. 28 — Dr. Dre is featured on 2Pac's "California Love." The song goes to peak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Year 4 of a "Hiatus": The Gamechanger

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist makes a landmark career move, like starring in an Oscar-nominated film or leaving a celebrated record label and starting their own.

Justin Timberlake's 2010

Apr. 6 — Timberlake and T.I. are featured on Jamie Foxx’s “Winner.”

July 2Timberlake is featured on Game’s “Ain’t No Doubt About It.” 

Sept. 29 — Jimmy Fallon and Timberlake begin their three-part "History of Rap" segment on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Oct. 1 — Timberlake stars as Sean Parker in The Social Network.

Oct. 16 — Timberlake has another hilarious run as host of Saturday Night Live.

Dec. 14 — Diddy-Dirty Money releases Last Train to Paris. The album includes “Shades” featuring Timberlake, Lil Wayne, Bilal, and James Fauntleroy.

Dr. Dre's 1996

May — Dr. Dre marries Nicole Threatt, the ex-wife of NBA player Sedale Threatt.

July — Dr. Dre leaves Death Row and starts his Aftermath imprint under Interscope.

July 2 — Dr. Dre produces Nas' “Nas Is Coming” on It Was Written.

Sept. 30 — Dr. Dre is featured on Blackstreet's "No Diggity." The song goes on to peak at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nov. 6 — Dr. Dre has a minor role in the film Set it Off.

Nov. 26Dr. Dre releases compilation album Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath.

Year 5 of a "Hiatus": The Lull

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist experiences as much of a lull as a successful, famous, multimillionaire can experience. There's still an abundance of work, but none has the impact of previous efforts.

Justin Timberlake's 2011

May 24 — The Lonely Island’s “3-Way (The Golden Rule)” features vocals from Timberlake and Lady Gaga.

June 29 — Timberlake and a group of investors buy MySpace for $35 million.

June 24 — Timberlake stars alongside Cameron Diaz as Scott Delacorte in Bad Teacher.

July 22 — Timberlake stars alongside Mila Kunis as Dylan in Friends With Benefits.

Nov. 12 — Timberlake attends Marine Corps ball with Corporal Kelsey DeSantis.

Dec. 15 — Timberlake is named Creative Director of Callaway Golf.

Dr. Dre's 1997

Mar. 4 — The DJ Muggs-led collective Soul Assassins release Chapter I. Dr. Dre is featured on "Puppet Master."

Mar. 11 — Scarface releases The Untouchable. Dr. Dre is featured on and produces "Game Over."

Mar. 26 — Dr. Dre officially releases The Aftermath track "Been There, Done That" as a single.

Oct. 21The Firm releases The Album. Dr. Dre splits production duties with Trackmasters.

Year 6 of a "Hiatus": The Re-Up

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist prepares for a total return to dominance. The plan is set in motion by actions like getting back in the recording studio and/or signing young talent. The typically busy artist's perceived decline in activity inspires a heightened level of interest in their upcoming work.

Justin Timberlake's 2012

June — Timberlake begins work on comeback album, The 20/20 Experience.

Sept. 21Timberlake stars alongside Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams as Johnny Flanagan in Trouble With The Curve.

Oct. 19 — Timberlake marries long-time girlfriend and leading lady Jessica Biel at the Borgo Egnazia resort in Fasano, Italy.

Dr. Dre's 1998

Mar. 9 — Dr. Dre signs Eminem to Aftermath after Interscope head Jimmy Iovine plays him the rapper's demo.

Sept. 22 — Ras Kass releases Rasassination. Dr. Dre is featured on "Ghetto Fabulous."

Dec. 25 — Dr. Dre and LL Cool J release "Zoom" for the soundtrack to the film Bulworth.

View this video on YouTube

Year 7 of a "Hiatus": The Return

Not Available Interstitial

The year in which the artist executes their comeback. New work is announced, released, and dissected by music fans and critics ad nauseum.

Justin Timberlake's 2013

Jan. 14 — Timberlake releases a new single, “Suit & Tie,” featuring Jay-Z. He also writes a letter to his fans that announces an upcoming album, The 20/20 Experience, due out later in the year.

Feb. 8 — Timberlake will star as Jim Berkey in Coen Brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis.

Dr. Dre's 1999

Feb. 23 — Eminem releases his debut major label album, The Slim Shady LP. Dr. Dre executive produces.

Apr. 29 — Snoop Dogg releases "Bitch Please." Dr. Dre produces it and two other songs on upcoming album No Limit Top Dogg.

Sept. 10 — Dr. Dre has a minor role in the film, Whiteboyz.

Sept. 21 — Dr. Dre helps mix Nine Inch Nails track "Even Deeper" from their third album, The Fragile.

Oct. 23 — Dr. Dre performs new singles "Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre" on NBC's Saturday Night Live.

Nov. 16 — Dr. Dre releases his second solo album, 2001.

Dec. 28 — Dr. Dre is featured on and produces "Watch Me" from Jay-Z's fourth studio album, Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter.

Latest in Music