Justin Timberlake's "Say Something" Was Inspired by Recent 'Misunderstandings'

Timberlake talks misunderstandings and more in the second part of his extensive Zane Lowe chat.

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Justin Timberlake's new album Man of the Woods is out tomorrow. Maybe you've heard a thing or two about it. To celebrate the album's release, Beats 1 just dropped the second half of their extensive Zane Lowe x JT discussion, featuring additional insight into the 16-track 20/20 Experience followup, including the story behind the recently released Chris Stapleton collab "Say Something."

Around the 23-minute mark in the video up top, Lowe asked if 'recent misunderstandings" inspired the song.

"Yeah, for sure, that's part of it," Timberlake said. "We wrote the song almost a year ago, so a lot of weird things were happening, and they still are, in the world. It was the first song we wrote together. He kind of came in and I thought to myself, it would be really cool to see if we wrote something and we just let Timbaland and Danja just dress it and just see what happens. And he came in and he was talking to me and he was like, 'How's everything been going?' I played him a couple of things that Pharrell and I had done, and he was like 'Wow, this is something different.' And I said 'I really think we could do something special.' He's like, 'What do you want to write about?'"


Timberlake explained to Stapleton during the session that "there's always misunderstandings" and expressed his desire to "say something," despite his fear that he could "get caught in the rhythm" of it, a phrase that later landed in the resulting song. "I want to speak up and I want to say something but I just don't want to get caught in the rhythm of something because if the rhythm goes off, the train goes off the tracks," he said. "And [Stapleton] was just like, 'OK, I'll be right back.'"

When Lowe mentioned Timberlake's controversial Twitter exchange about Jesse Williams' 2016 BET Awards speech as an example of a misunderstanding, Timberlake agreed. "For sure," he said. "And I felt terrible, you feel terrible, like 'Oh man, that is not what I meant. Why did I do that?'"

After tweeting that he was inspired by Williams' speech, Timberlake responded to a Twitter user's suggestion that he "stop appropriating our music and culture and apologize to [Janet Jackson]" by telling them that "the more you realize we are the same, the more we can have a conversation." Timberlake later apologized.

Last month, Timberlake and Stapleton dropped the official video for "Say Something," directed by La Blogothèque. 

View this video on YouTube


The track will likely get a Super Bowl-ified performance this weekend.

Catch Timberlake and Lowe's new 40-minute chat, which also includes thoughts on other Woods tracks, in full up top.

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