After a major hype overload that began back in January with two words -- "I'm Ready" -- Justin Timberlake on Tuesday finally unveils his long-awaited new album The 20/20 Experience, his first since 2006. Reportedly, fans won't have to wait too long for a follow-up: rumor has it that this is just the first installment of what will be a two-volume project, with a second disc coming in November.
As for why The 20/20 Experience was so long in coming, Justin says it wasn't, as most fans assume, because he wanted to focus on movies instead of music. According to JT, taking a long time between musical projects is the norm for him.
"You know, even from the first and second record, 2002 to 2006, I took some time in-between," Justin pointed out during an appearance on BET's 106 & Park. Explaining why that is, he continued, "I kinda like to take my time. I like to live life, I like to know what I'm talking about when I'm writing a song, and I guess I just don't rush it."
He added, "I don't really have any rhyme or reason, other than I don't really feel every song I write has to come out, you know, like, 'This is the greatest song ever!'"
It's safe to say music has changed a lot between 2006 and today, but instead of doing what most pop artists do -- hiring the hot producer of the moment for each album -- Justin chose to stick with his homie Timbaland on the new record, like he's always done. He says his relationship with Tim is special, because he considers the producer family.
"There's no stress, y'know, we feel like we're on our own time," he revealed 106 & Park. "We make music and we hang out, it's not just a working relationship...we really have fun together. It's like a brotherhood." In fact, the two are so close, Justin revealed, that Timbaland's daughter calls him "Uncle Justin."
Having that kind of relaxed and laid-back atmosphere in the studio, says Justin, is why so many songs on The 20/20 Experience are so long. In fact, seven out of the 10 tracks clock in at more than seven minutes long.
"We had a great team around us and the process...it was really freeing," explained Justin. "So we ended up with these songs that kinda stretched and stretched and stretched, and when we got into editing the album, I just, kinda, was like...'I don't really wanna edit it. Can we fit all of this on a CD?'"
The 20/20 Experience is expected to debut at #1 next week. Justin will kick off his Legends of the Summer stadium tour with Jay-Z in July.
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