Pharrell says songs on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified’ were written for Michael Jackson
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  • Post published:12/04/2021
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Pharrell says songs on Justin Timberlake’s ‘Justified’ were written for Michael Jackson

Prince also turned down the prolific Neptunes producer

By Matthew Neale

Pharrell Williams and Michael Jackson
Credit: Burak Cingi/John Gunion/Redferns/Getty

Pharrell Williams has claimed that “all but one” of the tracks on Justin Timberlake‘s debut album, ‘Justified’, were originally written for Michael Jackson.

Speaking on Revolt TV podcast Drink Champs, Pharrell revealed that he was regularly sending beats to both Jackson and Prince, apparently without success.

“John McClain was his manager at the time,” the Neptunes producer explained. “We sent him pretty much all the stuff y’all are hearing on the ‘Justified’ album. That’s all the Michael stuff.”


According to Pharrell, almost every song on Timberlake’s 2002 debut was put together with Jackson in mind. “All but one song, they were all written for Michael,” he said.

The producer claimed Jackson wasn’t interested in the tracks on offer, suggesting that he wanted something closer in style to Pharrell’s 1998 N.O.R.E. collaboration.

“John McClain was like, ‘Man, Michael don’t want that shit,’” the ‘Entrepeneur’ singer told the host. “‘He want that shit you’re giving Noreaga… he want that ‘Superthug.’”

On Friday (December 18), Pharrell weighed in on the recent dispute between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun, after the latter notoriously purchased the singer’s former record label and the master rights to her first six albums.


“It’s really unfortunate, you know,” he told Variety. “There was room for him to make his acquisition because that’s just the way the business is, and I felt for her and not being able to be in control of it.”

The N.E.R.D. man also unveiled a new non-profit initiative this month. Black Ambition will support Black and Latinx entrepreneurs.

Pharrell’s charity is said to be committed to levelling the playing field for non-white entrepreneurs by providing them with funding, opportunities, mentorships and access.

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  • Michael Jackson
  • Pharrell Williams
  • Pop

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