Justin Timberlake successfully broke away from the pop stigma he had with N’Sync and showed his r&b roots when he released his solo debut album “Justified” in 2002. Not only did The Neptunes and Timbaland help him craft that soulful sound on a majority of the album, but he also worked with The Underdogs and Brian McKnight. An overlooked collaboration that occurred for that album was with Philly producers Carvin & Ivan who created “Worth Of” for him. Although the song didn’t make the final tracklist, it ended up as a bonus song on the Australian version of the album.
When we caught up with Carvin and Ivan a few years ago, they shared the story of working with Justin Timberlake on the song.
Ivan: I remember when Justin came to Philly. A guy that we knew that was working with him at the time, he was like “Yo, I’m working with Justin, we’re real close, I want to bring him to Philly, he’s a fan of what you guys do.” At first I was like “Yea right, stop playing, Justin is not looking for what we do, he’s a pop guy, what you talking about?” Sure enough, three months later, the big tour bus showed up in front of Larry Gold studios, before we had our own studios, that was a month before we got into ours. We were working out of Larry Gold, and that year was crazy from June of 2001 to June of 2002, everybody came through Larry Gold studio at some point in their careers. He came in and he was working with us and he worked with Dre and Vidal, Timbaland was in there doing strings. I’ve gotta say, Justin was probably one of the coolest most down to earth artists of that stature that we worked with. I thought it was going to be a lot of security guards in the studio, but he was cool. It was like somebody came in and didn’t try to make himself the center of attention and bigger than anybody else, he was just happy and excited to be around the energy we all had.
Carvin: His work ethic is incredible. He might have knocked the song out in a very short time, but he did it, knocked it out, listened to it, went back again and did it better than the way he did it the first time. We cut the record, we listened, it sounded great, and he went back in the booth and cut again.