Always the humble soul, Dancehall artist Sean Paul had no problem sharing this embarrassing story involving American superstar and former NSYNC frontrunner, Justin Timberlake.
In a recent radio interview with DJ 4EIGN, Sean relived the mortifying tale of the time Justin Timberlake kinda, sorta kicked him out of a studio session.
It was circa 2002, back when Sean was floating on the highs from his 2X Platinum albumDutty Rockwhich included hits like and Gimme The Light, and when Justin releasedJustified, his debut solo album after leaving NSYNC. In addition to the Timbaland producedCry Me A River, stand out tracks from that 3X Platinum album includedSeñorita,Rock Your Body, andLike I Love Youfeaturing Clipse, all of which were co-written and co-produced by Pharrell Williams.
The 29-year-old Dancehall sensation at the time was called toVirginiaby Pharrell to voice onBeenie Man’s energetic banger,Bossman,which also featuredLady Saw.
Paul said after laying down his bars on the track, the producers had asked him to stick around a bit longer while Beenie took the next flight out. He reappeared the following day and went on to record the trackBubble, and a collaboration with Clipse calledGrindin’.
During the sessions, however, it just so happened that Justin Timberlake was also recording next door.
“They was like, yow, when you finish that verse come over. It was just me, the engineer, Pharrell and Justin Timberlake,” Sean Paul said.
Though slightly intrigued by the invitation, it was further encouraged by Pharrell, so Paul decided to go. Sean explained, “I’m all for understanding if somebody wants they privacy, but the producer I’m working with just told me, come over, get involved”.
“So I went over there and dude [Timberlake] is playing on the piano and he looks up like, ‘who is this?’ (referring to Paul)… Pharrell is like, oh this is Sean Paul, you don’t know Sean Paul?” but a confused and unimpressed, Timberlake responded “Nah.”
Sean said, Pharrell then nudged him to give the pop star a sample of his work, and feeling somewhat of a schmuck the deejay belted out the hook toGimme The Light.
To his satisfaction, Timberlake recognized the song, and said, “Oh oh, I know you …” then got to his feet, but only to escort Sean to someone outside who would be more eager to meet him – the bodyguard.
It turned out, Justin’s bodyguard wasn’t really that psyched to meet him either. The Barbadian “big man” who was asleep in a van outside had to take a few seconds to determine who theDeport Demdeejay actually was, but eventually did nonetheless.
By then Justin had returned to the studio by himself, leaving Sean Paul and the bodyguard to exchange a few pleasantries about island life. That’s when it clicked to Paul that Justin Timberlake had just thrown him out of the building.
“It just felt a little bit weird. This dude just totally walked me out the building, very neatly though…it was so neat. I was like damn, he just kicked me out so nice,” Paul told DJ 4EIGN. “I gotta use that on somebody one day, but I ain’t like that.”
“Honestly, if you in the studio and you really don’t vibe with the person then you go say to the producer or you even say straight to the dude’s face like ‘yow I’m working on something special, gimme some time.’ I would have understood. I’ve done that to people, but the way he did so smooth, I dunno. That was some funny vibes.”
Not many will confess their humiliating moments, especially if it were a deliberate belittlement by someone revered by a world of admirers.
The Grammy Award-winner is set to releasetwo new albums in 2021, Live and Living and Scorcher. Live and Livingwill be all collaborations with Jamaican Dancehall/Reggae artistes includingBuju Banton,Busy Signal,Serani,Masicka,Bugle,Intence,Squash,Mavado, and Chi Ching Ching, while Scorcher will feature American singer Gwen Stefani, Australian singer-songwriter Sia, Shenseea, Jada Kingdom and Stylo G.
Check out the full interview below.