It starts off like a Dirty South strip club banger. Booty claps; $20 bills cascading down to the floor; stripper pole gymnastics. The Biebs’ first single off Believe was hailed as his much-anticipated step into young adulthood. But this is a Justin Bieber song after all. Which means it never goes beyond PG-13. Still girls, he’s swagged-out and wants to take “you places you ain’t never been before.” Heavy on hooks and charm.
“Like I Love You” ft. the Clipse (Timberlake)
Timberlake’s opening big boy single after N’ Sync. And like Bieber there were questions on whether he could transition beyond his kiddie beginnings. “Like I Love You” smashed any notions of boy band inspired stumbles. The Neptunes produced track, with its sparse acoustic drums and guitar workout, featured ‘hood-praised tandem the Clipse. And Timberlake’s falsetto comes off like a man that knows what he wants and how to get it.
Better Justin: We give this first one to Timberlake. No doubt Bieber shows some maturity, albeit forced at times. But could you ever imagine a brazen line like, “Funny how a few words turned into sex” uttered on a Justin Bieber record?