Like I Love You (4:43)

Cover of Justified

From Justified and 64 other releases

“Like I Love You” is the first single from Justin Timberlake’s solo debut album Justified, featuring a rap from hip hop duo Clipse. Released in 2002, the Neptunes-produced single peaked at #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at #2 in the UK, with Dilemma keeping the song off the top spot, and stayed on the charts for sixteen weeks. The songs drums were an ode to the funk era according to producer Pharrell Williams, who came up with the music loop. This track received a nomination at the Grammy Awards of 2003 for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

After being part of the pop group *NSYNC, Timberlake changed his style on this song to R&B to try and appeal to a black audience. In an interview with Newsround he said he “grew up on old soul music…Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Stevie Wonder.” He also commented “I really didn’t try to make an effort to make urban music but I am a product of my inspirations. And growing up in a generation where you’ve got so much music to listen to, it’s very inspiring.”

The best-known cover version of “Like I Love You” was by the British indie band Maxïmo Park, who covered it for a compilation commemorating 40 years of BBC Radio 1. In their version, Timberlake’s closing lyrics about waiting for “this moment since he was a little boy” were changed humorously to reference their lead singer’s hometown of Billingham, and his less glamorous childhood.

This song has been covered by Bell X1. It was recorded for the “Today FM” CD titled Even Better than the Real Thing Vol. 2 and as a B-side to their single “Eve, The Apple Of My Eye”. Math metal band The Dillinger Escape Plan covered the song for their iTunes Music Store-only EP, Plagiarism.

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