Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, and Nelly Furtado are back together on a song for the first time in more than 16 years. “Keep Going Up,” the trio’s follow-up to their 2007 superhit “Give It To Me,” is out today, along with a visualizer/lyric video that portrays the reunion as a genuine love fest.
Timbaland, of course, has relationships with both Timberlake and Furtado that stretch beyond “Give It To Me.” He produced the vast majority of her third album, Loose, which dropped in 2006 and included their wildly popular collab “Promiscuous.” That question he asks her at ther start of that track — “How you doin’, young lady? / The feeling that you giving really drives me crazy” — is referenced at the start of “Keep Going Up,” when Timbaland checks back in: “How you been, you been, young lady? / Does the feeling still drive you crazy?”
Furtado responds earnestly, singing over signature Timbaland percussion (albeit with a bigger, gauzier synth than the producer would’ve been caught dead with back in his salad days): “I’ve been working on my gains lately / I’ve been loving myself on the daily,” she sings, her voice sounding almost the same as it did all those years ago — though maybe with a bit more post-production. “Had to cut some people off, they were draining / I’m no longer settling, I’m upgrading.”
Timberlake, who’s had his own fair share of lucrative team-ups with Timbaland, also seems to be responding to the central question posed at the onset of the song (if not directly to him). “I’ve been adding commas on my new statements / Yeah, I’ve been on new energy, it’s contagious, he croons, sounding similarly unaged. “I could try to hide it but can’t contain it / This life keeps going up, and I can’t explain it.”
Timbaland’s newsworthy endeavors of late have included a $28-million lawsuit against the video platform Triller, an Instagram post containing a snippet of a track he made with an AI Biggie Smalls, and a soapbox speech on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast insisting fans separate R. Kelly’s artistry from his numerous sex crimes.