Justin Timberlake plays a Steve Jobs-styled robot inventor in his new video for “Filthy,” a song from his upcoming LP Man of the Woods.
Timberlake co-wrote the song with Timbaland, Danja, James Fauntleroy and Lawrence Dopson; Timberlake, Timbaland and Danja co-produced the track, which the singer on Instagram instructed to “[play] very loud.”
Mark Romanek, who previously helmed the joyous clip for Timberlake’s 2016 hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” helmed the visual. On the funky “Filthy,” Timberlake sings about hanging with friends who “ain’t leavin’ ’til six in the morning” and dismissing doubters with the quip, “Haters gonna say it’s fake.” The chorus befits the song’s slinky groove. “Look, I said, ‘Put your filthy hands all over me,’/ You know, this ain’t the clean version,” he sings. “And what you gonna do with all that meat?/ Cookin’ up a meat serving.”
The video, however, is less party and more a peek into a futuristic world. In the clip, Timberlake is presenting at a Pan-Asian Deep Learning Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the year 2028. Working the stage Steve Jobs-style, he’s met by a welcoming audience before he introduces his latest creation, a robot that follows his movements and later gets a bit frisky with the dancers that join the robot onstage. The line between inventor and his invention blurs by the clip’s end.
Timberlake plans to release three other videos in the weeks preceding the album release. Three different directors helmed the other clips, which will be out weekly starting January 18th.
Timberlake announced his new album on Tuesday, detailing his more homespun creative direction with a behind-the-scenes video. The trailer shows the rugged-looking singer striding through cornfields and relaxing next to a bonfire. “This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any other album I’ve ever written, where I’m from – it’s personal,” he says in voiceover. Snippets of new music – electric guitar textures, choral-styled vocal harmonies – highlight the clip.
In one scene from trailer, Timberlake’s frequent collaborator Pharrell Williams describes an unspecified Man of the Woods tune as a “smash.” The producer (as part of The Neptunes) contributed to the album, along with Alicia Keys and Chris Stapleton.
Man of the Woods is out February 2nd. Two days later, Timberlake will headline the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show.