Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes came up with the beat for this song. He was inspired by the funk sounds he grew up listening to.
Kevin Federline is one of the dancers in the video. Federline would later marry and divorce Britney Spears, who is Timberlake's ex-girlfriend.
Suggestion credit: Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2
The song featured a rapped verse by up-and-coming Virginia brother-and-brother hip-hop duo, Clipse. No Malice (known then as Malice), recalled to Billboard magazine in 2013 that Timberlake took the bigger risk in the seemingly unlikely collaboration. "I think Justin really took a chance with us in allowing us to get on his record," he said. "[We were] these new dudes, gritty and grimy, coming out, you know? He wasn't scared to take that risk and it worked out. I'm really glad about that."
Ronnie Van Zant wrote the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic "Gimme Three Steps" after making the mistake of dancing with a girl whose boyfriend was in the bar and probably had a gun. He asked for a 3-step head start.
Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.