Justin Timberlake Introduces FreeSol to New York

'It's Memphis,' Timberlake says of the group's diverse sound

September 1, 2011 4:35 PM ET
justin timberlake freesol southern hospitality
Justin Timberlake
Michael Stewart/WireImage

Last night, just before a surprise performance at the New York City barbecue restaurant Southern Hospitality (where he's part-owner), Justin Timberlake introduced FreeSol, the group responsible for the latest release on Timberlake's Tennman Record label.

"I would describe their sound as a fusion of rock, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, and soul. It's Memphis," Timberlake, a Tennessee native, told Rolling Stone. "When I made super pop music, some urban people said, 'I don't listen to that shit, but if I did I'd like these songs.' Now it's okay to like everything."

FreeSol formed in 2003 after lead MC Chris "Free" Anderson met guitarist Elliot Ives. The pair recruited drummer "Kickman" Teddy, DJ Charlie White and pianist "Premo" D'Anger and began recording in Memphis, their hometown. While playing frat parties, weddings and clubs, the group caught Timberlake's ear. In 2007 FreeSol signed with the former N'Sync member's fledgling label, which is distributed by Interscope Records, and began identifying a creative direction all members could agree upon.

"It took us three years to get from the stage to the studio," Free says.

Their influences range from Three 6 Mafia to the late Isaac Hayes – who often provided some much-needed inspiration. "Every time he saw us, he'd say, 'You guys are some bad motherfuckers,'" Teddy recalls.

Timberlake directed the group's clip "Hoodies On, Hats Low" (watch below), along with Aaron Platt and Jospeh Toman, and says there is one more video coming soon.

"We did three videos in three days. We have one on reserve called 'Role Model,'" Timberlake says. He debuted the video for press last night, and in the black-and-white clip, Timberlake raps, "Did I take it too far? Superbowl," in a speed rivaling Yelawolf, as a model reveals her breasts. "Don't Give it Away," the group's first single, recently aired on HBO's Entourage and manager Nick Shuly says a video for that song is also in the works.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »