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Song Stories

“Cry Me a River”

Justin Timberlake | 2002

This breakup aria marked the formation of the Timberlake-Timbaland team, and its scandalous video — in which Justin stalks an actress dressed to look like Britney Spears, with whom he had just ended a three-year relationship — made clear the inspiration for “River.” “It's a good-ass video,” Justin Timberlake told Rolling Stone. “I didn't want anyone to come off smelling like roses.” A year later, Britney wrote and recorded her response to JT — the apologetic ballad “Everytime.”

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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