Justin Timberlake feat. Jay-Z

"Suit & Tie"

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
January 14, 2013

Among other virtues, Justin Timberlake's first new single in six years is utilitarian: a gift to the world's wedding DJs. It's a 21st century "Puttin' on the Ritz," an ode to dressing to the nines and going dancing that will be soundtracking nuptials, proms, and other formal-wear occasions for the foreseeable future. It sounds the part. Co-produced by Timberlake's longtime maestro Timbaland, "Suit & Tie" is natty – as expertly tailored and crisply pressed as a high-end tux. It opens with a fake-out – Timberlake drawling "I be on my suit and tie shit," over a woozy, downtempo synths – before segueing into the song-proper: an airy, swinging groove, with tinkling harps, finger-snap percussion, and tooting brass. There are traces of R. Kelly's Chicago-stepping songs, Robin Thicke's neo-Seventies soul, and, of course, the beatific Michael Jackson of "Rock with You." But there's no mistaking the JT touch – the confident suavity, and a falsetto as plush and pliable as anyone's. Jay-Z's rap sounds phoned-in, but he drops a bunch of fashion brand names (Tom Ford, All Saints, Alexander Wang) and that does the trick.

Song Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    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


    The Pack | 2006

    Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

    More Song Stories entries »