Justin Timberlake’s “Filthy" Lyrics Are Giving Fans Mixed Feelings & For Good Reason

The long-awaited first song from Justin Timberlake's fourth studio album has finally arrived, and fans don't quite know how to feel about it. Timberlake's "Filthy" lyrics seem to be giving listeners mixed emotions, which is perhaps a good thing for the former boy band sensation. If history is any indication of what to expect from Timberlake's latest reemergence, it seems that "Filthy" has become yet another part of the entertainer's notable format of pushing out an original, unique sound in every album.

Much like "SexyBack," the single from his second studio album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, "Filthy" is a huge departure from what fans are used to hearing in terms of current music — a factor leaving some with conflicting feelings about the record's content. However, it's worth noting that "SexyBack" also received a similar reaction amidst its debut back in 2006 and went on to take home the Best Dance Recording trophy at the 2007 Grammys.

Despite its initial mixed reception, "SexyBack" also reached the Number 1 spot on Billboard's Top 100, spending 36 weeks on the chart in total. With that said, both "Filthy's" futuristic sound and uncommon lyrical content can clearly be distinguished as another indication of Justin Timberlake's evolution in music.

justintimberlakeVEVO on YouTube

As for the wording, Timberlake's "Filthy" offers fans a more seductive and provocative side to the singer's persona. Following a quick intro, which offers the repetitive statement, "Hey, if you know what's good," the hook gets underway with the 36-year-old singer high on ego, and making the announcement that he's back to business as usual. He sings,

"Haters gon' say it's fake
So real
Haters gon' say it's fake
So real
Haters gon' say it's fake
So real
All my haters gon' say it's fake
I guess I got my swagger back"

The song quickly hits adult supervision level as Timberlake makes sexual inferences in the chorus, which firmly back the promise of the song's soiled title. The former *NSYNC crooner continues,

"I said, put your filthy hands all over me
And no, this ain't the clean version
And what you gonna do with all that meat?
Cookin' up a mean servin'"

Timberlake goes into full party mode amidst the song's first verse, setting the scene for a long night ahead:

"No question, I want it
Fire up, everybody smokin'
Your friends, my friends
And they ain't leavin' till six in the morning (six in the morning)
Caught a chill, baby, you the coldest
Go far, put 'em on notice
If you know what I want, then yeah"

The lead-out single's second chorus moves along as the song becomes increasingly suggestive:

"Look, put your filthy hands all over me
And no, this ain't the clean version
And what you gonna do with all that beast?
When I leave the cage open
Huh, walk to me, uh"

Though excited for the Tennessee native's highly anticipated return, fans were quite confused about "Filthy's" sound and lyrical premise. Twitter lit up amidst its release on Friday, Jan. 5, and the reactions reveal just how puzzled fans were upon hearing the new song.

Some Absolutely Love It

In love with the unique sound, many were on board for Timberlake's progressive sound on "Filthy."

... And Some Hate It

However, there were some who weren't so happy about the singer's latest offering.

While Others Just Don't Know How To Feel

Completely baffled about the song and accompanying video, these fans found themselves at a loss for words.

Confusion aside, fans can certainly agree on their excitement for Timberlake's return. And if "Filthy" isn't quite your vibe just yet, rest assured that with a 16-track listing, Timberlake's full project Man of the Woods will have plenty to offer upon its release on Feb. 2.