It's Gonna Be Me
|"It's Gonna Be Me"|
|Single by NSYNC|
|from the album No Strings Attached|
|B-side||"This Is Where the Party's At"|
|Released||June 12, 2000|
|NSYNC singles chronology|
US limited edition
"It's Gonna Be Me" is a song by American boy band NSYNC. It was released in June 12, 2000, as the second single in the United States and third in Europe from their second studio album No Strings Attached. The song became NSYNC's only Billboard Hot 100 number-one hit, making it their highest-charting single. It topped the chart for two consecutive weeks and has been certified Gold by the RIAA.
Composition and lyrics
The lyrics are addressed to a woman who apparently had bad experiences in previous relationships. The man who shows interest in her assures the woman that he is nothing like her past lovers, and that he is prepared to wait for her. When she is ready to love someone again, he maintains that "It's gonna be me". It is written in the key of C minor.
In 2015, Rolling Stone staff ranked it as the 15th greatest boy band song of all time. They noted how "the lyric juxtaposes the hesitancy of the song's love interest with the determination of an eager-to-please beau represented by both JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake".
In a retrospective side-by-side comparison between 15th anniversary boy band albums "No Strings Attached" and "Black & Blue", Ariana Bacle of Entertainment Weekly ranked "It's Gonna Be Me" as the second best song, only behind "The Call". She stated that it was the "NSYNC discography's real star", claiming that the song's "relatively simple melody and Justin’s slightly menacing vocals" resulted in "an irrestible three minutes that climaxes with a bridge highlighting the kind of overlapping harmonies that define boy bands".
The music video was directed by Wayne Isham. The video debuted on MTV's TRL on May 23, 2000, and was also released on MTV's "Making the Video". Joji Tani, known by Screaming Mad George, provided make-up for the video. As of August 2019, the video has received over 101 million views.
The video begins in a large toy store, with "Bye Bye Bye" playing in the background. Each group member is an animated plastic doll version of themselves in a box similar to their album cover. They punch through the plastic sleeve on their boxes and try to attract the attention of the girl shopping (Kim Smith also appears as the puppeteer in "Bye Bye Bye") so that they can be bought. Army men abseil down from a taller shelf, destroy their boxes, and start to physically assault them. They end up winning and laugh at them when they are purchased, giving them a mocking salute in the process.
Next, the members spot a set of Barbie-like dolls and attempt to converse with them. The Barbies suddenly drop a net on them, and again tease them when they are bought instead of the band. Joey Fatone accidentally knocks down a stack of dominoes shaped as the band's logo, as they frantically run on top of the shelf after noticing the girl walking past their section. The band quickly abseil onto the shelf and perform the song's dance routine for her, gaining her affection for them. She purchases the dolls, and upon being scanned, become the real-life version of each member.
At the end of the video, the doll version of Justin Timberlake shoves the other band member dolls down behind him on the shelf, while the real-life band members and the girl walk out of the store together. Throughout the video, the real-life NSYNC members perform a choreographed dance routine in a circular arena filled with multi-colored strobe lighting effects constantly changing the color of the background. These are also accompanied by zooming and dissolving effects.
NSYNC debuted the song live at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards, in which they appeared out of the cardboard packaging seen in the music video. They also performed an extended dance mix of the song at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, along with "Bye Bye Bye" and "This I Promise You" NSYNC also performed it on several shows in 2000, which included Good Morning America, Today and Top of the Pops.
In popular culture
Throughout the song, Justin Timberlake pronounces the word "me" such that it sounds more like "May," particularly at the song's end. This oddity has led to an internet craze in which memes of Timberlake's face above the inscription "It's Gonna Be May!" are shared on the internet by numerous users every April 30 (including US President Barack Obama and Timberlake himself). Views on YouTube also garner five times as many daily views on April 30 as they do in mid-April, seven times as many searches, and 23% more views on all NSYNC music videos. Timberlake later explained in an interview that the song's producer Max Martin had him pronounce the word that way. When asked why, Timberlake said it was to make him sound like he was from Tennessee.
In 2016, Fall Out Boy created a follow-up music video for their song "Irresistible" featuring Demi Lovato, which is also directed by Isham and featured cameos from Chris Kirkpatrick as a toy factory worker and Joey Fatone as a toy store employee.
Track listings and formats
U.S. single 1 limited edition
U.S. single 2
Credits and personnel
- Recorded at Cheiron Studios, Stockholm, Sweden and Battery Studios, NYC
- Max Martin – songwriter
- Rami – songwriter, producer
- Andreas Carlsson – songwriter
- Chris Trevett – recording engineer
- Charles McCrorey – assistant engineer
- John Amatiello – Pro Tools engineer
- Justin Timberlake – human beat box
- Chaz Harper – mastering
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- on YouTube