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Like I Love You

An important analysis of Justin Timberlake's Like I Love You music video

The video provides an excellent insight into Justin’s love of hats.

TRANSPORT YOURSELF BACK to 2002. Earlier that year *NSYNC have announced a hiatus (a hiatus that 16 years later has still yet to end) and you’re heartbroken. However, along comes Justin Timberlake to save the day.

Like I Love You entered our conscious in October 2002 and has refused to leave ever since.

In the video, JT has lost his famous spaghetti haircut of his *NSYNC days (what a transformation) and decides he’s going to charm us with that sexy guitar strumming and his frequent, intense looks into the camera.


So to start our main man JT is outside a 7-Eleven wearing a 7-Eleven t-shirt and a beanie hat. Now either he works at the store and is trying in vain to hide his staff t-shirt or he just really, really likes 7-Eleven. That bit, unfortunately never becomes clear.

The ‘hanging around outside a shop trying to seduce girls’ reminds me of the free time you had in the Gaeltacht where everyone went down to the shop to see who was going to shift who.

What ensues next is an odd sort of mating ritual where JT sings about trying to seduce this lovely girl and how much he trusts her because she’s a ‘good girl’ but for some reason he must dance to attract her.

In fact, he must enlist the help of two others to aid him in seducing the girl. Some might call that overkill but sure look, each to their own.

As we move into the second verse JT has swapped a beanie for a snapback (big mistake because beanies are much better than snapbacks) and has now moved to a video arcade.

Just absorb those early 00s fashion choices, that leather jacket-snapback combo in all it’s glory. Phenomenal. He still won’t go in for the shift yet though. He’s such an awful tease.

We’re onto the second chorus and JT has changed his outfit (most notably his hat) again and has managed to find some rapper friends named Clipse (Pusha T and No Malice).

This leads to a very young JT trying to be “cool” with his dancing. It reminds me of 14 year old lads from Clare attempting to rap and dance to Eminem in the mid 00s.

In fact in what might be the best part of the song, No Malice declares ‘Funny how a few words turn into sex’ with young JT beside him crooning ‘I just want your, braaaaain’ and pointing to said brain.

It’s so awkward it’s hilarious. Maybe he thinks his fans don’t know what a brain is? Who knows.

As we move towards the conclusion of this wonderful piece of art, the music stops and JT looks intensely into the camera saying ‘You know? I used to dream about this when I was a little boy’.

Like what, he used to dream about riding? Or seducing women outside a 7-Eleven? WE NEED CLARITY JUSTIN.

As we get to the end Pharrell suddenly appears (well he did produce the song) and this leads to more dancing by both of them as they attempt to look cool.

It’s so reminiscent of teenage boys at local discos and GAAs dancing right down to the chin-grabbing, I’m so here for it.

Since this video JT has come a long way. His video for his 2006 hit ‘What Goes Around, Comes Around’ was polished and starred Scarlett Johansson for crying out loud.

However, it can never quite live up to the heights of ‘Like I Love You’. If anything, it taught us that more people should be wearing beanies in general. BRING THEM BACK!

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