The CRY ME A RIVER hitmaker, who is also working with Timbaland and THE BLACK EYED PEAS singer WILL.I.AM on his second album, took Rock's advice on board and approached Rubin when he saw him at the Coachella music festival in Indio, California, last April (05).
Timberlake tells MTV, "Interestingly enough - this is funny how our community works - I saw Chris Rock out one night and he said, 'You know who you should work with? Rick Rubin. He never does anything bad.'
"I was like, 'You got a point.' I never thought about it myself. And then I saw him at Coachella. I was standing in the middle of the crowd and I went up and approached him.
"He's a nice guy and cool and humble and obviously a genius, and I'm looking forward to hearing myself do something I've never done.
"He was like, 'I'm not going to influence you. I want you to do what you do.' And that's such a comforting thing as an artist."