May is upon us which means those “It’s Gonna Be May” memes have been dusted off and are ready for recirculation.
To the uninitiated — those of you who weren’t singing along to ‘NSync in the early aughts — the meme was born from the boy band’s 2000 hit “It’s Going To Be Me”, off their second album, No Strings Attached. Justin Timberlake crooned “me” as “mayyyy” and now every April 30, which has officially been dubbed “It’s Gonna Be May Day”, we are reminded of it — and JT’s iconic curly ‘fro, which he wore nearly as well as his Canadian tux.
When Yahoo Entertainment recently caught up with former ‘NSync star Lance Bass, we asked about recording the song and Timberlake’s odd delivery of the lyrics.
“I remember — ’cause Max Martin produced this — I remember [Max] saying, ‘Do it more like this: ‘mayyy, mayyy’,” Bass recalls. “So [Justin] did. I remember Max making him sing it that way”.
Bass adds, “That wasn’t, I don’t think, [Justin’s] choice. That was a Max Martin thing”.
That was the party line shared by Timberlake as well back in 2016. “In my defense, Max Martin made me sing ‘me’ that way”, he told Capital FM, a UK music radio station. “I think he just wanted me to sound like I was from Tennessee”.
And while it may not have been Timberlake’s choice, he’s come to embrace his pronunciation being a “thing” — though he didn’t have much of a choice. The meme took on a life of its own after being created around 2012. It has been traced back to January 2012, when a Tumblr user named amyricha, whose account has since been deactivated, first posted it.