It takes a lot of, um, guts, to name your first single “Ji– in My Pants.” But that’s the plan for the unabashedly raunchy debut album from Lonely Island , the three-man musical wrecking crew led by “Saturday Night Live” It Boy Andy Samberg and his writing buddies, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer. The disc, Incredibad, is due out on February 10 and will feature some help from an impressive roster of heavy hitters, including [artist id=”1998098″]T-Pain[/artist], [artist id=”1227303″]Norah Jones[/artist], [artist id=”1747577″]Jack Black[/artist], [artist id=”6431″]E-40[/artist], the [artist id=”1165302″]Strokes'[/artist] singer Julian Casablancas and, of course, [artist id=”1231683″]Justin Timberlake[/artist].
With a mix of songs made famous in digital shorts on “SNL” over the years — including the Emmy-winning Timberlake collaboration “Di– in a Box,” as well as “Lazy Sunday” (co-starring Chris Parnell) and the Natalie Portman-assisted “Natalie Raps” — the album is meant to make you laugh, but Samberg said he wouldn’t mind if you nod your head to it a bit too.
“We definitely wanted it to be a classic comedy album, but also one you put on more than once,” Samberg told MTV News. “We’ve gone out of our way to make it musically pleasing. We started on a few songs that were not funny enough, for us, but they sounded pretty cool. And the bottom line for the project was, ‘Is it going to be funny first and music second?’ I think it’s 95 percent music, and we hope people would throw it on and bump it.”
The trio, who’ve been posting NSFW songs and videos on TheLonelyIsland.com for years, shared a home in Encino, California, over the summer and collaborated on the 14 tracks. Samberg said Universal Republic Records had been after the troupe to do an album since the “Lazy Sunday” digital short dropped on “SNL” in 2005. And, as Samberg told MTV News in 2006 , the friends always did want to make an album.
“We finally had the free time to do it this summer,” he said. Though some of the “SNL” songs have become instant classics, Samberg thinks there’s an added value to the ones that never appeared on the show “because Jorma and Akiva aren’t castmembers, and our songs normally require three dudes with very specific rap skills.”
Though he was skimpy with the details, not wanting to ruin the surprise, Samberg did reveal that the album is heavy on hip-hop beats but has some of the signature new-wave goodness of songs like “Space Olympics” and the island vibes of “Ras Trent.”
“Jorma makes a lot of the beats, but because we knew we had a set amount of time on this, we asked for any and all beats we could get,” Samberg said. That resulted in a combination of homebrewed rhythms and professional help from reggae legends Sly & Robbie on “Ras Trent,” as well as a few beats from [artist id=”509181″]Jurassic 5[/artist] turntable master DJ Nu-Mark and underground producer/DJ J-Zone, who has worked with everyone from [artist id=”2122478″]Gnarls Barkley[/artist] to [artist id=”700″]Biz Markie[/artist] and Pete Rock.
Samberg said he’s particularly proud of the thump on the first single, “Ji– in My Pants,” which made its debut on the show last week with cameos from a mop-wielding Timberlake, checkout girl Jamie-Lynn Sigler and club hottie Molly Sims. “When I first heard that beat, it sounded like a [artist id=”503162″]Timbaland[/artist] beat,” Samberg said. “My first reference was a [artist id=”760″]Missy Elliott[/artist] club jam, and then we threw some generic Euro Brit dudes on top, because, to be honest, we don’t have the chops to crush a Timbaland beat.” The video, which features Taccone rapping alongside Samberg, was shot a week before the current “SNL” seasons started, and Samberg said he had “no intentions” of the Universal-funded clip making it onto the show, but once it played in dress rehearsal, the reaction demanded that it make it on air.
While Samberg admitted the three have an affinity for dirty jokes that end somewhere south of the equator, he said they tried not to make the album all locker-room humor. “I would hope that isn’t our theme, but it was getting harder and harder to deny,” Samberg said. “When we did ‘Di– in a Box’ — and that’s what most people know us for — it’s an uphill battle from there.”
Samberg promised that the album’s T-Pain song, “I’m on a Boat,” is “straight hip-hop,” while the Jack Black tune, “Sax Man,” finds the Tenacious D frontman singing his heart out. He also revealed that mellow torch singer Norah Jones (who appears on the tune “Dream Girl”) is a “goofy girl” who loves comedy, and his normally dour buddy Casablancas shows some comedy chops that might surprise on “Boombox.”
The record is also slated to feature Bay Area hip-hop legend E-40 on the song “Santana DVX,” as well as the songs “Who Said We’re Wack,” “Punch You in the Jeans,” “We Like Sportz,” “Shrooms” and the “SNL” classic “Iran So Far” with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine. There will also be an accompanying DVD, but Samberg said he couldn’t talk about what would be on it yet because the terms are still being negotiated.
Samberg would love to take the show on the road, but for now, given his hectic schedule, that remains to be seen. “Some of us are more anxious to do it than others,” he said.