Nelly Furtado describes their relationship during the making of Loose as “volatile.” One of their fights was over the song “Promiscuous.” Furtado thought the lyrics—a flirty back-and-forth between a man and a woman—were dumb, and the listener does get the sense their attraction is not based on intelligence. But neither are most people’s. Mosley won the argument, and “Promiscuous” hit No. 1 in the summer of 2006 and became an anthem for hookup culture. But although they toured together to promote it,
Nelly Furtado was initially hesitant about recording this sexually charged duet. “I told her, ‘You can’t be that same Nelly Furtado laying on the grass playing with birds🕊,'” Timbaland says. “She was like, ‘Oh no, Tim, I’m not doing that!😣’
I told her, ‘I’m not saying exploit yourself, I’m saying showcase yourself.'” The track was one of the last songs to be completed for Furtado’s Loose LP. She and Timbaland finished it right before executives from Furtado’s label arrived to hear how the material was shaping up. “The moment of truth was playing it back with everyone in the room,” Timbaland says.
The label loved it — and chose it as the record’s first U.S. single.
interview with Nelly Furtado on the set of her Promiscuous video. L.A. 2006