Bitch, Have Some Decorum: On Justin Timberlake

Okay. First:
"Can Justin Timberlake just put out an album of Jacksons covers? We mean all the Jackson songs — Michael, Janet, Jackson 5, all of them. It would be outstanding, and he (and his band!) already know all the appropriate moves." -Lindsey Weber, Vulture
For the record, a Black person would never need, want, say, or think such a thing. 

And second, watch:

For the unsure, this was powerfully terrible. Dreadful. Justin may get my vote from a dance and choreography perspective while Usher is chasing Chris Brown through the Land of ElectroTrashy Relevancy to be crowned King of Able-To-Sing-OR-Dance-But-Never-The-Two-Shall-Meet, but to even fix your white ass fingers to even hint or joke that you've pondered the imponderable, that Justin ought to cover "all the Jackson songs," is the type of terroristic, entitled bullshit that keeps the NAACP's fax machine busy all day.


So far, we have refrained from burning his career down.

You are welcome, sir.

We, the Keepers of The Cool, have allowed him to spin and bop and 5,6,7,8 and ooooh-yeeeeah and let his little faux soul light shine long enough for him to be surprisingly adept at Convenient WhiteBlackness, a skill first honed in the aftermath of Superbowl 2004. As you know, he abandoned "longtime friend" Saint Damita Jo Jackson, the Patron Saint of Perfection, the same woman who gave a then practically unheard-of 'N SYNC a major boost by taking them on the road as part of her "Velvet Rope Tour," and who 'N SYNC had just honored as the inaugural MTV Icon a few short years prior. He'd ventured out too deep in the waters of Lake Blackness and opted for that which never lets them down: the White Life Jacket. Sorry Janet.

More recently, he took part in the biggest televised Convenient WhiteBlackness circle jerk to date--The 2013 MTV VMAs--alongside other famed blackness cherry-pickers Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore (who, despite the name, I've recently discovered, is not in fact a rapping fish). There, Justin was presented the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. He obviously viewed this as the 10th punch on his Black Card, unlocking Bonus Level Blackness, which has been known to embolden its user to aspire to heightened levels of White Coonery. It is at this level when uncolored persons have reported feeling accepted enough to offer to make THE potato salad and join in the Electric Slide at Colored gatherings and/or refer to loved ones, regardless of color, as their "niggas."

Anyhow, I say all of that to say this:

While JT is generally tolerable provided there are dancers and sangin', groovin', and two-steppin' ass Blacks behind him, one of his appropriation-approving Black friends needs to take the wheel and steer the Motherfucker PleaseMobile safely back into the appropriate lane.

He's been allowed to frolic freely as Diet Michael, the empowered part-time impersonator lucky that nobody has ever peeped the counterfeit tags on his Groove. Pulling references, ideas, and rejected albums from Him: safe. "No feelings were harmed in the making of this fake Black song," and shit like that. Similar to how you treat your uncle who's on "that stuff": Ruin YOUR shit, but don't come around here trying to sell Big Mama's couch and fuck up her good credit, scumbag. That's YOUR own, private shit show. Keep your tragedy to yourself, playboy. All ultimately harmless, really.

But a cover of "Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)?" With the actual choreo? With that soul-free wax paper voice of his?

Bitch, have some decorum.


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  1. *slow clap*

    As a writer, a journalist, an author and English major, I declare this fucking awesome.

  2. I don't know too much about the music business but shouldn't you be mad at the Jackson family for giving Justin Timberlake permission to do them Jackson covers? I'm pretty sure they are getting paid for it and that's what it's all about. SMH, always blame white folks for stealing black culture but aren't we all American? Usher isn't really too active and Chris Brown has too many personal issues, honestly they won't sell as many records or concerts either. Why aren't you mad at Jay Z for going on tour and collaborating with Justin Timberlake?

    I'll listen to Justin Timberlake over the shitty music that's getting put out by Miley Cyrus, Young Money, Drake, and Chief Keef and whatever else is pop nowadays but I shouldn't support his music because he isn't black? Sounds a little racist and backwards to me ..

  3. All this is Crazy! Who really cares if JT is stealing from folks, he's an imitation of a real Entertainer "MJ" JT ALWAYS BEEN A COPY CAT..... so let him enjoy the ride the real people know who he is anyway. Until he creates his own entertainment self and not copy other people he'll always be little mj in my book. Do you see Steven Wonder being a copy cat, no and you never will. I am through with all this jt stuff and I am being very civil here on this issue. Now get this trash off the social network it's old news anyway.

  4. SOOOOOOO WHAT!!! Obviously JT admires MJ's work and what better way to honor someone then to perform their work. Where are all the Black folk that had so many praises for MJ. It's amazing how we Black folk can bring out the big intellectual triad crap to critize someone White because they enjoy, respect and honor the work of a Black celebrity --- get over it people, let the man do his thing and if you like it fine, if you don't -- don't buy it. You need to encourage more Black artists to honor their own -- that should be the story. And while your at it find some killer Black singers to cover Adel, Elton John and a host of other White awesome artist.

    1. This is a very interesting dialogue on the integration of black popular culture in the 21st century. Several ironies. I hope you keep it going.

  5. YAAASSSS to the writing!! I like Justin Timberlake though. White mockery or not I'd punch Kanye in the throat first for his recent MJ comparison!

  6. What would shut all these shenanigans down is to pass a law prohibiting Adam Blackstone and Blasic Blacc Entertainment from being all these artists' back up band.

  7. ...however I take great comfort in remembering the night MJ royally sonned Justin now and forevermore.

  8. Janet abdicated her throne when she slapped Paris.

  9. I disagree that his voice is "soul-free", but it certainly is not worthy of doing Jackson covers, dude.

    Michael Jackson was SOOOO the shit. Especially his work with Jackson 5? Holy christnuggets, that kid could sing his ass off. Timberlake would destroy that, in a bad way.

  10. Yasssssssss Drag and Gather his ass!

  11. AnonymousMay 03, 2014

    Wow. What kind of pressed douchebag wrote this article...

    1. AnonymousMay 10, 2014

      Really? You're-re gonna act like you didn't come to read this article on purpose?

  12. JT has talent as a mimic. MJ had talent as a genius. Galaxies apart.

  13. Your writing is funny, but your ideas criticize the subtleties in JT's bullshit. Is he not just a product of the greater societal structures that allow for black culture to be processed and white washed by white folks for white folks?

    It is not a question of JT talent or 'soul' voice, you white apologists. It is a question of his masquerading as what he is not and all you people eating it up. Is the culprit JT or his audience?


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