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I’ve kept this personal opinion to myself for a while, but I finally feel like it’s time to reveal publicly that . . . I cannot stand Justin Timberlake. I know that he’s beloved and adored by many, and likely a lot of people who end up reading this, but I’m definitely not a fan. In general I just find him overrated, overhyped, over-loved, pompous, and think that there’s a very artificial quality about the way he is that bugs me. Anyway, here’s my list of reasons expounding on that. Some points I think are fairly legitimate, some are definitely petty, and some are silly (but at one point, that I probably considered also legitimate).
1. His ridiculously self-aggrandizing announcement that he was finally ready to return to music was self-indulgent, obnoxious, totally unnecessary, and I doubt it gauged any new interest from those who weren’t already in his fanbase.
2. He gets so much insane praise for his songs – WHY? Yes, his music is cool, and it’s totally decent and catchy and I don’t question that he is without talent but, his debut single for one, after seven years, “Suit & Tie” is kinda crappy. It’s definitely not comeback music worthy, to me at least. But nobody is going to bash him for it because it features Jay-Z. And, well, obviously nobody is going to mess with Jay-Z. Well played, JT.
3. He had Ellen Degeneres and Beyonce introduce his performance at the Grammys this year. Are you serious? Possibly the two most powerful women in mainstream pop culture – one beloved, selfless, hilarious, the other just with ridiculously fierce stage presence with thunder thighs and a catwalk for days on end. And they commanded a standing ovation for him. Has Justin Timberlake really contributed that much to music and society? Not gonna lie, I’d applaud whoever Ellen told me to, it’s just . . . Justin Timberlake? Doesn’t really go in the same sentence as “standing ovation” to me. Somewhere in the audience, Prince and Madonna were not pleased.
4. For some reason, I suspect that he evades blame and responsibility on purpose at times. He comes off as immaculately polished, imperfectly perfect, and appears to be without a speck of drama on his rap sheet, despite having been in the business for years. I firmly believe in taking ownership of your faults and it’s just an unfortunate and incidental side effect that if you work in the media — the public eye, that others are going to catch wind of it. Some will support you, others will bash on you, but there’s generally a reaction – is that what you’re so afraid of, JT? Because how is it almost all radio silence when it comes to news about JT faltering or struggling. Why is that? I mean, come on, he’s been around for a good number of years (decades, even). He (rather seriously) dated Britney Spears for years and look how the media trampled all over her (love you, boo) while he seemed to just slither off, faultless.
5. Okay, since we’re on the topic of Britney, and even aside from the fact that I am clearly a huge advocate of anything she stands for, what the hell with writing a song about her (“Cry Me A River”)? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say that during their relationship, she did cheat on him, and that is horrible, and they broke up thereafter and he’s crushed and hurt and devastated (seriously, benefit of the doubt, right?) But why is it that airing out your dirty laundry and casting essentially a blond stunt double so obviously meant to be B-Spears in a scathing, spiteful song and music video only seemed to have garnered him more critical praise and more hordes of fangirls? This is essentially trash-talking your ex in the most humiliating, public way ever. It’s not okay for Taylor Swift to write songs merely inspired by her ex-boyfriends and past relationships without being the brunt of a million jokes. But, if Justin does it, to the Queen of Pop no less, it’s cool? It’s. Not. Cool. IT’S NOT COOL. (Britney, I love you)
6. I have this theory that his role as Sean Parker in The Social Network (all-consumingly arrogant, paranoid, fake, and with a somewhat keen/smarmy business eye) is essentially how he is in real life. More proof of this is that this was the only role that he acted in that I found fairly decent, and I think otherwise he’s a pretty shitty actor. Ergo, it was because he wasn’t acting here, but playing himself. Right . . . right? Okay, maybe just me.
7. I generally hold a distaste for any privileged white boys who had cushy upbringings to a. act like they’re Black b. think they are as cool as Black people c. attempt to urbanize their style and tastes to align with those of the Black community. Please, just don’t. You were in the Mickey Mouse Club, okay?
8. He cried like a bitch and ran to his mommy when Ashton Kutcher Punk’d him in the debut episode. Later on, JT also reported that he was high at the time. And that, ladies and gents, is the real Justin Timberlake.
9. This is an extension of an earlier point, but to continue on #4: it makes me very uncomfortable that he doesn’t seem to possess that “human” quality to him. Back when I blogged about my distaste for Lady Gaga, one of my main complaints was that she had stopped being accessible for me. That led to me just not caring about her product because I was not able to resonate, at all, with the artist putting it out. I feel the exact same way about JT and his (what appears to me as) fake humility. It makes me wonder what he has to hide, what kind of person he’s really like underneath his (again, what appears to me as a) facade, a representation that he’s carefully concocted and taken on solely for the public. Never mind the fact that he’s had no arrests, never shed a tear in public, or even have any melodramatic monologue segments we can cut from any Behind The Music-esque specials, but, again, why does he seem to repel any apparent struggles or faults off him like water? Let’s not even get back into the whole Britney thing. What about the Janet Jackson Superbowl debacle, where her career essentially took a huge nosedive while he seemed to walk away unscathed?
(Seriously, though, what about Britney?)
10. I’m pretty much done with this list, but for the sake of capping off on a lighter note and, as I mentioned above, a petty one, let me just put it out there that for the record, I was a huge, avid Backstreet Boys fangirl during the 90s and well into the early 2000s. I was seriously in love with them for the bulk of my high school years and to this day, I can shamelessly confess that I’m a committed fan. So, with that said, lol, NSYNC, BYE.
Just kidding, though. I respect NSYNC – enjoyed their music a lot, and thought they were a great group, also.
Oh. But, I’m not kidding about not liking Justin Timberlake. At all. See above.