A Twitter user then called out JT for what he perceived as years of cultural appropriation conducted by the Tennessee native. The ex-Boy Bander countered his critic by posting, “Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.”
That “tone-def” reaction led to even more backlash which forced Timberlake to apologize. Apparently, the Super Bowl LII halftime performer is still reflecting on his Summer 16 tweet and the aftermath.
Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe asked JT if his “Say Something” record with Chris Stapleton was a reflection on well-intentioned statements getting taken the wrong way. Timberlake admitted he and Stapleton wrote that song almost a year ago in the midst of “weird things” taking place in the world.
“I said I want to speak up and I want to say something but I just don't want to get caught in the rhythm of something because if the rhythm goes off, the train goes off the tracks. And [Stapleton] was just like, 'ok I'll be right back,'” recalled the Man of the Woods album creator. “And [Stapleton] wrote those two lines down and then he sort of took a second to himself. I think maybe with the notoriety that has come his way in recent years, because he's penned so many songs for so many artists on that side of the fence and now to be a solo artist, I think he's starting to see that you can be in the middle of a storm of confusion.”
Later, Lowe directly brought up celebrities communicating through social media in general and specifically Justin's Twitter exchange about Williams’ speech. Timberlake replied, “And you feel terrible, like, ‘oh man, that is not what I meant. Why did I do that?’ You realize too, that patience really is a virtue. You have to learn that… So it can be very confusing. I feel like that song is about that moment.”