Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z And The NFL: What A Tangled Web Of Privilege
(AllHipHop Opinion) Lets recap. The earliest reports were that Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake were going to rock the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show in a joint performance. That was the earliest report. In my head, that is what the NFL had planned and I don’t think they had any clue that somebody would turn their offer down. HOWEVER, it happened. AHH was one of the first outlets to react to the rumor that Jay-Z was likely to turn to the “opportunity” down. Jay-Z never gave a reason for turning it down: he just declined. Naturally we saw it as a sign of solidarity with the present boycott against the National Football League and ongoing movement for social justice. The fact is, nobody really knows why. We just know it was a good look.
Now, we have a new report that Justin Timberlake is finishing the negotiations on performing at the grand gala known as the Super Bowl halftime show. For a dude that’s gotten quite a bit of love from Black people, he doesn’t have the same issues that Jay-Z faces and certainly does not stand in solidarity with the people. He has been allowed to seamlessly weave in and out of Black culture and mainstream culture without significant incident or critique.
BUT I DIGRESS! No, I don’t. “Woke” people remember in the not too distance past (2004 to be exact), Justin was party to the event at the Super Bowl that ruined Janet Jackson. That’s right. Timberlake tore off a piece Jackson's clothing at the end of their Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime performance. Nobody really liked it, but Middle America was SEETHING mad at Janet’s exposed breast. They were out for blood - Black Jackson Blood! And they got it. Janet was disinvited to the Grammys and Justin was allowed to go. Justin left Janet Jackson - a national treasure at the time - hanging to dry like old laundry.
Janet has not been embraced in the mainstream since. Conversely, Justin has gone on to do some pretty incredible things even though he has not offered another album since 2013’s smash hit album The 20/20 Experience. And today, we see his star continues to rise. The debacle didn’t really affect him at all. Janet did manage to marry a billionaire and is currently on tour so she isn’t “hurting” per se. BUT…we all know what’s going on.
Technically, that incident, which I am certain still has Janet banned, should also apply to Justin Timberlake. I mean, they should at least avoid him for another huge celebrity, right? Justin could be up to his no-good tricks again! Maybe this time he whips out some other body part unbeknownst to the virginal eyes of the doting American public that has a repugnant president and a nude model for a first lady. But what do I know?
All I know is…in the words of the great poet Ice-T, “It's real f**ked up!” All people want is a sense of fairness and equality. Most people don't even want actual fairness and equality - just the feeling. I don’t hate Justin Timberlake, because he appears to be a pretty decent guy that just happens to take full advantage of his White Male Privilege. Still, he could transform into a great man if he opted to take a stand somewhere we could all see in unison…like Super Bowl LII.