We saw it. Justin Timberlake took to the stage to perform for Super Bowl LII. All the ducks are in a row, JT is ‘BACK’! New album-check, new videos, Check, ALBUM RELEASE PARTY CHECK..all leading up to the BIG DAY. HALFTIME–picture this, Minneapolis, the HOMETOWN to fallen ICON, Prince. WHY NOT tribute the PURPLE ONE? GREAT IDEA, wrong person to do it.
Didn’t anyone REMIND JT that he was not HIGH UP on the list in Prince’s eyes before his passing? Did not anyone REMIND JT that fans are STILL salty with him for hanging JANET JACKSON out to dry after their ill-fated Super Bowl performance that went down in INFAMY as ‘Nipplegate’? YET..years later, He is welcomed back with open arms while Janet still to an extent wears the ‘scarlet letter’ from that night. Privilege allowed Justin to CARRY ON with his life and career relatively unscathed.
Privilege afforded him the audacity to think that HIM doing a Prince tribute in the fashion he did was okay. It is on RECORD how Prince felt about technology and holograms and things of that nature. But let’s back up a few days. Justin Timberlake had his album release/listening party at Prince’s estate-Paisley Park. Now the locale is not the main vein of contention, but if we recall Prince was a devout Jehovah’s Witness and abstained from drinking. Justin’s party involved a bar and drinks and the whole nine. Prince was a PRIVATE soul, living in that huge estate mostly alone until his last day. Do we really think he would have opened up his home to such a fete? Probably NOT. AND let’s go back even further. Prince was not that FOND of Justin after or even before the ‘Sexyback’ beef and the jabs that followed.
Timberlake has dissed Prince in the past on Timbaland’s 2007 song, “Give It To Me.”
In the song, Justin sang, “We missed you on the charts last week/ Damn, that’s right you wasn’t there/ Now if se-sexy never left, then why is everybody on my s**t/ Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.”
The lyrics are in reference to Timberlake’s 2006 song “SexyBack.” That song topped the charts though it was initially panned by music critics. It was also a dig at Prince who made a harmless comment about Justin’s song during a performance at a post-Emmy Awards party in 2006.
Prince was reported to have said, “For whoever is claiming they are bringing sexy back, sexy never left!”
Then, in January 2007, Timberlake gave the award for Best Original Song at the Golden Globes. Prince was the winner for his track “Song of the Heart” from the animated movie Happy Feet. He wasn’t able to get up on stage to accept the award because he was stuck in traffic at the time.
Timberlake accepted the award on his behalf and made fun of Prince’s short stature.
YES, this happened over a decade ago, but they still happened. And if Prince were still here of course, there wouldn’t probably be a need for a tribute, but still we don’t think Prince would’ve had JT high on his list to ‘bring him his flowers’. AND the BIGGEST GLARING tid bit of information we need to mention is that PRINCE never wanted to use TECHNOLOGY to manipulate time and space.
A 1998 interview between Prince and Guitar World has resurfaced, where the Purple Rain creator disapproved of the idea of playing with holograms of artists.
“With digital editing, it is now possible to create a situation where you could jam with any artist from the past. Would you ever consider doing something like that?,” the interviewer asked to which Prince responded:
Certainly not. That’s the most demonic thing imaginable. Everything is as it is, and it should be. If I was meant to jam with Duke Ellington, we would have lived in the same age. That whole virtual reality thing… it really is demonic. And I am not a demon. Also, what they did with that Beatles song [“Free As a Bird”], manipulating John Lennon’s voice to have him singing from across the grave… that’ll never happen to me. To prevent that kind of thing from happening is another reason why I want artistic control.
HE DIDN’T WANT IT, and JT did just what he didn’t want! FANS didn’t want it–DIEHARD ones didn’t. AND JT has been accused in the past of ‘using’ FACETS of BLACK CULTURE to his financial and SOCIAL advantage. If it benefits or suits him, he is ALL FOR IT. Now I don’t know Justin, but I do know PEOPLE. FROM what we have seen, one could draw that conclusion. AND DID WE ALSO FORGET to mention that the performance was just UNFORGETABLE. If not for the PRINCE portion, it would have been a SNOOZE FEST of EPIC proportions. Just didn’t have a ‘WOW’ factor outside of the PRESENCE of ‘The Purple One’. And maybe JT knew this…hence piggybacking off of a LEGEND. But don’t they all?