Friday, March 23, 2007

Pop star Justin Timberlake doesn't like being pop

There's nothing wrong with pop. Indeed, pop music done properly is a wonderful thing. It's not good enough for Justin Timberlake, though, who spends most of Details interview this month moaning about being thought of as pop:

“All of a sudden you’re Mr. ‘SexyBack,’ and before that you were Mr. ‘Cry Me a River.’ I knew I had to take a break when they said the new King of Pop."
“I tried so hard to be an R&B artist [on his first solo album, Justified] and it was the pop album of the year, and I was like, ‘Fuck. That’s the last thing I wanted,’” Timberlake says, taking a swig from another can of cream soda. “But I was like, ‘So everyone considers me a pop artist? Well, fuck it. I’m going to do whatever I want to do.’”

What's most amusing is that Timberlake seems to value "R&B" above pop, despite "pop" at least being an honest label - unlike R&B, which despite now denoting a musical style with less integrity than pop still tries to pretend its in some way connected with the old R&B, like the way the Rocky Race led monthly Roy of the Rovers tried to claim the lustre and crown of his father's weekly comic.

Timberlake, though, is a man with an awful, awful lot of bitterness:
The internal battle is most evident when he talks about this year’s Grammys. Weeks in advance of the telecast, he was asked to be the star of “My Grammy Moment,” a cheesy, American Idol rip-off bit in which the winner of a contest got to perform onstage with him. Before the idea was fleshed out, Timberlake agreed. As the potentially disastrous plan hurtled to fruition, he ached to back out. He couldn’t. “Because I’m the nice guy who follows through on the things he commits to,” he says, a mock smile locked into place. “But I don’t know if I’ll be going through that sort of thing again. I feel like the Grammys used me for ratings. And look at it—they were up 18 percent.”

Yes, Justin. The 18 per-cent rise in the Grammys audience was all down to you, and nothing to do with this year's programme not going head-to-head with American Idol. And if you were really so uncomfortable with the cheesey contest bit, why didn't you pull out? Really because you'd agreed "before the idea was fleshed out"? You'd given a firm commitment before you'd been told what you were doing and yet still felt obliged to go ahead? Sorry, Justin, if that's true, you're weak, not "nice" and deserve everything you got. A amn who signs on for something not knowing what he's doing is an fool; a man who follows through on a foolish deal is even more of a fool.

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