Dear Gossips,   

Fo shiz, fo shiz, homies! 

 

Justin Timberlake is trying to reclaim his place in the culture with a comeback that officially kicked off this week. I know I promised last week that I wouldn’t be covering it because, seriously, I don’t give a sh-t, but this isn’t about covering the story as much as it is about covering the response to his return. 

 

Yesterday Justin released his new single, “Selfish”, along with a video. There’s an album coming at some point, and then he was also on The Tonight Show with his good friend Jimmy Fallon to announce a tour. But also yesterday, even though, sure there were people who were curious enough to start streaming Justin’s new song on a slow day (until Megan Thee Stallion came with the “HISS”!), this happened:

 

Britney’s “Selfish” was released in 2011, LOLOLOLOLOL. Yes, it’s petty. And I live off petty bitch energy. It’s kunt fuel for me. Kunt in the best way, the Beyoncé way. 

@hrleys

PURE/KNTY. #hrleys #beyonce #beyhive

♬ original sound - kali ♡︎

To go back to Justin’s “Selfish”, Kathleen was the one who alerted me first when it dropped. She had to share her cringe with me. Naturally, I clicked play. And four minutes later I wrote back, “Oh nooooo So he’s doing music like The Kid Laroi now, he’s following TikTok trends. It’s factory music.” Some people online were saying it’s a Nick Jonas reject, hahahahaha. 

 

But there’s more. There is also Consequence of Sound’s blistering review of JT’s song, the best thing I read yesterday, multiple times, obvs, and the best thing I re-read this morning, a more articulate description of what I was trying to say – that Justin Timberlake is now the musical disciple of the other Justin, that would be Bieber. 

The piece isn’t scathingly critical just for the sake of it though; there is a thesis. And that thesis is that JT is coasting on the quality and the success of his first two albums and has been sh-t ever since. As the writer, Wren Graves, points out, however, those two albums should be credited to Pharrell and Timbaland who were, at the time, in their prime. Which is what makes this closing couple so accurately devastating: 

“Those albums would be classics no matter who sang them. But because it was this guy, we seem to be stuck with him.” 

I am dead. And I feel so ALIVE. 

Read the piece here if you haven’t already. 

Yours in gossip, 

Lainey