At Last, Justin Timberlake Made a Rap-Rock Video

JUSTIN’S BACK! JUSTIN’S BACK! Justin’s back … Oh. He’s brought rap-rock back with him. I could’ve sworn the Red Hot Chili Peppers still had that covered. Just when JT’s accumulated all that goodwill from being decent in the summer comedies he keeps avoiding music for he has to go and do something like this. It’s not indefensible (I am going to try to defend it). He’s promoting fellow Memphis natives’ band FreeSol, signed to his imprint label Tennman Records. His presence in their video does more to raise their profile than any other endorsement could. Rapping is by far not the most embarrassing thing Justin Timberlake has ever done. He was more embarrassing during every minute of ‘N Sync (and don’t forget about The Love Guru). This is also not that bad of a cameo compared to his wan backup turn on The Black Eyed Peas‘ insipid “Where Is the Love?” However it would certainly help out here if Timberlake were any good.

I assume he wrote these flatlined hash-tag raps (“I’m going hard like the opposite of soft”) himself but he should’ve hired somebody like fellow Southern-fried streetwear aficionado Yelawolf to ghost-draft some better verses. He could also have just gotten in and out a lot faster and saved face. A full minute of JT’s autotuned flow is more than enough. Kevin Federline is laughing into his Cheetos like, “THIS IS SO WACK.” Lead MC Free is a lot better than JT. The song itself is a fine modern rap-rock jam, reminiscent of Fort Minor, Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park’s side project and the hard drumline beat of Outkast’s “B.O.B.” If Lil’ Wayne can pick up folksinging and Britney gets to act in her music videos, surely Justin can stretch out on some bars. Okay you did it now never do that again. Get back in the studio and don’t come out until you’ve made something we can all bone I mean dance to.

Filed Under: Justin Timberlake, Music, Video

Molly Lambert is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ mollylambert