Justin Timberlake might not have gone full Mayer in his recent Playboy interview, but he managed to be provocative anyway. At least he provoked us, having opined upon our Britney Spears old vs. new video:
PLAYBOY: The public is not very kind to the aging pop star. Have you seen the dance-off video going around the internet between Old Britney and New Britney? It shows performances from her early days intercut with performances now. It’s not pretty.
TIMBERLAKE: The internet is a cruel place. What a fucked-up thing to do.
That's not very nice! If you can believe this, Justin, we're really not cruel people--just fans of Britney's music and not fans of seeing artists' careers go on past the point where they even want them to go on. We're only speculating about Britney, of course, but it's speculation based upon a lot of evidence. We're also fans of Justin's music--you know, the music he isn't making. As Timberlake explained elsewhere in the interview, he's forsaken his "SexyBack" and "Rock Your Body" hitmaking days for a grab-bag of animation voiceovers, Southern restaurants, character acting and golf. Lots and lots of silent, silent golf. His non-musical career isn't all bad—The Social Network even brought him to the Oscars without anyone objecting—but it also contains the likes of Yogi Bear, the ESPY Awards and The Love Guru, not to mention this summer's probable fluffballs Friends With Benefits and Bad Teacher.
Meanwhile, his musical career's becoming one extended dick and/or threesome joke. There aren't even any lesser tracks in the works or leaks waiting to be stopped! It's a shame. Five years after releasing the monster FutureSex/LoveSounds, Justin's still the best male pop star we have (Kanye's "singing" aside, we count him as more hip-hop than pop). The industry's tried to toss up at least a dozen successors by now, only to watch them skid past the charts and crash. See Jesse McCartney or Robin Thicke anywhere near the Top 40? No. Chris Brown proved a charmless creep. Bruno Mars can sing, but lacks the stagecraft. Usher came thisclose, but his last album was oddly bloodless. We're at a point where just about the only person who could possibly replace him is the other Justin, but the Bieb is still about three growth spurts and a quarterlife crisis away. Not that we're pining away for a copy of JTs old career—which is fortunate, because he doesn't have it in him anymore. Hey, hands off the hate mail—Timberlake said it himself:
In Britney’s defense, if you pulled up a video I did from 2003, I couldn’t do the shit I did then either.
Challenge accepted! Allow us to present Old Justin vs. New Justin, a video exploration of Timberlake's musical past and whatever the hell he's doing now, and our latest stab at cruelty.