i’m finally listening to justin timberlake and for the most part it is as weak as i feared. sometimes i wish timbaland had enough confidence to let his beats announce his presence - no need to grumble all over the track.
the first half is just snoresville (except true blood, which is abysmal, c’mon, JT, you can do better and i as a fan deserve better). it doesn’t get interesting until track 7, drink you away, a faux bluesy stomp. you got it on is more in the traditional R&B ballad vein, just as gorgeous as it wants to be. only when i walk away is weird, right? but it started to win me over when JT did something odd and forceful with the harmonies then switched to some unnecessary dub coda, so maybe it gets a pass. the lyrics of not a bad thing really spoke to me because i’m kinda going through some thangs right now, so i’ll give that one another try in…in a couple of….well, damn, i don’t even know.
when i was a teenager and being forced to go to church by my folks, i was asked to speak one february sunday - a li’l black history moment. i can’t really remember if i agreed to do it or if that decision was made for me (a lot of decisions involving my participation in black people events were made for me at that time) but it didn’t matter. i had to pick an important figure in black history and write something about him/her and read it in front of a packed congregation at the 10am service. i think i decided on garrett morgan, the dude who came up with the traffic signal - he’s always been a favorite of mine. so i went to the library because i was a teenager during the dark ages and i read up on ol’ dude and i wrote something and i showed it to my dad and he liked it. this was during the period when i didn’t want to do any work at all (age 9 - age 31) so me completing this assignment was kind of crazy.
a few days before my sunday black ted talk, we got word from the church that they already had the subject of my essay - and it was the founder/pastor of the church. they pretty much had the thing written for me, too. gave me a list of bullet points. i guess the powers that be knew their audience, but c’mon, man.
i don’t think i had ever felt so disappointed in my life until that point. not just because i had done the work and nobody was going to hear it. i felt disappointed in mankind.
i think about that every february.