The world is looking for a new Verzuz battle with plenty of people looking for competition. DMX has been clamoring for Jay-Z. Missy has been in the mix looking for someone to battle. The world is waiting for someone to challenge Drake or Lil Wayne or Jay-Z. What about Beyonce, Janet Jackson or Mariah Carey?
One debate that sparked this weekend was the idea of Usher trying to find the perfect competition. In Usher’s discussion with Swizz about potential opponents, Justin Timberlake’s name was mentioned.
This set us a debate that raged all weekend.
There are a few moving parts here we have to work out:
1. Justin Timberlake absolutely has a gang of hits, especially if you count his N’Sync hits. He has classics, bops and everything in between.
2. Justin Timberlake has a…problematic relationship with the Black community. He infamously threw Janet Jackson under the bus after their Super Bowl incident, never speaking up for her and enjoying the fame. He also gave us some Trump-land chic with his latest trash album. Many in the community saw this as a repudiation of the culture that made him famous.
3. Are Verzuz battles even for white people? We know Scott Storch participated but that was early on before this was a behemoth. Does Scott count? Why the outrage over Timberlake and not Storch?
4. Is Timberlake even a fair match with Usher? Yes Timberlake has hits but 20? To match up with Ursh?
Either way, the Internet was all over the debate and there were definitely casualties. Hit the flip to see the carnage.
There was a good bit of dishonesty here as people were saying that Timberlake never had hits. Now, relax people.
“Black Twitter collectively deciding they’ve never effed with Justin Timberlake and his solo run simply didn’t happen is hilarious to watch. That’s my kind of erasure.”
“Someone said Usher vs. Justin Timberlake. And that’s finally the right answer.”
“Justin Timberlake should’ve never had space in the Black community after he did that to Janet Jackson and that’s a hill I’ll gladly stand and beat anyone’s ass on.”
“justin timberlake wouldnt be anything if he didn’t have neptunes in their prime produce justified (2002) or timbaland (during the danja collaborative years) produce futuresex/lovesounds (2006). name anything he’s released after those two that bang”
“Usher dropped his debut album in 1994. Justin Timberlake had only been solo for 2 years in 2004 when his grubby little hand led to Janet Jackson getting blacklisted. F*** Justin Timberlake, IMO.”
“Usher vs Justin Timberlake makes the most sense. Majority of people don’t want to hear it due to JT being problematic. But, Verzuz should be a “peer” competition not a “mentor” battle with artist from different eras…”
“Justin Timberlake don’t get to participate in this Black American function. Absolutely not.
And, y’all promoting this idea on Janet Jackson’s birthday?! The audacity.”
“New Blacks gonna let Justin Timberlake gentrify these battles and ruin the platform just like they ruined cookouts by inviting the same people.”