Watch Vic Mensa discuss Justin Timberlake and cultural appropriation on The Nightly Show
Who didn’t love Jesse Williams riveting speech at the 2016 BET Awards? Touching on hard-hitting subjects such as racism, police brutality, and cultural appropriation, his words touched the audience and everyone watching at home.
While a lot of people, including hit singer Justin Timberlake, took to Twitter to share their admiration of Williams’ speech, Timberlake’s tweet quickly came under fire when he replied, somewhat condescendingly, after being accused of benefiting from black culture.
Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation.— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016
I feel misunderstood. I responded to a specific tweet that wasn't meant to be a general response. I shouldn't have responded anyway...— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016
I forget this forum sometimes... I was truly inspired by @iJesseWilliams speech because I really do feel that we are all one... A human race— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016
I apologize to anyone that felt I was out of turn. I have nothing but LOVE FOR YOU AND ALL OF US.— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) June 27, 2016
Now, rapper Vic Mensa has shared his thoughts on the entire situation. During a panel discussion on Larry Wilmore’s Nightly show, Mensa took the original Twitter user’s point further and frankly discussed the hypocrisy of Timberlake capitalising on and “benefiting” from historically black sounds, dances, and culture… all while failing to actually engage with the issues affecting the black community. Check out what he had to say below:
I feel as if the issue is not Justin Timberlake having an input or even appreciating this speech. That’s something that most people can resonate with. Our problem here is that Justin Timberlake himself is definitely benefiting from using black culture for his sound, his dance moves, his dancers, and blowing up off of it. But if you roll down Justin Timberlake’s Twitter for the past two years, which I just did, you see nothing that supports black people when it’s more difficult, when it’s a struggle.
With everything that’s going on, with everybody that’s been killed by police on camera in the past couple of years, there’s no #BlackLivesMatter, there’s no “praying for Baltimore,” there’s no “praying for Flint.” Because that’s a dangerous subject for him to touch. And we’re not feeling him being down when it’s beneficial to him and turning a blind eye when it could be dangerous…
However, he later tweeted that his intention on the show was "not to bash Justin Timberlake" and that he "was just shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation."
My statements on @TheNightlyShow were not to bash Justin timberlake. I was just shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation— still alive (@VicMensa) June 30, 2016