Chicago rapper Vic Mensa sounded off on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Wednesday (June 29) during a roundtable discussion about cultural appropriation and Justin Timberlake in the wake of the backlash against the singer following his tweets during Jesse Williams BET Awards acceptance speech.
“@iJesseWilliams tho…#Inspired #BET2016,” read Timberlake’s initial tweet. One user responded to Timberlake’s praise with the singer’s history.
“So does this mean you’re going to stop appropriating our music and culture? And apologize to Janet too. #BETAwards,” read the tweet.
“Oh, you sweet soul. The more you realize that we are the same, the more we can have a conversation,” was Timberlake’s response. The tone-deaf reaction sparked swift criticism and commentary. On The Nightly Show, Mensa explained the backlash.
“Our problem here is that Justin Timberlake himself, you know, is definitely benefiting from using black culture for his sound, his dance moves, his dancers and blowing up off of it,” Mensa said. “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 there’s a struggle. With everything that’s going on and everybody that’s been killed by police on camera in the last couple of years, there’s no ‘#BlackLivesMatter,’ there’s no ‘praying for Baltimore,’ there’s no ‘praying for Flint,’ you know, 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.”
Justin Timberlake ignited social media on the night of the BET Awards with his comments in response to Jesse Williams’ electrifying speech. Timberlake was dragged onTwitter for his untimely “kumbaya” on the heels of Williams’ addressing issues of race, exploitation and cultural appropriation.
Mensa also tweeted his thoughts on the issue.
“My statements on @TheNightlyShow were not to bash Justin timberlake,” Mensa tweeted. “I was just shedding some light on the idea of cultural appropriation.”
Read Mensa’s tweet below. You can watch his Nightly Show commentary in the video above the article.
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