Sunday, July 5, 2015

Justin Timberlake is Sammy Davis Jr. and Jay-Z is Sinatra

In wake of the Internet's unofficial Justin Timberlake Week, The Atlantic's Hampton Stevens declares that JT is this generation's song-and-dance man, comparing him to Sammy Davis Jr.

Justin Timberlake is Sammy Davis Jr. and Jay-Z is Sinatra

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FILE - This Feb. 10, 2013 file photo shows recording artists Just Timberlake, left, and Jay-Z performing at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. On Friday, Feb. 22, the pair announced their 12-city Legends of the Summer tour beginning July 17 in Toronto and ending Aug. 16 in Miami.   (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, file)
FILE - This Feb. 10, 2013 file photo shows recording artists Just Timberlake, left, and Jay-Z performing at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. On Friday, Feb. 22, the pair announced their 12-city Legends of the Summer tour beginning July 17 in Toronto and ending Aug. 16 in Miami. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, file) John Shearer/Invision/AP

In wake of the Internet's unofficial Justin Timberlake Week, The Atlantic's Hampton Stevens declares that JT is this generation's song-and-dance man, comparing him to Sammy Davis Jr. Stevens goes on to write about how Timberlake found a way to dazzle even the hippest hipsters with his Myspace Secret Show at South by Southwest.

Saturday night I saw him perform in what should not have been the pop star's element. At the supposedly indie-oriented South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, Timberlake's Myspace Secret Show was the hottest ticket in town. The show was even hotter. Wearing a novelty tux t-shirt version of "black tie for no reason," Timberlake was the consummate showman: jumping with the beat, high-fiving, fist-pumping, calling for the audience to sing with him, then casually cursing, joking, and toasting the crowd with Guinness after midnight when St. Patrick's Day had begun.

For all of the people still listening to JT's new album and anxiously awaiting the second portion of the Experience (rumored to be slated for a November release), Stevens offers a wonderful take on what Timberlake is trying to accomplish and what he's accomplishing without trying. (Hint: The comedy and dancing and swearing combine to play a large role.)

Also, he reminds us that Jay-Z is the Sinatra to JT's Sammy, which is an important correlation to keep in mind. [The Atlantic]

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