Playboy pinned their most intrusive reporter with southern gentleman Justin Timberlake for a recent interview where things got a bit touchy. Check how JT responded to questions regarding his identity within black culture.
Playboy: It’s interesting. If you listen to your voice when you sing and when you speak, you sometimes sound black. You’ve got so much soul the NAACP nominated you for an Image Award this year for The Social Network. Do you ever feel as though there’s a black guy trapped inside you waiting to come out?
Timberlake: Dude, I’m not touching that sh*t with a 10-foot pole! All I can tell you is I grew up in the South, where everything’s just a little bit thicker. The accents are thicker, the air’s thicker.
Playboy: But clearly you have an affinity for black music and black culture. How else to explain the pitch-perfect “History of Rap” routine you did with Jimmy Fallon last year?
Timberlake: That’s the music of our generation, man. We were impersonating those rappers. We weren’t trying to be black. Listen, you’re touching on a deep issue for me. It’s bringing up stuff from my childhood. I grew up near the town where Martin Luther King was assassinated . It has always been a very segregated place. When I was a kid people would ask me what I hated most, and I would always say racism. It always comes up, and it always came up regarding my style of performing. I wasn’t cool with the white kids because they thought I wanted to be black. And I wasn’t cool with the black kids because they thought I wanted to be black. So I was looked at as a traitor and an intruder or an imposter. I had to find solace in just being me.