Justin Timberlake is one of the most successful music artists of the last two decades. However, the former NSYNC boy band member regularly faced accusations of appropriating Black culture.
During his set at this year’s Something In The Water festival in DC, Justin Timberlake attempted to do the local dance known as Beat Ya Feet. Footage of JT’s moves went viral, and many people cringed at the clip.
Justin Timberlake decided to apologize for his Beat Ya Feet performance at the Pharrell Williams-curated event. The 41-year-old singer/actor posted a mea culpa video on his Instagram Story on Wednesday.
“DC, I want to apologize to you for two reasons: here and here,” said Justin Timberlake as he panned his camera down towards his feet. “I had a long talk with both of them, individually, and said, ‘Don’t you ever do that to me again.'”
The 10-time Grammy winner also added, “Maybe it was the khakis. It was a real khakis vibe. I’m gonna make this up to you. I’m gonna focus on these two guys right here, and get them right. Love y’all.”
Justin Timberlake Tried To Incorporate Go-Go Culture Into His SITW Set
Beat Ya Feet is closely associated with Go-Go, the music genre created by African-Americans in the DC area. “The Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown helped popularized that homegrown sound in the 1970s and 1980s.
Washington, DC mayor Muriel Bowser even commented on Justin Timberlake’s poorly received Beat Ya Feet effort. Bowser tweeted, “Should I consider a mayoral pardon of @jtimberlake? And then for his shot at redemption, we would need @Pharrell to bring #SITWFest back.”
Pharrell Williams’s Something In The Water festival took place on June 17-19. In addition to Justin Timberlake, the showcase’s lineup also featured Clipse, N.O.R.E., 21 Savage, 6lack, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Ashanti & Ja Rule, Backyard Band, Bia, Blxst, Chloe x Halle, Denzel Curry, EarthGang, and more.