July 10, 2013


Justin Timberlake Previews Inappropriately-Titled New Single

UPDATE: You can now listen to "Take Back the Night" here.

While Robin Thicke is getting flack for his allegedly rapey lyricsJustin Timberlake just unveiled an extremely questionable title for the debut single from The 20/20 Experience Part 2: "Take Back the Night."

That's a strange name for a dancefloor-centric pop song, given that Take Back the Night is an international foundation that organizes marches and rallies to raise awareness of sexual violence against women.

In a just-released preview video for the song, Timberlake waltzes into a club that's playing a snippet of his shimmery, Michael Jackson-esque track. The lyrics you can hear from the above clip don't demonstrate any awareness of this song sharing its title with an anti-rape movement. 

If anything, the ostensibly sexy lyrics on "Take Back the  Night" make things even more uncomfortable: "Take back the night / Come on use me up until there's nothing left / Take back the night / Dizzy spinning sweating you can't catch your breath."

Obviously, those lyrics aren't problematic on their own. But giving the lead single from your blockbuster album the same title as a movement which fights to change the staggering reality that 1 in 5 American women report being raped at some point in their lives? That's ridiculously inappropriate.

Of course, there's a chance the full version of "Take Back the Night" will reveal JT's latest to be a somber protest against sexual violence. But so far, nothing about the song's sound, lyrics or teaser video nod to that. 

If you're thinking, 'Hey, maybe he didn't know about the movement,' just Google "Take back the night." Every single result that shows up on the first page pertains to the women's movement. So maybe the next time Mr. "Suit & Tie" is wondering what to title a tune, he should do a .49 second online search and save himself some embarrassment. 

And that could be the problem right there: Timberlake is probably still using AltaVista as his primary search engine. After all, this is a guy who continues to extol the virtues of MySpace.