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India Arie Says Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Stole From Her


When it comes to being controversial and rubbing people the wrong way, Justin Timberlake takes the crown. He’s been widely criticized, especially by Black people. Just the other day, Prince’s fans took to Twitter to blast him for reportedly organizing a party in which he served alcohol, knowing very well that Prince was a staunch Jehovah’s Witness who didn’t partake of alcoholic beverages.

The latest on the list of his critics is India Arie. The “I Am Not My Hair” singer took issue with the singer after the “S*xy Back” starred in a skit on The Tonight Show alongside the show’s host Jimmy Fallon. The two sang their way through the show in a skit entitled “Songversation,” the same title as Arie’s fifth studio album, which she released in 2013.

Arie said she’s used the word in her tours and has insisted she’s the one who cultivated it. According to her, the word isn’t just like any other word, but a sacred one, and that’s why she believes Timberlake and Fallon using it as the name of their skit is nothing but disrespectful.

She’s not taking the issue lightly. This became clear after she took to Twitter and did a series of tweets in which she accused the duo of appropriating the word.

Since Arie made it clear she’s not pleased a bit with the naming of the skit, neither Timberlake nor Fallon has responded. As things stand now, it’s clear the Twitter community is siding with her, but we’re yet to see if the tides will change when either or both Timberlake and Fallon decide to say something.

Fallon isn’t your kind of guy who gets entangled in controversies, but we remember him for being dragged for normalizing the then GOP candidate Donald Trump and “petting his hair.” As for Timberlake, however, the latest just appends itself to a long list of ills he’s committed against the Black community, many of which have resulted in a serious online backlash.

With regards to the controversy surrounding his hosting of a party at Prince’s Minneapolis estate in Paisley Park, the departed singer’s fans weren’t just concerned about the location, but specifically about the fact that alcohol was going to be served.

Prince’s fans just don’t like Timberlake for having dissed their music icon in Timbaland’s 2007 song “Give It To Me.” That came after Prince made a passing and harmless comment that “s*xy never left” in response to Timberlake’s “S*xy Back” song. In his lyrics, Timberlake sang, “We missed you on the charts last week/ Damn, that’s right you wasn’t there/ Now if se-s*xy never left, then why is everybody on my s**t/ Don’t hate on me just because you didn’t come up with it.”

Now Prince, Janet Jackson, and Arie’s fans have every reason to side eye Timberlake.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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