On Wednesday night, rapper Vic Mensa appeared on Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" to join a roundtable discussion as a spokesman of "Respect My Vote." Mensa has recently worked alongside the "Respect My Vote" campaign; for example, he partnered with the movement by giving people free access to his EP "There's Alot Going On" in return for registering to vote. On Larry Wilmore's show, though, the discussion turned to controversial tweets from singer Justin Timberlake.
On Sunday night, after the BET Awards and the powerful speech from actor and activist Jesse Williams, Timberlake took to Twitter to support Williams. A columnist responded to Timberlake by mentioning Timberlake's cultural appropriation of black music and style, and Timberlake replied to the reporter by saying "we are the same." That immediately sparked backlash towards Timberlake, who eventually apologized for the comment.
Vic Mensa had a chance to speak about his opinions on the Timberlake controversy while on Larry Wilmore's show. The Chicago rapper mentioned Timberlake's��inconsistent stances on the black struggle as a reason why the singer was in the wrong.
Our problem here is that Justin Timberlake himself–you know–is definitely benefiting from using black culture for his sound, his dance moves, his dancers, and blowing up off of it. But if you roll down Justin Timberlake’s Twitter for the past two years, which I just did, you see nothing that supports black people when it’s more difficult, when there’s a struggle. With everything that’s going on, and everybody that’s been killed by police on camera in the last couple of years, there’s no #BlackLivesMatter; there’s no “praying for Baltimore;” there’s no “praying for Flint,” you know, because that’s a dangerous subject for him to touch. And we’re not feeling him being down when it’s beneficial to him, and turning a blind eye when it could be dangerous.
Watch Mensa below: