Apparently, this song is an ode to being handsome and well dressed. And I don't mind.
Justin Timberlake is having a great time. (I believe.) Being in his body, his voice. It was shot incredibly.
Is it fatuous? Of course! That's the idea. Sometimes the greatest and deepest statement is as simple as, "Fuck it. I look good. I feel good. I'm having at it."
I also love the cereal bowl, early on, catching youth in action. And Jay-Z is gonna "Show you how to do it, son." It's like an initiation. Wealthy, successful, talented Justin Timberlake is forever young. This is what a successful youth will do for you. He can get many more years out of it.
In 1999, I was a writer for Miss Teen USA in Shreveport, Louisiana. I wrote jokes for the host, Carson Daly. It was a bit of a disaster. I had two things going against me. First, the other writer who was the main writer had been doing this gig for a few years and he behaved in an excited nostalgic manner about being back in Louisiana doing this gig. The sighs of sentiment, however, were covering a deep and aggressive territorial-ism. I was a threat. Boohoo. How ungenerous. Second, Carson Daly hated my jokes. They were subtle, to say the least, the sort of jokes about the idea that a joke even has to be made is the joke. He didn't get it. Not long after, I was taken off joke writing and mostly handled Carson's water bottles. We were glued to each other. His status was higher. I had to quietly do what I was told. Blech. Paychecks.
The day before my joke writing days for Carson Daly were declared unofficially over, the guest band for Miss Teen USA 1999 showed up. It was none other than NSnyc. A wild dress rehearsal audience went wild. The energy of the band, especially of Justin Timberlake, was pitched so high and smooth, physically authoritative and ascendant. I had not ever been so close to this sort of thing. It was a thrill. Seeing the boys going back and forth to their trailers. Their ease and strength. It also became clear to me that I would never be in a boy band. I am 19 years older than Justin. With that clarity, I sobbed. But then I pulled it together to watch the band. They really were amazing.
In the Suit & Tie vid, he is still a very young man. But I'm not crying about it now. I'm just dancing along. And I don't care who knows it.