“Señorita” (Justin Timberlake)

As chapter one, verse one of Timberlake’s solo career, it’s also ground zero for the (anticipation of a) post-racial future. If you recall his running for cover after 2004’s “Nipplegate,” it’s realpolitik when it comes to salvaging a livelihood. This serves as a baseline of Timberlake’s racial politics, which carries over to the trax in question. Holding “real love” in his hands, singer declares that Latinas “still deserve the crown” and, deep inside, are priceless princesses. We know this is all a canard (and racial pandering) to get laid by the end of the song. More importantly, though, it’s the faux updating of a multiracial call-and-response, which “they don’t do . . . anymore.” Structured, gendered girls/guys section takes the cake, with Timberlake’s affected black vernacular, condescending falsetto, and interruptions of the women half the time marking the furthest edge of allowable participation. The man who sings in line does no time.


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