Once upon a time, in a land not-at-all that far away—a halcyon time known as the early 2000s—there lived a boy and a girl. This boy and this girl were The Most Famous Singers Ever, and the culture never stopped talking about them and their Truest Forever Love. The duo were seemingly destined to be together forever, the reigning King and Queen of Pop Music. One day, however, the boy broke the girl's heart, and we've been hearing about it ever since—mostly from his point of view, where he led the world to believe that the girl was the only one in the wrong.
Well, the trolls (ahem) have come home to roost in their, uh, troll holes, delighting in the roasting of a one Mr. Justin Timberlake and his new single, "Selfish."
Because guess who also has a song titled "Selfish"? And guess whose fans are determined to make sure Timberlake never forgets what he did?
If you guessed Britney Spears, you are correct!
The former *NSYNCer hit the world with the music video for his new single, "Selfish" on January 25th, only for fans of Ms. Spears to immediately push her own, 15-year-old track—also titled "Selfish"—onto the iTunes top 10 as a trollish act of retribution.
And while Timberlake's new tune landed him in the top spot on the iTunes chart Friday morning, Spears' song is currently sitting pretty at number 5, and it could chart even higher, thanks to her passionate fan base.
With the release of Spears' memoir, The Woman in Me, back in October 2023, there seems to be a reconsideration and re-contextualization of not only Spears, but her relationship with Timberlake, and how that relationship suffered thanks to the particularly toxic and misogynistic culture of the early aughts. It's a suffering that one might argue Timberlake utilized to his own advantage, manipulating the conversation around their breakup to look like he was an innocent victim of infidelity.
It's a funny thing, isn't it? This culture war over a relationship that's been over for decades? Let's just hope this trolling keeps Timberlake and his team in check: nobody wants this man to use Spears' story—again!—to create a narrative for his new album's release. Ahem.