I saw Ninja Assassin a month or so before writing the original post, and let's just say that Rain made an impression on me. Except for his brief, but hilarious dance-off skit on The Colbert Report back in 2008, I had no idea who he was. But once I tied the singer/dancer from Colbert to the lead actor in Ninja Assassin, it didn't take long for me to start noticing the ridiculous, privilege-induced comparisons of Rain to Justin Timberlake.
Now, both Justin and Rain's dancing style is definitely Usher-esqe, but Rain (who proudly idolizes Usher) gets consistently compared to Justin and not Usher?
Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. I was so gobsmacked in fact, that I was moved to search out videos of the two of them so that I could do my own contrast and compare. I distinctly remember watching the "Rainism" video for the first time...I could barely pick my jaw up off the floor. This is no knock against Justin, but I didn't have even one-tenth the same reaction when I saw the "Like I Love You" video for the first time.
I'm sorry, but after watching these videos again, I'm sticking to my original conclusion: Justin who?
IMHO, there really is no comparison.
[originally posted on 6/19/10]
Is Rain the "Korean Justin Timberlake?"
My opinion? Hell, no. I’ve heard it said one too many times that Rain is the “Korean Justin Timberlake”, and the comparison just doesn’t sit right with me. Why isn’t he being compared to Usher (who he reminds me more of anyway) or even Michael Jackson? Why is he being compared to the white guy who’s co-opted R&B/hip hop to keep his career going instead of a black singer who’s probably lived and breathed R&B/hip hop his whole life?
It just strikes me as another form of applying whiteness by-proxy to make a POC “better.” Or at least to explain why another non-black who has embraced the genre is so damn good at it. And of course, if Rain is as good as Justin, then he must be imitating him.
I’m not saying that I don’t like Justin or enjoy some of his music, but he’s certainly not the be-all and end-all of blue-eyed soul (I’d take Jon B., Robin Thicke or Adam Levine any day). Based on what I've seen, Rain can sing and dance circles around JT. His singing voice has loads more natural soul in it, and damn can that man move. Yes, Justin can certainly dance, but I think that Rain has more innate talent. (Wait…let me watch Rainism one more time just to make sure… *drools* Yep, he’s better!)
If anything, I'd say that Justin is an American Rain, not the other way around.
Am I right or am I just being overly sensitive and more than a little biased? I've posted video for your viewing pleasure. I tried to be fair so that they would both be showcased in an equitable way:
The look on Rain's face in this video is PRICELESS when the interviewer brings up the JT comparison. Let's just say that he wasn't feelin' it.
Here are a few of my favorite comments from the original post:
LMAO @ his expression in the video. He is clearly thinking "not this shit again".
Made the mistake of watching Justin vids after Rain vids.
No. No comparison whatsoever. Justin will never even reach the damn pedestal Rain is standing on.
See Megan? Girl, the internet is your friend. Had she done some damn research, her outcome might have been different. LOL