Plenty of unforgettable memes have come and gone throughout the years -- but there are some that will just never die. Like, ever. The “It’s Gonna Be May” meme is so famous that the man that helped inspire it, Justin Timberlake, has approved of and embraced it as a part of his online brand. This year, the Trolls World Tour star even made sure to share a new version of the meme that feels especially timely.
The internet has marked the end of April by lampooning NSYNC singer Justin Timberlake’s unique pronunciation in “It’s Gonna Be Me” since around 2012. Though it took him a few years to get on board with the time-honored tradition, the singer has proven to be a really good sport -- even when his former bandmates have declared open season on him. Justin Timberlake has joined in the It’s Gonna Be May Day fun online since 2016. At this point, it’s basically a given that he’ll tweet something about it -- and this year, he decided to commemorate the occasion with a tweet that is part joke, part PSA.
Recently, he shared a fan-made meme that is both simple and effective. It’s a screen grab of Justin Timberlake from the “It’s Gonna Be Me” music video, complete with those now infamous blonde curls. However, it has a notable alteration: a photoshopped face mask, like the kind millions of people around the world have begun to wear regularly to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Take a look at the clever meme that earned his approval:
This isn’t the first time internet users have harnessed the power of the meme to reference coronavirus this year. Back in March, when social distancing became a part of our regular vocabulary, people on Twitter and Instagram -- including celebrities like Lizzo -- began to use the meme when lamenting how long we’d all be locked up in our homes:
While some of Justin Timberlake’s previous It’s Gonna Be May tweets might be considered a little bit funnier than this year’s, this one definitely will probably go down as one of the most timely. The fact that this pandemic is even taking over our most beloved memes is further evidence of just how huge its impact has been on the world. It’s also had a huge impact on Justin Timberlake’s professional life.
In March, Universal Pictures decided to change the release strategy of Trolls World Tour by foregoing a theatrical release and making it available exclusively for digital rental. It was a controversial, but ultimately profitable decision and one that might have lasting implications for future releases.
That’s even more reason for J.T. to promote safety to his fans. The sooner we all make like It’s Gonna Be May Justin and protect ourselves, the sooner we can all hope to get back to living -- and memeing -- as we used to know it.