A few weeks back, during the first of several impromptu sharing episodes, Kanye West went on a long mid-“Clique” rant about corporate sponsorship and how he “got love for Hov, but [he] aint’ fucking with that ‘Suit and Tie.’” For anyone who foresaw a high-stakes fight between Justin Timberlake and ‘Ye over Jay-Z BFF-dom, well, your moment is here. Midway through his SNL performance of “Suit and Tie,” Timberlake changed the line “shit so sick got a hit and picked up a habit” to “my hit’s so sick got rappers acting dramatic.” It’s at the 2:15 mark below; he enunciates it very clearly so you won’t miss it. That is a shot! It’s also probably a little unfair, since Kanye is fully capable of acting dramatic without the help of a pleasant-but-expendable comeback single. But it does make you wonder: How bad is the Jay-’Ye rift that Hov is signing off on that dis?
While we’re on the subject of “Suit and Tie,” though: This is certainly the best performance JT has done so far. The size of the SNL stage helps — there’s less to fill, so it looks more intimate — but give a raise to whoever suggested that JT dance like himself and not a mike-stand-dragging Vegas lounge singer. He looks more comfortable; the song feels fresher. Justin Timberlake should probably only do things in Studio 8H from now on.