"TKO" Music Poster Image




Tedious track has fighting metaphors, sex, and profanity.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hollow lyrics about being emotionally battered and bruised in a relationship.

Positive role models

Timberlake attempts to do something dark and erotic but does not pull it off. It's not behavior you would want your kid to copy.


All the lyrics are based on fight metaphors including "knock me out," "cuts right on my eye," and "perfect shot to the dome." 


One line is, "This rematch sex is amazing," and one hook is, "She kills me with the coochie-coochie-coo," a reference to women's private parts.


Includes the words "damnit" and "s--t" as well as "coochie-coochie-coo."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Justin Timberlake's single "TKO" is an uninspired and unoriginal pop song that likens romantic turmoil to a fist fight. The seven-minute single uses some profanity, including the words "s--t" and "damnit," and includes a few sexual references ("This rematch sex is amazing," "She kills me with the coochie-coochie-coo," a reference to women's private parts).

What's the story?

TKO is the second official single from Justin Timberlake's second album of 2013, The 20/20 Experience (Part 2 of 2). The track is quite long for a single, clocking in at 7:08, with several verses and choruses all sung in pitch-perfect falsetto by the former *NSYNC star. Produced by hip-hop savants Timbaland and J-Roc, the song is a slow and seductive lament that compares the ups and downs of a relationship to the beatings sustained in a fight.

Is it any good?


JT is notably lacking the swagger that has made him an icon. The lyrics are repetitive and heavily reliant upon weak metaphors and predictable songwriting, and the production is uninteresting at best, monotonous at worst. Die-hard Timberlake fans will go crazy for anything he sings in that sweet voice, but it's hard to see why he felt the need to release a full sequel to his already long album.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Justin Timberlake's strange career arc. How has JT been shaped by and contributed to mainstream pop culture during the past decade and a half?

  • "TKO" is the second single from the second installment of his 2013 album The 20/20 Experience. Why do you think Timberlake decided to release two full-length albums in one year after several years of inactivity?

Music details

Artist:Justin Timberlake
Release date:September 20, 2013
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "TKO" was written by

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Adult Written byRosebud95 October 8, 2013


It's not that bad, it's just really generic, containing very little of JT's 'swagger'.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byHaggy October 7, 2013


Though the song is good in many ways and on an excellent CD it is overly long and shows jt as the opposite of the ladies man hes portraded himself as over the years and he cusses though not a jt first still kills the mood on an otherwise superb song
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old November 16, 2013

Catchy but sorta inapropriate

Yeah you just have to read CSM's review for this song to know it's a little iffie for kids. But I like the radio edit it's catchy and has a good beat just like all of JT's songs.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing