After a mixed 2013 (arguably sporting very little ‘swaggy’), Justin Bieber begins 2014 with a bang. Like the majority of headlines in 2013, 2014’s headline could result in the pop star’s biggest faux pas yet. Sure, as appalling as it was, it was funny to see Bieber grow so intense last year at the paparazzi, threatening to “f**king beat the f**k out of you,” but the present incident really is douche bag move. Bieber, being the mature and sensible 19-year old that he is, apparently egged his neighbor’s house. Real mature Justin, real mature. Unsurprisingly, the rebellious Canadian pop star cursed out his neighbor (of course the f-bomb) and seemed proud of his actions. Honestly, he’s the only one that seems to be impressed.
Much like my critical posts last year about the star who suffering from the tremendous growing pains, it seems that Bieber’s privilege could one day potentially be his undoing. For most of us who consider Bieber’s behavior to be completely unchecked and out of control, we hope it is sooner than later. That may sound harsh or hateful, but someone or something is going to have to check this irresponsible Bieber and give him a true reality check. If Bieber previously came over as this humble, innocent kid patterning his musical style and career after Usher, he now comes over as a complete a-hole. Regardless how he felt about his neighbors or what his intents were, Bieber made a very dumb decision to vandalize someone else’s property and seems to show no interest in taking responsibility.
Musically, I’ll admit I have criticisms of Bieber – many critics do. But, much like last year, it seems that Bieber is once more going to let his turbulent personal life overtake his music. Last year, the approach certainly didn’t buy the singer new fans. Whether this egging incident is part of Bieber’s desire for attention, a stupid childish prank, or a mix of both, this has nothing to with Bieber’s artistry. For someone who previously stated he should be taken serious as an artist, perhaps Bieber should begin living up to his words and focus on his craft, not doing dumb things that detract and distract. Biebz – time to cut the crap and be a ‘real man’, not a wannabe.
Justin Bieber lately you get a temporary pass from me buddy… at least until the Miley Cyrus phenomenon, machine or whatever it is ends. I’m hoping it ends soon, for all of our sakes. My new favorite person to scrutinize for irresponsible actions is Billy Ray’s daughter, and rightfully so. Basically, all the criticism and jeering is justified. Miley Cyrus is going through a ‘shock’ phase to get attention and the saddest part is that it is working and that is sad. I understand she needs attention to give her a decent stab at a comeback, particularly after Can’t Be Tamed was pretty tame in sales from start to finish, but still, she’s taken it to a new level.
Sex always garners attention, so Cyrus has decided to sex up her image. Fine, seems the natural course of action for any teen star… good or bad. Add some hip-hop culture to the mix and now Miley has ‘swag’ (“We Can’t Stop”). Perform given breakout single at VMAs, wear provocative clothing, scar children’s minds for ever by destroying the sanctity of the teddy bear, spank someone’s butt, strip, twerk on Robin Thicke and change the purpose of a foam finger forever…Hmm…Okay… Then throw in tears, a wrecking ball, a sledgehammer, nudity, and plenty of tongue action, and you have a number one single (“Wrecking Ball”). Well, the song’s good at least.
Now Miley has taken a page out of Green Day’s book at the I Heart Radio Music Festival by making it more buzz worthy on internet traffic than it would’ve been. Congratulations, maybe? I dunno. Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong had a breakdown on the 2012 festival that led to a stint at rehab and certainly didn’t help propel sales of the band’s trio of albums released in the fall of the same year (they basically bombed). At the 2013 edition, it was Miley’s outrageous outfit that drew attention, though certainly didn’t have quite the disturbing effect that Billie Joe’s um issues. Still, the outfit seems so unnecessary. Why does Miley have to go so, um, trashy? That’s the aspect of the new Miley I just can’t wrap my brain around.
I mean, Miley has a song I actually like in “Wrecking Ball” and I didn’t mind “We Can’t Stop” that much (could’ve done without all the processing and that “molly” lyric). So why can’t Cyrus’s endeavors be about the music and promoting it in a more refined manner? Why does everything have to become sexual innuendo? What makes it worse is that it’s clumsy and awkward at that. I mean there’s nothing wrong with a little naughtiness, but Cyrus’s ‘means’ to achieve a successful album and reinvigorate career seem a bit irresponsible to me. Maybe it’s just hunger for stardom or renewed stardom, but still, the shock value is offensive, at least in my opinion.
- Miley Cyrus Twerks, Puts on First Live Performance of “Wrecking Ball” (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Miley Cyrus performs at IHeartRadio music festival (thenewstribune.com)
- Miley Cyrus Performs at IHeartRadio Music Festival (abcnews.go.com)
- Miley Cyrus Wears Pasties for iHeartRadio Music Festival Performance (finejoeyoung.wordpress.com)
- Miley Cyrus poses with the Kardashians at iHeartRadio music festival (nydailynews.com)
- Miley Cyrus performs at IHeartRadio music festival (miamiherald.com)
- Miley Cyrus Breaks Down Crying During Post-Split “Wrecking Ball” Performance (finejoeyoung.wordpress.com)
- Miley Cyrus twerks yet again at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas (myfacehunter.com)
- Miley Cyrus Live iHeart Radio Music Festival (coreygman.wordpress.com)
- Miley Cyrus Flaunts Body at iHeart Radio Music Festival Village! (justjared.com)
“Gossip, gossip, n**** just stop it / everybody know I’m a [...] monster”. That’s an excerpt from popular Kanye West record “Monster” from his 2010 acclaimed album My Twisted Dark Fantasy. Nicki Minaj stole the spotlight on the cut, going ‘H.A.M.’ on the third verse, something she’s referenced in multiple collaborative performances, most recently Ciara’s “Livin’ It Up” (“…see I’m a monster, no I’m not a Lochness…”). The point of this pop cultural tidbit? Well Nicki Minaj has seemed to revel in her status as a ‘monster’, and perhaps she is – she received ample hate during a short, ill-enjoyed stint on American Idol. But, I don’t personally think she’s the exact epitomization of being an m-f’ing monster. Justin Bieber is.
Let me explain where I’m going with this before the sharped tongue youth of America flip me off with tweets, LOL. Justin Bieber was once an annoyingly-innocent 15-year old kid that drew his share of hate from many members of the male population. The insults were thrown freely as males of all ages rejoiced at the expense of the Canadian pop-star who was patterning his career after mentor Usher (“he sounds like a girl!”, etc.). At that time, Bieber was ALREADY considered a ‘monster’ in his skeptics eyes; the ‘teen heartthrob’. His female fans were swooning over him and helping to elevate both his stardom and the‘god’ status which both Kanye West and Jay-Z refer to on their most recent albums (Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail). While it was his tween followers that propelled him, media can’t be discounted, publicizing the youtube star’s every move, which back-when was pretty boring, teeny stuff.
But now look at Bieber. Instead of being an annoyingly- innocent 15-year old kid with a changing voice, he’s an hella annoying 19-year old ‘kid’ who thinks he’s the [bleep] and has shown horrid judgement in 2013. He still has the girls swooning and the guys’s hating, but he’s turned into a legit monster. And that’s no compliment. Growing pains are not an excuse for peeing in a janitorial bucket and spraying a picture of former President Clinton with bleach and swearing “F**k Bill Clinton!” 19 year olds everywhere do stupid things, but this is extremely childish, and disrespectful. Monster? Sounds like one to me.
I’m no huge teen pop star fan, I’ll be the first to tell you BUT it is one thing to have an annoying pop tart and another to have an arrogant one who thinks he’s the best thing ever. It is bold for Bieber to flaunt his rockstar status in a such a way the perception is he’s above all authority. Why has Justin Bieber turned to the ‘dark side’? Why is he a ‘monster’ instead of just being the annoying overhyped pop star he once was? As much as many of us disliked the youthful version, don’t we have more disregard for the ‘grown’ edition of JB? Who’s the bigger beast that helped to build this monster? The MEDIA. The media has fed Justin Bieber exactly what he wants – publicity. I myself am guilty as are a host of others. I should repent right here and right now.
Here’s the thing. The media and Justin Bieber have a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Merriam-Webster defines ‘symbiosis’ as ‘a cooperative relationship (as between two persons or groups)’. Justin Bieber craves publicity, whether it is positive of negative. We saw this if full fruition during the Grammy weekend when he failed to be nominated for his 2012 album Believe. He did everything to try to draw attention to himself to little success – during music’s biggest weekend mind you! Even though his tactics weren’t successful within the moment, didn’t media go crazy afterwards about Bieber’s selfish behavior? Media loves a ‘juicy piece of gossip’ or the bad behavior of any celebrity. Therefore, the media kind of hopes that Bieber will continue to act out so that they (we/us) have something to continue to talk about. So to reprise the question ‘has the media propel Justin Bieber’s monstrous status?’ the answer is a gargantuan YES, they have.
Here’s where things get simple-complex (an oxymoron if you will). WHO does the media’s perpetuation of Bieber’s monstrous status hurt more, Bieber or media? Obviously Bieber. Maybe Bieber doesn’t know this, but his symbiotic relationship with the media may be the slightest bit, um, parasitic (“relationship between two species in which one benefits at the expense of the other”). The pop star rarely stays popular throughout his entire career, period. Pop particularly is an ever-changing genre; trends come and go. What this means is that if Bieber revels in his monstrous, god-status too long given the short nature of fame itself, he (and more dangerously the media) will set him up for the downfall from his empire. Who benefits aka who’s the parasite? The media, because they’ve masterminded the whole thing and the media never fades. Pop stars aren’t so fortunate and for years and years, the media has feasted on their blood… or something like that!
So what should Bieber do? If I were Justin Bieber, the first thing I would do is to get help. I personally think he is setting up a tremendous downfall that so many past pop/rock stars have never recovered from. To me, the whole peeing/Clinton incident is more condemning in the sense than some of Bieber’s actions because it highlights Bieber’s immaturity and ultimately naïvety despite wanting to be sort of a ‘bad boy.’ The media is not going to salvage a Justin Bieber – they never have and never will. But Bieber should try to help himself by acting like the ‘man’ he claims to be.
- Justin Bieber Calls President Bill Clinton & Apologizes For Diss (hollywoodlife.com)
- Justin Bieber pees in restaurant kitchen and yells, ‘F*ck Bill Clinton!’ (rawstory.com)
- Bieber calls, apologizes to Bill Clinton (politico.com)
- Justin Bieber urinates into mop bucket in restaurant kitchen, video shows (newsday.com)
- Justin Bieber takes aim at Bill Clinton (politico.com)
- Justin Bieber Calls Clinton to Apologize for Telling Him to Fuck Off (gawker.com)
It’s been a while, but time to discuss a certain pop star by the name of Justin Bieber once again. Sigh. No, this time it’s not about anything crazy he’s done to potentially harm his career, but it is about fixing/altering the future ramifications of what most would characterize as a horrid 2013. Everybody has made mistakes in their youth and in life, BUT not everybody is an overexposed, wealthy teen heart throb named Justin Bieber either. Justin Bieber has made ample mistakes; this would be an understatement. But I’m not here to judge Bieber from a moral standpoint. From my perspective, as a music journalist, blogger, and industry junkie, the question I’d like to explore is now how does Bieber fix all of his improprieties? How does he atone for his PR mishaps that make him look like a spoiled brat?
Once, I remember reading an article in XXL magazine in which Justin Bieber defended the brash Kanye West – what a lofty task that is! Anyways, Bieber said that West “…not really an a$$hole”, something that media and people portrayed him to be. Hmm. Isn’t it funny that while Kanye West continues to ‘be himself’ in 2013 that now the view of Bieber is quite similar? How the tables turn it seems. See we know what to expect of Kanye West, in an ‘unpredictable’ way, but Bieber is a different kind of a monster. The shield/excuse of being a ‘dumb kid’ wears off now that Bieber has embraced ‘adulthood’, albeit with childish, immature decisions. But again, who am I to judge? We’ve all done dumb ish.
Anyways this is about my proposed fix for JB. No, it’s not counseling with his spiritual advisor/pastor, avoiding driving at all costs, or even being mindful of the company he keeps (though this might be sound advice). Instead, my fix is that Bieber needs to bring it ‘big’ on his next album, whenever that may be released. For me, particularly from an objective standpoint, I felt Believe Acoustic was just a poor decision. Yes, I know that the Beliebers will stone me and likely cuss me out for saying one objectionable thing (Black Keys’ Patrick Carney Keeps Justin Bieber Feud Alive via …), but why does a teen pop star like Justin Bieber need to release an acoustic album in the first place? What’s the reason? Did it even really benefit Bieber? I would say no considering it’s lack of upper-echelon chart ‘staying power’, despite an impressive debut. I mean so much of pop music is about the ‘sound’ of the record, so why bother to make a song like “Beauty and the Beat” stripped?
At this point in Bieber’s career, I think it is time to drop the less thoughtful side releases (aka remix and acoustic albums) and focus solely on putting out a quality studio effort. He needs to go ‘big’ and prove his investment and the artistry of which he speaks of so highly through his music. We must all remember, “actions speak louder than words”. Right now, the messaging has too much extra ‘BS’ and not nearly enough music. The awful perception which Bieber has perpetuated has caused his craft (music) to suffer. That perception is that Bieber has become so comfortable with stardom that he has lost focus on the most important thing – the music. Regardless of anything else, an impressive album and a more mature, humble persona would definitely benefit the embattled pop star.
How much would an impressive album help JB? Only time would tell. Bieber has done a lot of damage and rebounding can be difficult, particularly if it is poorly planned. Sometimes, you never regain your swagger the way you once had it. Britney Spears’ solid comeback album Blackout was a commercial disappointment after her ‘winter of discontent’, but she did fare better with Circus. Chris Brown’s Graffiti suffered from horrid release timing and sub-par, inappropriately chosen material after the infamous abuse of Rihanna. He would return more assured on F.A.M.E.. Both examples show that sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t – a true Catch 22. It just goes to show you that when you’re hot in the music business, you should cherish it, not squander it with poor decisions that could destroy it just like that.
P.S. Bieber could also benefit from putting a shirt on, pulling up his sagging pants, and taking a break from instagram.
- Justin Bieber: “I’m An Artist…I Should Be Taken Seriously…” (brentmusicreviews.com)
- Justin Bieber Parties with Scandalous Friends, Gushes Over New Kanye Album (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- PHOTOS – Justin Bieber Falls Down Stairs, Suffers Cuts And Bruises (leactualiteblog.wordpress.com)
- Justin Bieber Banned By Vegas Attraction (lasvegas.cbslocal.com)
- Justin Bieber’s Next Fragrance Comes With a Key (shoppingblog.com)
- Jordan Ozuna: Photos Of Justin Bieber’s Alleged New Girlfriend (hollywoodlife.com)
- EXCLUSIVE! Justin Bieber & His Weed Hit Up Kanye West’s Album Listening Sesh! See Party Pics HERE! (perezhilton.com)
- Justin Bieber Kisses Model Jordan Ozuna On Las Vegas Date (hollywoodlife.com)