Justin Bieber is tight. I believe that and I came here to preach that. But yo, I haven't been that up on the latest news. I was unaware until I was Googling some Bieber facts that a newly released video showed the then 14-year-old Bieber dropping N-Bombs like Kramer at Laugh Factory. I can't condone that. But, as a fellow small-town lad, I can understand how Bieber could have grown up ignorant to the violence of his language. Anyway, as Chris Brown, who publicly defended Bieber's slur, shows us, if you make hits people will forgive the worst of your personality.
But if we time warp back a couple of weeks and assume Justin Bieber is not a racist, but really just a 20-year-old with a blank check, a tattoo addiction and a desperate need for a competent stylist, I'll get back on my rant shit. Justin Bieber doesn't have a problem, you do. The Biebs is the national Tyler Durden to our collective Edward Norton: He looks like we wanna look (aside from, you know, the clothes), he fucks like we wanna fuck and, most importantly, he is free in all the ways that you are not because he is super fucking rich. He's an easy target and that's before you consider he's Canadian. We hold him up and whip him for indulging in the very excesses we ourselves yearn for. But I'm not here to pile on. Nope. I will sign up right now this very second to surf a supermodel's body around the globe on waves of Canadian Loonies, while Selena Gomez shovels an avalanche of blowcane into my nostrils. Who wouldn't?
Bieber's mother famously and smartly had a vice grip on her son's early career. Presumably, she kept him from wasting money on all the ignorant shit 15-year-olds would buy with millions of dollars (read: Slam Ball Courts). She also probably kept baby-seeking groupies out of her son's trailer, which I'm sure infuriated a young Justin who, at any give moment, had a legion of teen girls at his liege.
Basically, when homie turned 18, he was bound to get turnt because his mom was finally off his back. Bieber's not going crazy. He's just in college. Only his dormroom is a penthouse suite and the cute girl from SOC 101 is a Victoria’s Secret model.
Think about all the things you did when you were 18-20 that you wouldn't want your mother to see or hear? Now imagine those events amplified by access to unlimited cash and drugs. Then add in the omnipresent paparazzi and camera phones. You're not even remotely famous and think of how much ridiculous footage there still is of you online.
If I had a plane at 19 there would be no other option than to hot box that shit all the way to the Super Bowl. I've made this same exact argument about Miley: How hard would you wil' if you could wil' as hard as you could, but also if you had a billion dollars? If you're not thinking to yourself, "Pretty fucking hard," you're probably no fun.
If there's a path for Bieber to sustained career redemption, look to Britney as a lighthouse.
Justin's clothes game, though? Yeah, we can all agree it's wack beyond measure. But that's pretty much the case with every pop star ever. Google "Justin Timberlake 1999." If nobody in your life ever told you that you looked stupid (except, maybe, your mom) how would you dress? If you had the dough to armor yourself in Balmain, you could convince yourself that quantity of money spent directly correlated to looking dope. Justin, real talk though, holler at your friends here at The Pinz. We will change your whole life with one shopping trip and only charge, like, $200k for the consulting fee. We'll help you chill your shit out a bit and you'll be thankful in three years when you need to pawn your collection of drop crotch sweats for drug money.
Plenty of pop stars have danced atop the world's titties and fell violently from its nubby peaks, so our boy Justin's not in the clear just yet. He's still incredibly young, which means he has room either to salvage his image or torpedo it to even greater depths with behavior even worse than what we've seen thus far. But just as the populace has somewhat forgiven the aforementioned batterer Chris Brown, we may too forgive Bieber of almost anything next to a murder conviction as long as he keeps making music that satisfies our earholes. And, yes, I'm going on record saying that Justin makes good, solid pop music. Dude can sing. He has impeccable bone structure. He is worth salvaging.
While I don’t think a Timberlake-like golden boy image is attainable for Bieber at this point, there is a precedent. Remember "...Baby One More Time" Britney Spears? I had six—SIX—Britney Rolling Stone covers on my bedroom wall (which, kids, were, like, a primitive, analog Tumblr dashboard). Then, remember head-shaving Britney? Not a single, non-tabloid cover from that era exists. But then you look up and Britney's still here. Her career has spanned more than 15 years, produced solid, regular albums and, at age 32, landed her the modern day pop star pot of gold, a Las Vegas residency. If there's a path for Bieber to sustained career redemption, look to Britney as a lighthouse.
The next few years are going to be crucial for yung Biebs. I suggest getting back with Selena and just settling down with her for awhile. Maybe even make some slow-cooked carnitas, stay in and watch a movie. Hit semi-hiatus mode and cook up some heat with 'Ye and Rick Rubin on a gritty track featuring a Pusha verse about redemption. Our forgiveness is just waiting for you with open arms.