justin-bieber-the-hollywood-reporter

Justin Bieber’s bad boy behavior has been unfairly linked to black culture. Sharon Osbourne described his antics as “acting black,” and the mainstream media is quick to imply his new friends (rappers like Lil Twist and Lil Za) are influencing his actions. No one seems to want Bieber to take responsibility for missteps like desecrating a photo of Bill Clinton, disrespecting the Argentinian flag, illegally tagging a hotel wall and sneaking out of a Brazilian brothel covered by a white sheet. People like Sharon Osbourne want to sell the narrative that black people are inherently bad and young privileged white boys aren’t. So naturally, we are to blame for Justin Bieber’s shenanigans.

His latest revelation will help their cause. He revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that his style is inspired by the blacks: “I’m very influenced by black culture,” he said. But as a rule, he doesn’t ascribe race to style. “I don’t think of it as black or white,” he continued. “It’s not me trying to act or pose in a certain way. It’s a lifestyle — like a suaveness or a swag, per se. But I don’t really like to say the word [‘swag’] anymore. It’s kind of played out.”

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His manager, Scooter Braun also disclosed that Drake and Will Smith are his black fairy godfathers:

Drake always is first to react to a TMZ Bieber headline. “He’ll text me, like, ‘What the hell is going with this? I’m pissed. I’m calling him right now. I’m about to go in on him,’ ” reveals Braun. “Drake is like a big brother to Justin. And Justin really looks up to Drake. They have an extremely special relationship.”

But the most present mentor is Will Smith. [His manager, Scooter Braun] tells of a particularly tough time for Bieber around the time he returned from his world tour in May that prompted the movie star to drive to Bieber’s house and pull him out of bed for a three-hour talk. Bieber’s reaction, according to Braun: “He said, ‘Man, that makes me feel so loved. I woke up, and there’s Will Smith, one of, if not the, biggest movie stars on the planet. He took time out of his day for me.’ ”

Now, Bieber and Smith have a weekly call to go over any potential issues, emotional or otherwise. (Scientology has never been discussed.) At the same time, Braun adds of Smith, “He’s telling me: ‘Justin’s got to go through it. You can’t stop him from going through it. That’s youth in itself. He’s a young man who’s growing up, and that’s what makes him interesting and relatable. Otherwise, he’d be some kind of weird robot.”

And for his final connection to all things black, he compares himself to Michael Jackson:

“Michael Jackson didn’t do Off the Wall until he was about 23,” he says of the King of Pop’s breakout 1979 solo album. “Bad, not until he was, like, 25 [Jackson was 29]. I have all the time in the world,” he declares of his future seminal third album.

And the next blue-eyed soul star is born…

Read the full interview here.

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  • Amber

    I don’t think anybody in the comments section clearly read his interview. What I got from it is that he is influenced by black style, music, etc. That’s not to say that his “bad” behavior is linked to blackness. That’s a connection that OTHER people’s ignorance (ahem Sharon O.) have made. And I think I’m seeing a double standard here. We’re so quick to call anything appropriation/we want credit to be given where it’s due, but when an artist does just that suddenly it’s a major issue. I see no problem with the way Justin is inspired by black music/culture. What’s there to not feel good or cool about? We’re kinda the sh*t!! I like Justin. I like that he knows who to pay homage too as far as his image goes. People were ignorant before Bieber, they will be today.

  • Keke

    Tale as old as time, black culture is always “cool” or profitable, then when he gets tired he gets to step back into his whiteness, while blacks are persecuted for living their culture everyday…. In the words of Paul Mooney, “EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A N!GGA BUT NOONE WANTS TO BE A N!GGA”

  • Velma

    He’s very aware of his “white privilege” and by choosing to be “down”, it’s all very appealing. Who knows, maybe he wants to be black? Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, however–again I say, with white privilege he’s just exploring his teen angst.