It’s not even a debate that Justin Bieber has made a successful comeback this year. His album, Purpose, was one of the biggest of the year and certainly the biggest of his career. He had his first #1 with “What Do You Mean?”, and other hits like “Sorry”, “Love Yourself” and “Company” that were released as singles. After all of the public antics, the guy was finally returning to why we (may) have liked him in the beginning (I say ‘may’ because I didn’t like him in the beginning. I liked two songs off of Believe, but that’s about it, and his public image around that time was ridiculous). That’s why whatever that Journals thing was that he did was nowhere as successful as his other material. He was in NEED of a reinvention which is something pop artists do just for fun sometimes. But Bieber was different.
His public antics and ridiculous behavior, plus his choice to lip sync everything and dance instead of sing at most of his performances, has made me really dislike him, but even I have to admit that Justin can sing. We’ve seen this multiple times, and when he’s simply singing with just a guitar, which is where he started out, you can clearly see that he has some serious vocal power. However, like some other artists (cough cough CHRIS BROWN), he’s chosen theatrics over showing the world why some of us used to love him (Watch that Billboard Music Award Performance, or even his American Music Award performance from 2016 and 2015 respectively and you will see that he’s lip syncing so clearly.
If you’re lip syncing, make sure you hold the mic up to your mouth for the length of the phrase so you’re not holding it down by your hip when the voice is still playing. It makes it a little too obvious that you’re not actually singing). So yes, Bieber has fallen into the pit of pop stars and public figures that make themselves look bad. But again, Bieber has talent, unlike some of the artists that haven fallen into that hole (I’m sorry, but whatever acting Lindsay Lohan USED to be able to do, is gone, and personally, Britney Spears is not on the top of my list for most talented vocalists either, now that she has made her comeback).
Thankfully for Justin, his meltdown wasn’t as disastrous as Amy Winehouse or Kurt Cobain (both we sadly lost due to drugs and alcohol). Sure, he was doing some weird stuff, but it wasn’t anything that was seriously damaging his health. But he was one of the most hated people on the planet and with the amount of publicity he gets for blowing his nose, you can imagine that the words of others that were constantly being thrown at him, were really getting to him. He was able to go away for a while and work on an album that would prove how sorry he was for all the stupid crap he did and when Purpose came out, even people like me, who admit he’s talented, but are annoyed to Kingdom come with him, agree that it’s a solid album. So, if he’s made such a comeback, why would I still not like him?
His Public Image is Still So Easy to Hate
Unfortunately for Bieber and his team that orchestrated this entire revival of his career, his public image, especially right now, is only slightly better than it was before. No, he’s not peeing in mop buckets, and no, he’s not cursing out a picture of our former president. Instead, he’s approaching his performances and award wins like they’re meaningless, seeming nothing but distant during his acceptance speeches and, like I said, lip syncing (poorly) during his performances (and don’t even get me started about the fake crying at the VMAs okay? No.) And can I just say that, yes, sometimes when you go to award shows, people might come off as artificial, but that’s because you’re all in this business together and unfortunately, that’s what the music industry has become, a business. It used to be about the music, but 9 times out of 10 it’s about making money, and it’s sad. So when you go to an awards show, it’s the dressed up and more entertaining equivalent of a corporate business retreat, and the entire group of artists that show up might as well be wearing matching suits, because that’s kind of what it is. But no matter how you feel about the ambience of those award shows, those awards are accomplishment, some that aspiring musicians like myself would love to win someday, but also that in the case of some, your fans voted you for. That’s something he needs to recognize, but it makes him look really bad when he doesn’t appear sincerely grateful. And honestly, maybe that comes from everything that has been going on for him. For Justin to make a successful comeback, he has to be on 24/7 to make sure everything he does looks good for his image, which I’m sure is exhausting. I think he should take a break for a while because with touring and everything and his talking to squirrels, shaved head and mid-show sobbing, I think it’s getting to him. So maybe exhaustion is coming off as insincerity, but if that’s the case, do something about it. Easier said then done, I know, but if you need the break for your mental sanity, I think that’s probably for the best.
Selena Gomez, The “Will They, Won’t They” of Jelena, and His Tumultuous Love Life
Y’all, can we all stop with the Selena Gomez thing? They’re separate people now and the more we throw them together, the more exhausting the topic is and the more they individually get tired of it. Selena is obviously done, and as usual, Justin is linked to like, eight different women at a time. And while I don’t think Selena has the strongest voice or largest range in the industry, she has held her own in the spotlight and been able to garner a respectable career out of it (her new movie with Paul Rudd looks quite good by the way). Justin should learn from that. Selena checked herself into rehab at one point for her own safety and Justin should consider thinking about taking time to let everything settle in (it doesn’t have to be rehab, that’s not what I’m saying). I’m tired of seeing him do things that people are interpreting as trying to get her back. It’s better for both of them to not get back together and he needs to stop with the whole ‘eight women at a time’ thing. That also makes it hard to respect him. And in case you were wondering, I’d be saying that about anyone else that is constantly linked to someone new and plays the field a lot, male or female. Lady Gaga once said that rock stars are considered rock stars when they pontificate about sex and how many men/women they’ve slept with, but once she does it, she’s a slut. I agree that’s that’s how the public sees it and it’s horribly misguided and wrong. However, I’m not the only person out there who says, man or woman, you don’t need eight different people in your life at one time, and it’s not respectable given your past history.
Documented History of Being Rude To Fans
Justin has repeatedly shown a history of being up on his high horse when it comes to interacting with his fans. This is not a constant thing, but there are multiple examples of it, and it’s hard to look past them when there are so many of them, and half of them are documented, just in case you were worried no one was keeping those receipts. The Internet ALWAYS keeps the receipts.
There’s a video and pictures of him attempting to spit on his fans from the balcony of his hotel.
There is a video of him throwing stuff back to his fans that they threw to him on stage (not that I think throwing stuff to people onstage while they’re performing is a bright idea, but throwing it back makes you look like a real tool).
He once stopped his fans from clapping at one of his performances to show them how to properly clap in time with the song he was performing.
My favorite one, though, amongst all of those examples of just being a straight up jerk to the people that gave his spoiled ass everything he has, is his flat “No” in response to a hug when a fan came to a recent tour merch event for him. I don’t remember the location, though I believe it was New York City, but Justin had some pop up sales of his tour merch, and fans flocked to get their hands on it, only to find out that it was way out of anyone’s price range. A pair of sweatpants was as much as $1,000, and I’m sorry, but for that much money, I could have a thousand pairs of sweatpants that may not say “PURPOSE” or your name on them, and they’re going to fit me a hell of a lot better than yours are. Then, a video surfaced from a fan who was in line purchasing some of these incredibly overpriced items and asked him for a hug, to which he simply replied, “No,” not giving her the time of day to look at her. And yeah, that’s right, she buys his music and his merch and pays for him to have that attitude, but doesn’t get even a glance her way.
Also, side bar, with the amount of money he has, which we know is a lot since he flaunts it like crazy, why the hell would he need to price merch items that high? And who does he think his fans are that they would be able to afford that? Are the profits going to foreign countries to help feed starving children? Nope. Why is that necessary? Are the inflated prices of your tickets not enough for you?
And I know this sounds harsh, but for God’s sake, here’s a contrasting point. Sia, who’s on tour currently, tweeted out to her fans, asking what their average incomes look like, so she could price her tickets fairly and they could be affordable for people to buy. Also, she puts animal adoption centers at some of her shows so that if anyone is interested, they can adopt an animal that needs a new home. I’m not saying Bieber has to open a freaking clinic at each of his shows, but show some compassion and gratitude for the people that got you where you are. Without your fans, you have nothing, and besides that, so many people would kill to be in your position, so stop acting like it’s something you’re entitled to.
Justin, my friend, I think you are so incredibly talented. Your voice is just insane, you are quite a gifted songwriter, you can play piano, guitar, and drums… you’re multitalented and I think that’s really amazing. And to be honest, I really wish I could like you. But because you have all of these things against you, I’m really not sure I can. You may be 22, but you act like you’re 6, you have an attitude that reeks of needing someone to slap you upside the head until you realize how lucky you are to be where you are in life, and overall, YOU NEED TO STOP BEING SUCH A PUNK! There is no denying your talent, but there’s also no denying that you are making it way to easy to dislike you.