How old is 19, really? Do you remember what you were doing at that age? Did you cringe? If you did, then most of you can probably sympathize with the suddenly-adult pop star, Justin Bieber. The Biebs had an up-and-down 2013, where he was in the news more for more than a few controversies. We here at STASHED could care less for a lot of that stuff as we are usually all about the art here, and we’ll get to that soon. However, it’s his personal life that has led to some of this greatest professional triumphs in an already-storied career.
On the first day of 2013, a paparazzo named Chris Guerra, was killed while attempting to cross the street after he saw Bieber’s car and pursued it on foot to take a picture of him although Bieber was not in the car at the time. Later that month, he broke up with his fellow pop star girlfriend Selena Gomez. Not to say nobody cares, because obviously a ton of people care about that type of stuff, but bare with us.
Little altercations turned into bigger ones as he famously cursed out a photographer donned in a red sweater and a skull cap, instantly conjuring up images of a similarly rambunctious Tupac Shakur. “I’ll beat the f**k out of you,” the teenager screamed at the photog as he lunged at him. Thus, #Biebervelli was born.
You see, it was that moment that the sweet and innocent kid named Justin Bieber was gone for good. The Canuck showed flashed of what he wanted to become on his latest album Believe, which featured more R&B/Hip-Hop influences than ever before. He also showed his growth on a classic cover of Complex magazine where the artist was shown battered and beat up by what seemed like a grueling “Fight Club”-style bout. It was one things to declare yourself “grown up” and ready to graduate from teen heart throb to adult star (not that kind of adult star, you disgusting people), but it was in 2013 where he actually showed and prove…for better or worse.
Controversy continued to follow the kid as his friendships with people like Lil Twist came into question as he was frequently seen partaking in questionable activity. He also allegedly spat on a neighbor during an altercation, fainted during a show, arrive two hours late to a performance at the O2 Arena, among other events. Including a trip to the Anne Frank Mueseum where Bieber wrote in the museum’s guest book “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”
The kid couldn’t win for losing. Although he continued to be a commercial draw and still sell albums and singles by the boatload, the court of public opinion started to turn on Bieber quicker than a Stephen Curry jumpshot. Whereas most people didn’t like him because of his cheesy pop tunes or his content just not being relevant to anyone older than 16, Bieber began to come off like a spoiled little douche. The tattoos became more prevalent, the attitude became more sincere, and the growing pains were out for the entire world to see. However, one of Bieber’s best personal traits might be his self-awareness. Right in the midst of his controversy, the singer partook in one of Zach Galifinakis’ famous “Between Two Ferns” sketches where the comedian basically said and did what most grown folks who followed Bieber wanted to do at the time.
Then as the summer drew to a close, shortly after Bieber was charged by a man in Toronto and was put in a chokehold before his security can intervene, Bieber did what most artists do in a time of crisis: he dove back into his craft. On October 3, 2013, Bieber announced that he will release a new song every Monday for 10 weeks as a lead-up to Believe 3D, which entered production in 2012 and will have a limited release on December 25, 2013. The first song in his #MusicMondays series, “Heartbreaker,” was a stark contrast from the singer’s previous work. In a decidedly more R&B tone, “Heartbreaker” saw Biebervelli grow up right in front of our eyes. Proving that it wasn’t a fluke, Bieber followed up with the highest charting record of the series, “All That Matters.” As he continued producing more personal records, the fanfare for the series began to grow; not just by his rabid and legendary fanbase of Beliebers, but by adults. It wasn’t weird for you to dig Justin Bieber’s music anymore if you were a grown a** man. “Hold Tight,” “Recovery,” “Bad Day,” and the R.Kelly-assisted “PYD” made the anticipation for each release grow with each week. “I’m very influenced by black culture,” Bieber said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t think of it as black or white. 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.”
Although the heralded #MusicMondays series didn’t stop Bieber from not being in the tabloids, especially during a trip to Brazil where he was found in a whorehouse, he was giving a longer rope from the court of public opinion. When a zealous fan snapped a video of the snoozing singer after a long night, there were a lot more “damn, can he lives” and a lot less “ugh, not agains” for the kid. And whose to say he can’t splack a few Brazilians while on tour? I mean, how old is 19, really? Do you remember what you were doing at that age? Did you cringe? Exactly. Give the kid a break…or face the wrath of #Biebervelli.
Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter.