Bad news, fellow Beliebers: Justin Bieber has been busted in Sweden. With drugs. Well, with weed. Also, a stun gun.
The news came first via Stockholm police, who said Bieber's tour bus was searched because cops smelled what they believed was marijuana smoke emanating. OK, but check this out: The cops smelled the smoke while the bus was parked outside of Bieber's hotel. They didn't move in, though, until Bieber's show that night, sending in a special narcotics unit while the bus was empty. Were Stockholm PD terrified of what bloodbath might occur if they entered the bus while Bieber was onboard? Or did they really just not want to hear anyone say the word "swaggy" out loud? Anyway, they found what was originally reported to be a "small amount of drugs" that was being "sent to a laboratory for an analysis." So are Stockholm's cops officially the nerdiest cops in the world? They don't know any recreational-drug aficionados they can call up and be like "Bro, bro, what the hell is this?"
In the eyes of the law, Justin Drew Bieber — he turns 19 on March 1! — is a fullly grown man. In our eyes, though, he's something more akin to a baby duck, fresh out of a hatched egg. Sure, the duck crushed it inside the egg; he had teen girls shouting bloody murder while chasing him down the streets. Now that he's outside the egg, though, things are harder: There are different sorts of expectations, and all kinds of complications and demands, and some serious competition, out here in the non-egg world. In other words: It's time to check in on how Justin Bieber's AwkwardAdult Transition is going!
On Tuesday night, USA gymnast Jordyn Wieber revealed her true motivation for sustaining the years of grueling training, social isolation, bodily harm, mental anguish, and crushing anxiety that it takes to become a world class Olympic athlete. Hours after achieving her ultimate goal by triumphing in team gymnastics, Wieber Tweeted: "Now that we are OLYMPIC champions... Can we please meet @justinbieber??" Wieber has long hinted at her ulterior motive, telling NBC in May that while she's "not sure what it's going to take to meet Justin Bieber ... an Olympic all-around title would definitely help." Ah, of course. Standing on top of that podium, clutching that gold, representing your country and making it so, so proud — all sweet and fulfilling moments, to be sure. But, it turns out, there is truly no greater motivation for accomplishing an insanely difficult feat — a feat so rarefied only a handful of people throughout the course of history will ever experience its glory — than the possibility that achieving it will let you maybe meet Justin Bieber.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find any coverage of Justin Bieber’s Believe — the wunderkind’s first "adult" album, being released into the universe as we speak — that won’t mention, at least in passing, Justin Timberlake and his 2002 "adult" debut, Justified. The two records aren't perfectly analogous, as you’ll see, but they’re close enough — a pair of transition albums from a pair of teen sensations. The comparison is inevitable. And so with everyone throwing the Justin-Justin thing out there anyway, we figured a head-to-head breakdown was worth our while.
It’s only appropriate that Bieber is now looked upon to take over the vacated mantle of America’s no. 1 pop star in part because Timberlake willingly ceded it (so he could pal around Studio 8H and get naked with Mila Kunis). Which means this isn’t as much about the contest between the two as it is about their overlap and their cleavages, and what those might bode for the rest of JB’s career. (Holy crap, I just used the word "cleavages" while in no way talking about boobs.) But since it’s more fun to metamorphose the two albums into a fake brawl, let’s intro it that way: OK, on to the breakdown! Believe! Justified! [Boxing bell ding]! [Boxing bell ding]! [Boxing bell ding]!
Once there was a Canadian teen idol whose domination of the charts and lower hearts of American girls was suddenly threatened by the burgeoning success of packs of cute British lads with shaggy haircuts, tight harmonies, and homoerotic male friendships. That teen idol's name was Paul Anka, a child star with hits like "Lonely Boy," "Diana," and "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" in the late '50s and early '60s who looked and sounded hopelessly square when placed against the likes of The Beatles and Stones. But it's also the situation that Justin Bieber, 18, has found himself in as he attempts to transition into an adult career while a new wave of U.K. boy bands makes a power play for the purses (and crotches) of his fan base.
And in the latest installment: Bieber himself discusses how he plans to avoid awkwardness in his transition from teen phenom to adult megastar. While wearing what appears to be a high-end designer lobster net, our dude covers the latest issue of V Magazine (via NME), and gets into the nitty-gritty of his current transitory period. Take it away, Biebs.
Justin Bieber has the Hebrew word for Jesus tattooed on his side. He got that done in Israel, on a trip during which he complained on Twitter about overzealous paparazzi hindering his access to the country’s holy sites. He believes that Jesus died on the cross for his sins, that he talks to Jesus, that Jesus is the reason he's here. When was the last time a mainstream pop star was this openly religious? And yet it’s done very little to hamper his cross-market appeal. Nearly three years into Biebermania, and with a Christmas album around the corner, it’s clear how well his team has handled — and, when the time was right, took advantage of — Bieber’s faith.
A month back, Justin Bieber covered fellow Canadian Drake’s woozy drug song “Trust Issues.” Bieber cleaned it up, but it was still a nutso departure from his usual innocuous balladry, and the best thing to come out of his current semi-awkward transitory period. Until now. With his take on Lil Wayne’s “How to Love,” Justin’s hip-hop covers series rolls on.
Last night at the VMAs, Justin Bieber did things that we've long associated with Justin Bieber. He arrived looking hilarious. He bantered, charmingly. He won an award, for “U Smile,” and expressed thanks “not only to God but to Jesus,” thereby sparking a theological debate. But he also did some highly un-Bieberlike things. He dressed like Kanye. He brought a pet snake to the red carpet. He made penis jokes. This is the context in which you should take in the strangest-ever entry in Bieber's discography: his cover of Drake’s “Trust Issues.”