In 2008 Scooter Braun was surfing YouTube when he stumbled across then unknown Justin Bieber. Braun recognized this kid was a potential goldmine and quickly became his manager. Within a few weeks, Braun scheduled a meeting between Bieber and legendary R&B artist Usher. Bieber showed Usher his chops and Usher, who also realized this kid could make him some serious bank, helped Bieber get signed to Island Records.
Bieber’s first album My World was released on November 17th, 2009. Within a few months it went Platinum and Bieber became the first artist to have seven singles from a debut album peak on the Billboard Hot 100. On March 23, 2010 Bieber released an updated version of My World, the creatively named My World 2.0, which went on to achieve the same success as its predecessor.
Let’s get something straight, Justin Bieber’s music sucks harder than a Dyson vacuum. He’s yet another attractive, talented singer who isn’t so much an artist as he is a product that was created by his label. His lyrics are so banal I wouldn’t be surprised if he wrote them himself.
Normally I wouldn’t take time out of my life to write an article about an “artist” like Bieber, but something strange has happened in the wake of his success. Justin Bieber has amassed the largest hatedom I can think of in recent memory. Mere mention of his name on late night talk shows is enough for the crowd to erupt in a sea of boos. Endless Internet articles and TV shows make jokes about how he hasn’t hit puberty yet, his questionable sexuality, and why he deserves to die a slow, painful death. It’s a bit extreme, and it scares and intrigues me a little.
Here’s the thing, in the music world, Justin Bieber is nothing new. Throughout music history there have been countless attractive vocalists who become products of their label, have other people write their songs for them, and amass unprecedented amounts of success. Because to most people music is background noise. Rick Astley, Brittney Spears, any 90s boy band that wasn’t N*SYNC, “artists” like these have been so frequent throughout music history that I’m surprised people bat an eyelash at Bieber. Let alone get so worked up they start spouting death threats.
For the love of common sense, he’s just a kid. What the hell did he ever do to you? Nobody is forcing you to listen to his shitty music. I have never heard a single Justin Bieber song, and don’t plan on starting unless Amber forces me to. Why get so worked up? It makes no sense. It’s not that hard to ignore him.
What annoys me is at the most basic level, Bieber is at least talented. Call him a flaming-homo-faggot-lesbian all you want, but the kid has got a golden voice. While on the other end of the spectrum, RFC writers whose taste and writing I respect put KeSha’s Animal on their top albums of 2010 list. Ke$ha is ugly, she autotunes every song, and her lyrics are somehow (impossibly) more banal and repetitive than Bieber’s. I’ve been unfortunate enough to hear “Tik Tok” at parties, viral videos, and even a Simpsons episode. Her music is so bad it makes me resent the fact I have ear drums and a brain to transpose vibrations into sound. Unlike Bieber, who at the very least has talent, she’s has absolutely zero redeeming qualities. Yet, when I ask my friends about her I get the response “she’s good party music” and absolutely zero death threats.
You do realize all this hate is only making Bieber richer right? In the music business, infamy is every bit as valuable as good press. For every death threat and viral video of him getting smacked in the face with a water bottle, yet another schmuck discovers his crappy music and becomes a fan. By all means continue to imagine you’re hurting his reputation while Bieber, Braun, and Island records drown in Olympic swimming pools of hundred dollar bills. If you really hate Bieber, here’s what you should do. Ignore him. Never mention him again. Pretend like he doesn’t exist. Then make Radio Free Chicago your homepage, read every article, download every MP3 we host, and tell all your friends about us. It’s our job to have good taste in music and spread it around. The artists we review on this site are toiling away in obscurity because they love what they do more than eating and having nice things. Put your love to good use and hit Bieber where it really hurts, his wallet.
I’m sure this article has pissed some of you off because I suggested that maybe Justin Bieber doesn’t deserve to rot in hell for making shitty music. Now, as a music blog I’m obligated to leave you with a free MP3. I don’t own any of Justin Bieber’s music nor would I be caught dead recommending it to you, so instead I’ll leave you with the opening track off Bad Brains debut album Bad Brains. They’re the best hardcore punk band to ever exist and really indie to this day. Consider it a reward for making it this far.