I love reading about Justin Bieber. That’s right, Justin
Beaver Bieber. I don’t necessarily like his music. But, at the very same time, I don’t hate it either. I’m not in the business of dogging on a teenagers music. However, I am curious to see where Bieber fever goes from here.
I came home late yesterday evening to find that NBC is airing a two part special on Bieber. The first half aired last night. This is what NBC airs in primetime nowadays. And we wonder why they are getting slaughtered in the original programming category by the cable networks.
The cameras follow the Biebs around on one of his world tours. A novel concept, I know.
Needless to say, I watched it. During this hour special Bieber was jet-setting around Europe. Seeing a bunch of teenagers go nutty, Beatles-style, over Justin isn’t what intrigues me. Although it was interesting to see that places like Norway are just as loony as America.
What does interest me with Justin Bieber is the person behind the persona. I want to know what he is really like at this point in time. He’s a mega-star. As big as it gets. Is he a fucking asshole? Is he the nicest dude going? Specifically, I want to know if he will be the next child star tragedy. Drew Magary’s GQ piece is the closest I’ve come to getting that insight.
It’s a complete toss-up at this point — cautionary tale or true business man — the jury is out. And, like anything, this all boils down to money. What is fact is that Bieber is richer than Jesus at this point. Also fact; he comes from a broken family and openly talks about growing up underprivileged. Whatever that really means.
As it pertains to money; Justin can either go the Antoine Walker route or the Peyton Manning route. So what’s the difference between Walker and Manning? The most striking difference would be the way they grew up. Walker is a native of the rough streets of Chicago. Manning is the son of a former NFL quarterback. He grew up in New Orleans. However, I don’t think it’s the same NoLa that we’ve heard Cash Money rappers talk about on their records for a decade.
I heard someone make an argument about the Occupy Wall Street movement earlier this week. This person said that if we did distribute the wealth of the 1% equally, within a short amount of time the rich would once again be rich and the poor would once again be born. Like a mediocre sports team, people end up “playing down” to their true level in the long run.
Certainly this is a controversial take. Still, it’s an intriguing point, with the ability to draw some parallels to the Walker and Manning situations. One gave back all the money, the other used the money to create an empire.
Can Bieber maintain his top 1% status? The GQ article brings up some potential issues:
I have been told repeatedly what a hard worker he is, but in two nights—Bieber only records at night—I’ve witnessed him work for a grand total of forty minutes. Soon he’s back to pinballing around the studio.
For Antoine Walker, work ethic was part of the problem but financial irresponsibility was more the issue. A quote such as the one above makes me think about someone like Sebastian Telfair. He had all the talent in the world, but once he got those first pay checks he found it to be increasingly hard to get into the gym and work on his craft.
Magary’s piece closes with this anecdote:
It’s almost midnight, and Bieber is going home now. But before he leaves, he pokes his head into the break room to yell, “GOOD NIGHT, BITCHES!” Melissa, the PR lady, winces. But she shouldn’t. That, right there, is a proper 18-year-old, someone who probably knows how to draw an excellent dick on a grease board.
This perfectly sums up the crossroads for Bieber. This incident is a microcosm of where his life will head. This is either a cute, grounded moment that shows Bieber can be “one of the guys,” or the beginning of all the fame going to his head. It sounds like it will be a fine line between Biebs staying a top the entertainment world or begging for change on the streets of Ontario, Canada. Bieber has the choice to be Antoine, Sebastian or Peyton. Only time will tell.