As an Internet writer, it's my job to have at least some kind of working knowledge of the stuff people are into these days, but sometimes, shit just escapes me. Justin Bieber is one of those things.
I know I'm supposed to inherently dislike Justin Bieber, lest I have my Internet comedy card revoked, but still, I'm not really sure why. Does his music suck? No idea. Is he a dick? Couldn't tell you. I've literally spent my entire life up to this moment completely devoid of any real knowledge of the kid. But that's all about to change.
Lock up your tweens, moms of the world. Because for the next five days, I'm living like a Justin Bieber fan. Here's hoping I don't get arrested.
Clearly, I need to get the dirt on Justin Bieber. I want to read about the hard scrabble youth spent toiling in daddy's saw mill and the wild nights snorting blow off of Usher's well-sculpted abs on the back of a tour bus.
According to Amazon.com, there are some books available that would propose to tell me all I need to know about the world's hottest and reportedly most obnoxious teen sensation, but this is no time to wait on Internet shipping. The public is fickle. By the time that book arrives they could have already moved on to thoughts of dangling Justin Bieber by his ankles from a hotel balcony like so many Vanilla Ice's before him.
A trip to Target yields two Bieber-centric magazines: Bop and M. Next it's on to Barnes and Noble in hopes of finding an actual biography. Instead, I just find another magazine that promises "the real life story." I buy it anyway.
Next, it's time to find some music. Because my strict sense of ethics and overbearing state of poverty forbid me from spending money on music, I instead opt for the Internet piracy route, knowing full well that after years of looting the Internet for countless gigabytes of tunes, this will likely be the one download that prompts the RIAA to toss a stun grenade through my window and sue me for $8.6 million in damages. But it's a risk I must take.
After compiling all the research materials necessary, it's time to bone up on Justin Bieber. Christ that came out awful. Learn, is what I mean. Study. Whatever.
Yesterday, I was completely dismayed to find that this young jerk has two full albums. I'm still hoping to get around to showering this week and this kid is cranking out albums every six hours. And now I have to listen to them. Fuck me. Here goes nothing.
I start with My World instead of My World 2.0 because I keep shit chronological whenever possible. Fortunately, the album only has seven songs on it. So I take it back, this kid is lazy as shit. He probably sleeps until noon in the summer and never cleans his room. What a dick.
So how's the album sound? Like the kind of thing R. Kelly would probably jerk it to while fantasizing about urinating on 14-year-old chicks on camera, that's what. It's the kind of pop/R&B concoction that is obnoxious enough in the hands of a 19-year-old girl, let alone a kid who my friend Wikipedia assures me was around 15 or so when the album was recorded. I'm not buying it. He sounds like a 12-year-old kid at best. Or maybe a really well cared for keytar played way up the neck. Have fun following that reference, Bieber fans! The songs themselves are littered with references to lost love and heartbreak and talk of his "favorite girl." How much ass is this kid crushing that he's already got a favorite girl out of "all the girls" he's "ever known"?
But hey, the kids love it. Teen hormones are a mad house. Also a mad house: my nerves. Because this shit is grating on them, and I'm only three songs in. The fourth song, "Bigger," I shit you not begins with some creep whispering the word "mafia." I don't even have the will to investigate why that may be. Maybe the mob gets the royalties from one song per album as protection money. That would be the shit.
Thankfully, the first album goes by rather quickly, what with only having seven songs and all. Good thing too, because it ended with some kind of Frankenstein like amalgam that sounded like "Love Fool" by The Cardigans had sex with "Tainted Love" and gave birth to a baby that speaks only in Autotune.
But the party is only halfway finished. The cleverly titled My World 2.0 is up next and kicks off with that "Baby" song that I somehow manage to hear once per day even if I spend the entire day in total silence. It features a guest verse from Ludacris. Way to keep it street, buddy.
"Somebody to Love" would sound perfect over the closing credits to Mannequin 6: The Reckoning. That movie doesn't exist and that sentence isn't very descriptive, but I think you know exactly the kind of song I'm speaking of. I hope you do, because I'm done talking about it.
The rest of the album keeps up at the same pace. Basically, the kind of shit kids go nuts over. By the time it's all over, I guess I understand why the music is so popular, but goddamn "Who Let the Dogs Out" was popular too. I never saw an army of 12-year-old girls lose their shit over the Baha Men. So I'm still at a loss. Maybe a little reading will help.
Having learned next to nothing after several hours spent celebrating the entire Bieber catalog, it's time to dive into the reading material. Here's what I found out, the results... probably won't shock you.
Right away, M brings the goods. Check it out.
Yep, it's an article all about what the kid's hair feels like. I'm already completely confident that I'd rather go back to listening to the albums including bonus tracks, studio outtakes and demos than to sift through this insanity. But I have a job to do. I'm here to find out everything I can about what the kids are into, and the kids are into Justin Bieber. And his fucking hair, apparently. By the way, sorry to keep you in suspense, the hair - it's soft. Take note for future reference.
M is proving to be ridiculously light in the way of information. But when it comes to fun, they know what people like! For example, check out this poster that allows you to fill in the talk bubble next to the Biebs head!
Pictured: Hours of fun.
I'm also treated to my first bit of real information on page 69 in the form of this chart that assures me that Justin Bieber is compatible with every chick that would ever purchase this magazine.
Judging from those results, I think I even have a shot with the kid. Don't tempt me with a good time, M!
Hopefully Bop will help get this teen pop education kicked into gear. Let's see what they have for me.
Right on, now we're learning some shit. For example, did you know Justin Bieber is a total fraud and Nick Cannon really needs a goddamn job?
If you're going to pass yourself off as a bowling pro, at least put your finger in the damn hole. Nobody bowls that way Bieber! FYI, telling a 16-year-old kid to "put their finger in the damn hole" is illegal in 38 states. The other 12, somehow, are all Alabama.
But the information really starts flowing with a section called "Justin A - Z." I've taken the liberty of summarizing some of the highlights. You're welcome.
Life Story Magazine
Life Story proved to be by far the biggest disappointment. It was mostly just a collection of all this same shit, except the entire magazine was dedicated strictly to Justin Bieber. So, basically, I could have saved myself 10 bucks and about two hours of reading and scanning by just buying that one. The rage now bubbling inside me at the realization that I'll never get this time back is only quelled by finding this picture, which strikes me as quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.
Presh. But I still have no clue what the kids see in this dude. Furthermore, I have no idea where to go from here.