Step 3: Understand That, Because of the Vicissitudes of Pop Stardom, Justin Bieber Will Implode Horrendously
As Cracked's very own Svengali Jack O'Brien recently pointed out, Justin Bieber has been bigger than Jesus for a few years now. And now that he's 18, his image is being recalibrated accordingly. For example, the video for his 2012 single "As Long as You Love Me" was about Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs beating the bubblegum out of the singer.
"Luda' never warned me about this. In fact, he spends most of our calls describing women's butts."
Bieber's getting older, and so is his audience. This presents a hurdle for the singer. Remember, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake transitioned into adult dominance by shedding the trappings of youth (re: their band mates). But think about the careers of solo stars like Britney Spears, Lil' Bow Wow, Jessica Simpson, and Jordy Lemoine.
You all remember Jordy, right?
If these singers weren't waylaid by tabloid weirdness or muscled out of the spotlight by younger artists, they were ultimately saddled with an audience who grew too old for tween pop and became more interested in funneling Franzia into their own tushes.
At the moment, Bieber seems to be following the same trajectory as the aforementioned singers, as he's currently enjoying a par-for-the-course marijuana scandal and complaining that the Grammys hate his music. But hey, imagine you're a teenager and several hundred million people have an opinion about you one way or the other. It'd be a miracle if your psyche wasn't utterly fucked.
PM Stephen Harper, Flickr
Seriously, this is a cry for help if we've ever seen one.
But what if Bieber bucks this trend? What if Biebermania continues unabated? What if his next album is just the Book of Revelation autotuned and the whore of Babylon begins riding on Bieb's back? Easy. We'll have to bring back Babaluga.
Who the hell is Babaluga? Why, they're only the most awkward teen pop band in human history.
After The Gold Rush
Behold your saviors.
Step 4: Babaluga Must Become the Most Popular Band on Earth
Here's what we know about Babaluga. They were a German-Italian children's disco-pop outfit formed in 1985 consisting of a multinational gang of 13-year-olds. After releasing all of two songs ("My Paradise" and "Beach Party"), the band broke up in 1986 when its members began having trouble with school. Babaluga was primarily formed to market garish children's wear, and their haircuts were topiaries of confusion, even by 1980s standards.
"We're like the Brady kids, but more carny."
And most importantly, if we watch Babaluga's few live performances and music videos, it's painfully clear that nobody groomed Babaluga for pop stardom. Just watch the video for "My Paradise" (aka 50 percent of their discography). The choreography consists solely of swaying and panicked stares. It's unlikely anybody understands English, but each member gets a rap breakdown. These poor kids don't even know what country they're in. It's glorious.
Here's another performance from a German-language TV show. They've received 15 minutes of dance training from the janitor backstage, but he forgot to teach them to lip sync.
Finally, here's Babaluga just fucking standing there. Their fear is palpable. There are some halfhearted efforts to improvise choreography, but these amount to "walking forward" and "sitting down." In the final seconds, the camera pans out, and we realize that Babaluga has been hopelessly flailing before an audience of at least 80 people.
You know how Justin Bieber's stage persona is that of a hyper-idealized, wholly unrealistic man-teen? Babaluga is the opposite. They completely (and unintentionally) epitomize the shitty, embarrassing weirdness of being a teenager. When you were their age, every day brought new, exciting ways to feel mortified. And what could be more depressing than trying to be a pop star with no training, just to sell fuchsia cheetah-print chinos?
That dog fired his agent seconds after the photo shoot.
Heck, "My Paradise" even sounds like a dirge, and the chorus -- "There are no losers in my paradise!" -- is well-meaning and utopian enough to get Babaluga swirlies every day until graduation.
The universe is a dichotomous place. Justin Bieber might be the Antichrist, but Babaluga is definitely the Antibieber. I have no idea what happened to Babaluga after they broke up. Maybe they grew up, maybe they sewed their scapulae together like some horrible human rat king and are preying on hikers in the Italian Alps. Either way, the Internet's silent.
What I do know is that if everybody suddenly starts listening to Babaluga's brand of clumsy, droning, half-mumbled Italo-disco, this could very well annihilate glossy teen pop as we know it. Record companies would take notice, and Justin Bieber would have to surgically remove his inner ear and smear Nutella on his face every 10 minutes to stay ahead of the curve. Of course, this stratagem could have unintended consequences for other musical genres, but that's a risk we'd have to be willing to take.
By 2015, every metal band will sound like this.
If Cyriaque Lamar were an adult film star, his handle would be Chesty Biblioteca. You can find him on Twitter.