Now that Justin Bieber has put out a track that hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the entertainment community at large has been gracious enough to halt its collective verbal immolation of the young pop star. Case in point: Vice, a famously subversive media outlet that takes every opportunity to challenge the status quo, has continually celebrated the “Where Are Ü Now” singer’s recent releases in articles on its Thump channel – and has all but deified him in a recent interview on its i-D fashion channel.
When you cut through the ornate narrative, though, a couple of juxtaposing themes present themselves in Bieber’s quotes. On one hand, he attributes the success of “Where Are Ü Now” to a higher power, saying:
“I completely see that as being God. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to all this stuff, and then the direction that it went in? That was definitely God. Because you never know when you have a hit.”
On the other, though, he admits to smoking marijuana in no discreet terms:
“Of course, dude. You just figure out what you want to be and who you don’t want to be. You have all these questions and you start answering these questions… I mean, honestly, it’s just about perception. At the end of the day, there are people who don’t think that’s good. And if they don’t feel that’s good then I don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. So I’m not going to put it in their face. You’ll never see me smoking. Because that is not who I am. If it’s something I do then it’s something I do, but it’s not who I am and what I want to put on blast for the world to see. Like, who’s Snoop Dogg? That’s the dude who smokes a lot of weed. That’s become his identity almost. And I don’t want my identity to be anything but who I am and what my music is portraying me to be.”
Then again, anyone who doesn’t still adopt a Reefer Madness rationale on casual controlled substance use will acknowledge that there are certainly much worse things a troubled pop star could be doing with his time than smoking weed – and while this might be giving Bieber too much credit (if his usual lackadaisical demeanor is any indicator), perhaps he subscribes to a more agnostic viewpoint on spiritual matters that doesn’t necessarily denounce his drug use.
Either way, Justin Bieber‘s new album, Purpose, comes out tomorrow. Check back then for our full review.