Is Swag Overload Where Justin Bieber Went Wrong?
Pop superstardom is a rare space that the majority of the population will never have the chance to enter. Along with that fame comes an extremely high level of scrutiny, amplified by the prevalence of blogs and social media. Add youth to the equation and we have the recipe for a potential disaster.
Bieber Is A Douchebag
Over the past year, Justin Bieber has experienced the negative side effects of fame with a long stretch of what is best described as douchebag tomfoolery. Displeasure with his behavior has even reached as far as President Obama’s desk; over 100,000 Americans have signed an online petition on the White House website calling for Bieber’s deportation, stating that he is “not only threatening the safety of our people but at terrible influence on our nation’s youth.” The nation’s ire towards Bieber is beautifully summed up in this clip. How did Bieber go from beloved teen idol to a polarizing figure that has citizens calling for his arrest and deportation?
Bieber Was Made Into a Douchebag
I theorize that it is at least partially the result of a business/image experiment although highly successful on a financial level; it has turned Bieber into an entitled a**hole with no regard for the law, and no one to check him.
Towards the end of 2010 maybe early 2011, Bieber’s team consisting, of R&B singer Usher and manager Scooter Braun, decided to bring in someone to help Justin make the transition from teeny bopper darling to full blown international icon. Enter swagger coach Ryan Good.
A Swagger Coach? WTF?
Although his official title was road manager, Good’s job was to style Bieber, be his confidant and teach him how to carry himself in order to attract the ladies. The Kansas City Star quoted Bieber saying “I have a swagger coach that helps me and teaches me different swaggerific things to do.” Hilarious, one could slowly see changes in Bieber as he went morphed from his adorable man bangs to the douchey Vanilla Icey/Johnny Bravo coiffure we know him for today. There is also the saluting, shoulder dropping and diddy bopping that has become standard Bieber fare.
We’ve Seen This Before
Although swagger is something I think should come naturally, I understand the business value in teaching a young white male the traits and styles more traditionally associated with black artists. Think Elvis Presley via Chuck Berry or Little Richard, Justin Timberlake via Michael Jackson, even Miley Cyrus via Rihanna. These presentational tweaks can turn an already talented artist into a complete juggernaut. I should note that swagger coach Ryan Good is indeed a white man, but the things he taught Bieber can’t be picked up at the country club if you get my meaning. The Bieber swag has since taken on a life of it’s own; Coupled with some lousy additions to his entourage, the Bieber train has taken an ominous turn.
Around the same time Ryan Good entered his life, Bieber came in contact with YMCMB rapper Lil Twist and his younger brother Lil Za (The Lils). On paper this duo from Texas are rappers, but they haven’t released much music with Bieber or on their own despite living with him. They are what we refer to in the hip-hop world as weed carriers. If Bieber was to get pulled over or have his house raided by police, and they find drugs, it’s one of the Lils who will be going to jail. This is an unwritten rule of the entourage, the golden goose can’t go to jail because the party will be over, and the entourage can’t function without the moneyman. The Lils have taken the brunt of the blame for Bieber’s deplorable behavior; though I’m sure Bieber is capable of being a douchebag all by his lonesome. Swagger coach Ryan Good has since left the Bieber camp to “move onto bigger and better things”. My guess is that he realized he created a monster and wanted to separate himself from the all out fuckery that has become synonymous with the Bieber entourage.
Bieber and the Lils have been smoking, drinking, speeding, and threatening neighbors, a paparazzo was struck and killed chasing who he thought was Bieber in his Fisker Karma. It ended up being Lil twist borrowing the wheels. Police recently executed a felony search warrant on Bieber’s home seeking evidence from an egging incident on his neighbor’s house. Cops found nothing but a small amount of drugs, for which Lil Za was arrested. I doubt Lil Za paid for the drugs (weed carrier). His most recent run-ins with the law include an alleged DUI in Miami, and an assault on a limo driver in Toronto. Oddly enough, out of all of Bieber’s shenanigans the incident I have the biggest problem with is when he urinated in a mop bucket in a restaurant. Come on son, you need your ass kicked for that one. Some poor bastard has to clean that up, and despite you being a big star, nobody wants your piss (outside of maybe a few freaky fetishists). It doesn’t get more dickish than that.
Deport His Ass
Should Bieber be deported for his alleged crimes? No. There are plenty of 18-19 year olds doing everything he’s doing and probably worse on a daily basis. His misdeed are simply magnified due to his status. Our nation’s youth have plenty of negative influences with or without Bieber. Besides, his crimes don’t fit the criteria for deportation under federal law.
Somebody Help His Ass
Why doesn’t someone stage an intervention? Yes men surround Bieber. He’s a nine-figure cash machine and nobody wants to risk their livelihood by confronting an emotionally volatile teenager and risk being thrown from the money train. Where are his parents? They seem more like friends to him. Technically he’s over eighteen and can do what he wants. Besides, their asses are firmly planted on the money train as well.
He’s Just A Kid
All in all this could just be growing pains for the Biebs. Is it a phase in the maturation process, or the beginning of something much darker? Either way he needs to take a page out of the Justin Timberlake playbook. You can have the swagger without unnecessary nonsense. On the one hand, the arrogant carefree attitude that accompanied the swaggerific things he’s been exposed to is hurting him in the court of public opinion. On the other hand, some feel that no press is bad press. The Beliebers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I just don’t want to see the young kid ruin what he’s got going for himself. He’s an aggravated assault away from being deported or performing Boyfriend for a room full of convicts. Get it together Biebs.