Love him or hate him, you better get used to him because Justin Bieber isn't going away anytime soon.
For years, I too thought there was no way the teen-pop star would ever amount to, musically anyway, more than just that. Within the past year, however, I've found myself drifting somewhere between the extremes of the Bieliebers and Bieber-bashers. I'm not claiming to like his tunes (I've yet to hear a single song I actually enjoyed), but where my stance on his music has remained grounded, I do have newfound respect for the young Canadian.
Where most teen-pop idol careers slowly fade to obscurity at puberty, Bieber has quietly begun a musical transformation that should set him up within the next few years to be viewed as an actual adult musician. Now, I'm not saying he's a man yet, (his baby-face should still point to that) but in a society where people seem to love bashing young, good-looking guys who find early success, I have to credit Bieber for the way he's handled himself despite his many detractors.
While similar-sounding acts have already begun their decline (i.e. Jonas Brothers), Bieber has proved his star power is more along the lines of a young Justin Timberlake than a Joe Jonas. The more I think about it, their young careers seem pretty comparable and it wouldn't surprise me if we'll see Bieber claim a similar level of career success following his teen-pop days.
Bieber with Kanye in studio
While the music transformation is just slowly taking form, the signs are already evident. Now, while I'm not saying there's a hardcore Bieber making his way out of young Justin, I have to admit the kid is a lot more ballsy than I ever thought.
I've never looked at Bieber and thought 'that's hip-hop!' but Biebs has shown an affinity for the rap game over his career and proved (whether they're written or not is pointless) that his rap skills aren't as lame as you would anticipate. I was pretty shocked when I first saw his radio freestyles for NY's Hot 97
and LA's Power 106
(you can click on each for a link to the videos), but given the fact that the kid has been dabbling with music since he was really young, it's not completely unrealistic that he has multi-faceted musical aspirations.
With young Bieber recently announcing he's been in the studio working with Kanye West
to help take his music to new directions (he's also been linked to names like Drake, Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator), I wouldn't be shocked if some of his new material will be really
I'm still not claiming to enjoy it, but I have to respect Bieber 2.0 for the creativity and forward-thinking he's shown to attempt to take his career to the adult musician stage. Just don't call me a Bielieber.