Since last year Justin Bieber has been quietly working within the confines of his stately pleasure dome located deep within the heart of a high security mountain enclave on his hotly anticipated third album Believe. In the studio adjacent to his top secret unpasteurized milk bar, Bieber is hosting the crème de crème of the music industry’s hip hop elite in an effort to reinvent himself as the crown prince of emo rap.
From the sugary sweet heartbreak of Baby to his pimped out version of Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire with Usher, Bieber rose to fame on the backs of adoring teenage girls and lip-smacking cougars all around the world, but with his 18th birthday now behind him, and the ambiguous paternity and celebrity stabbing rumors that signal adulthood starting to surface, for how much longer can he get away with the choir boy routine?
Fortunately the crack team of style whisperers surrounding the Biebz is hot on the case. Building on the success he had with his much publicized “Swagger Coach” in learning how to talk and dress like his more urban contemporaries, Team Bieber has taken some solid first steps toward recording music that men might actually listen to.
Justin Bieber's Top Secret Milk Bar
Following in the footsteps of another ‘tween superstar turned global phenomenon named Justin, Bieber hired the producers of Justin Timberlake’s two highly successful post-N’Sync solo albums Justified and FutureSex/LoveSounds. As if having Pharell and Timbaland onboard wasn’t enough, Bieber actually went out and got Justin Timberlake himself to join him in the studio.
Like rats gravitating toward the smell of cheese, the biggest hip hop producers in the game know the sound of the gravy train rolling into town. Hot on the heels of three of last year’s biggest albums, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and Drake have also been brought in to sprinkle gold dust all over the new record.
Not wanting to alienate any potential demographic, including those that made him famous, Bieber is hedging his bets with appearances by country pop demi-goddess Taylor Swift and the chameleonic euro-trash-pop of Ke$ha.
In the hype-storm building up to the release, Bieber collaborator Mike Posner felt compelled to tell MTV News, "I think we've all known Justin since he was 13, and that's not the kid I was in the studio with anymore. He's an 18-year-old. He skateboards with Lil Wayne and hangs out with Lil Twist. Those are his homeys. And he listens to hip-hop, and he's a really cool kid. He's not a corny guy."
Early lyrics from the album’s first single "Boyfriend" like “I could be your Buzz Lightyear/fly across the globe” are about as hip hop as vanilla ice cream. Even if Bieber’s handlers fail to make him all things to all people, surely the swagger equivalent of the 1992 US Men’s Olympic Dream Team will be able to bring corny back for 2012.
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