Miley Cyrus credits herself for putting twerking on the map, and now Justin Bieber is giving himself two pats on the back for making “Black culture” trendy. (These two must be taking notes from the same “please have several seats” book!)
The Biebs recently opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about his personal style and he said he conveniently takes tips from hip-hop culture.
“I’m very influenced by black culture, but I don’t think of it as black or white,” he said. “It’s not me trying to act or pose in a certain way. It’s a lifestyle — like a suaveness or a swag, per se. But I don’t really like to say the word [‘swag’] anymore. It’s kind of played out.”
The lengthy interview also featured remarks from Justin’s manager Scooter Braun, who said Drake and Will Smith are like his Black big brothers.
Drake always is first to react to a TMZ Bieber headline. “He’ll text me, like, ‘What the hell is going with this? I’m pissed. I’m calling him right now. I’m about to go in on him,’ ” reveals Braun. “Drake is like a big brother to Justin. And Justin really looks up to Drake. They have an extremely special relationship.”
But the most present mentor is Will Smith. [His manager, Scooter Braun] tells of a particularly tough time for Bieber around the time he returned from his world tour in May that prompted the movie star to drive to Bieber’s house and pull him out of bed for a three-hour talk. Bieber’s reaction, according to Braun: “He said, ‘Man, that makes me feel so loved. I woke up, and there’s Will Smith, one of, if not the, biggest movie stars on the planet. He took time out of his day for me.’ ”
Now, Bieber and Smith have a weekly call to go over any potential issues, emotional or otherwise. (Scientology has never been discussed.) At the same time, Braun adds of Smith, “He’s telling me: ‘Justin’s got to go through it. You can’t stop him from going through it. That’s youth in itself. He’s a young man who’s growing up, and that’s what makes him interesting and relatable. Otherwise, he’d be some kind of weird robot.”
And to add icing to the cake, the Canadian teen star even compared himself to Michael Jackson for a quick moment.
“Michael Jackson didn’t do Off the Wall until he was about 23,” he says of the King of Pop’s breakout 1979 solo album. “Bad, not until he was, like, 25 [Jackson was 29]. I have all the time in the world,” he declares of his future seminal third album.
Read THR’s full feature story here and tell us what you think about Justin Bieber’s fascination with all things “Black” below.