For all intents and purposes, it appears that Justin Bieber is finally coming of age. Although he routinely appears in public with a pet monkey on his shoulder, it does seem that Justin is making a sincere effort to get the monkey of bad behavior off his back. Last week, Bieber was in the news as he was roasted by celebrities on Comedy Central. For the two hour duration of the Comedy Central version of the old Friar’s Club roast, Bieber took the mockery and light jabs in stride.
Roasts are usually opportunities for comedic and general celebrities, to lob as many often harsh crudities toward the roasted guest as their allotted time allows. This Comedy Central roast was no different, with guests ranging from Kevin Hart to a surprising appearance by Martha Stewart, who actually joked about her own prison time. Bieber then closed out the evening with a set of playful jabs at his roasters, and then offered somewhat of a mea culpa for his checkered youth antics. He showed poise and a good-natured attitude as he joined storied company like Charlie Sheen and even Donald Trump, as the target du-jour of the classic roast.
Perhaps the best reflection of Justin Bieber’s coming of age, is in the absence of run-ins with legal authorities in most recent history. From 2013 through 2014, Justin was constantly popping up in the news with arrests for driving under the influence, assault, drug possession (across the globe) and even drag racing on one occasion in a rented Lamborghini. There were multiple other occasions not specifically involving arrests, that still portrayed a laissez faire attitude about propriety and rules. These incidents included but were not limited to, public urination, vandalism and brawling. Justin included a nod to, and perhaps a justification for, this misbehavior as having been thrown into stardom at the age of 12 during his rebuttal section of the roast. He made a resounding attempt to appear self-aware and even apologetic of his past.
Interestingly, while dominating the 24 hour news cycle with misbehavior, Bieber has failed to bring any newly recorded music to fans, in the past three years of his burgeoning majority. That is about to change, as he finishes up a collaboration with esteemed producer Rick Rubin. Kanye West is also involved in the project which promises the most mature Justin Bieber sound to date. Rubin produced West’s hit record ‘Yeezus’ and brings an impressive history of freshness and relevance to his projects. Bieber reports that this recording will focus on growing up, even mentioning faith and life experiences playing a heavy role in the lyrics and songwriting. In regards to his blighted reputation as of late, he claims that he was in a dark place, and wants to tell the story of finding his way back to happiness through this release.
Being able to laugh at one’s self is certainly a step toward humility and maturity. With a new year, a new record and a self-deprecating sense of humor, it would appear that Bieber is finally coming of age.
By Chris Marion
Photo by Mattias Karlsson – Flickr License