In Defense Of... Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend"
In the wee hours of Monday morning, Justin Bieber's new single, produced by Mike Posner and Mason Levy, found its way onto the Internet, causing numerous belieber's heads to explode upon first listen. In a matter of hours, "Boyfriend" reached the top spot on the iTunes charts with the help of one of the most motivated fan bases in all of music. Perhaps "motivated" is an understatement. By morning, he was making interview rounds at notable radio stations, unconvincingly attempting to persuade gaggles of teenage girls on their way to school that he'd like the opportunity to be their boyfriend too.
He's re-fluffing his bangs for you, girl.
Sonically, however, the Bieb's new single is a departure from his sensationally sweet pop ballads, signaling he's no longer the prepubescent tween playing guitar furiously on YouTube while attempting to keep his hair out of his eyes. In fact, now that Justin is of legal age, he's able to vote, purchase cigarettes and buy $5 scratch-off cards that hardly anyone ever wins. Ah, to be young again.
On "Boyfriend," he takes a risk he doesn't have to by rapping in a circa 2005 Ying Yang Twins cadence, which will capture the young hip-hop demographic that previously labeled Bieber as "music for babies."
In the second verse, he raps with swaggadocio: "I don't ever want to fight/ Yeah you already know/ I'ma make you shine bright like you're laying in the snow/ Brrr." It's an apparent nod to Southern rap star Gucci Mane, known best for promoting general thuggery and tattooing an ice cream cone on his face. Further, Bieber adds, "Tell me what you like girl/ Tell me what you don't/ I can be your Buzz Lightyear/ Fly you across the globe." #cooltoystorybro
And that hook. Oh, that guitar-driven hook. I can already see young, impressionable girls hanging on his every word, swooning as he tells them all the innocent things he'd like to do in the event they were to accept his harmless advances. My repressed inner-teenage girl can hardly resist signing along. Color me a belieber. In fact, I'm not ashamed to admit that my iTunes play count for "Boyfriend" has already exceeded 50 spins.
While critics will likely dismiss the single as a fledgling attempt at rapping, the song has the potential to reach an entirely new audience, as Bieber reintroduces his sound to the general public.