Barbosa: Saving Justin Bieber’s career


If you’re relatively “up to date” on things that don’t matter, you know about the photos of Justin Bieber allegedly smoking marijuana and the nonsensical blathering that quickly followed in the media. When the ethical journalism pioneers at TMZ broke the “story” a few weeks ago, a gaggle of internet trolls started the horrendous “#cutforbieber” trend on Twitter, posing as dedicated “beliebers” vowing to employ self-harm in protest of the pop star’s supposed affinity for smoking weed. This turned an otherwise unsurprising photo leak — a child star doing drugs, whodathunk it? — into a worldwide debacle that had world leaders and CEOs lying sleepless in bed each night for weeks.

Now, to be fair, there really hasn’t been any solid confirmation that Bieber was actually getting high — or, in other words, coughing uncontrollably because it’s his first time — on the evening the photos were taken. But the slow-burning object stowed between his fingers looks like a blunt, which just so happens to be rolled appropriately thin enough for a pop star sporting a pompadour haircut.
That’s sufficient evidence for most people who feel as if they’re obligated to offer up nuggets of sage-like advice, such as “Stop hanging out with those guys in the flat-billed hats,” and “Go to rehab.” Most of them offer it with the best of intentions: They want “Biebs” to continue being a “good role model,” which one apparently can accomplish by writing songs for seventh graders to awkwardly grind dance to in dimly-lit basements. They want Bieber to stay focused on his hits — the ones involving pop charts, not a bong.

That’s good advice, really. However, if Bieber liked listening to good advice, he probably wouldn’t have sparked up a J while some random groupie with a phone started snapping pictures right in front of his face. Nonetheless, he still probably needs some advice on how to move on, but don’t bank on him opting for the good advice.

So, in case he needs it, here’s some bad advice: Why not use this situation as a stepping stone into the lazy, yet lucrative genre of modern “stoner music?”

It shouldn’t be a hard transition, which is ideal if you’re going to be getting baked all day, anyway. They don’t make the stoner-favorites like they used to; you used to have to be musically talented and innovative like Grateful Dead, Sublime, Cypress Hill and other stoner-music pioneers. Nowadays, all you really have to do is latch onto the coattails of the successful artists who came before you and essentially do whatever they did, but with different lyrics. You want to try your hand at today’s stoner rap, Biebs? As long as you mention that you’re stoney baloney once every two sentences, you can get away with rapping about the debt ceiling and high schoolers will still hotbox their ‘96 Camrys to it every day. Your stellar record sales won’t miss a beat.

The persona of a stoner music sensation is a lot less complex these days, too. Take a bunch of black-and-white photos with a stare that says “I’m rich, bro,” while a robust, mushroom-shaped plume of smoke billows slowly from your lips like you’re Notorious B.I.G. Then, start performing at Bonnaroo each year and make sure you get charged with marijuana possession at least once a year — apparently, if you’re not on probation these days, you’re not a legit stoner rapper.

The only real way that can go wrong is if you violate your probation and have to do a few months in prison. You’re a celebrity, though, and they can’t really throw you in with the rest of the ruffians, so it should be a cakewalk. When a reporter comes to interview you, just say you’re working on a new record and it’ll automatically become the “most anticipated record of the year.” Worked for Lil’ Wayne; his first post-prison album in 2010 was garbage, yet he still cashed in.

Your new fans won’t forget about you, either. “#FreeBieber” will probably trend on Twitter every day until your release, and believe me, that’s a far better hashtag than “#cutforbieber.”

Barbosa is a junior majoring in journalism from Leawood. For more hilarity, follow him on Twitter

AJ Barbosa is a journalism major from Leawood. Read more from .

  • Updated Jan. 24, 2013 at 10:56 am