Justin Bieber is in defiant form in the November 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. "I don't give a f--k," he says, summing his personal mantra against the tide of opinion, critics, and haters.
Explaining, he adds,"Not 'I don't give a f--k' to just be reckless and do whatever, but 'I don't give a f--k what they say.'"
In response to those who think he is spinning out of control, Justin counters, "I know who I am and what I'm doing in my life and what I've accomplished and continue to accomplish as a performer, as a writer, as an artist, as a person, as a human being."
The 19-year-old's headlines took a distinctly adult turn on the recently wrapped Latin America leg of his Believe tour.
During that stint, the Canadian was seen coming out of a Brazil brothel, charged with vandalism by Rio police after photographs showed him spraying graffiti, pulled out of a performance almost one hour in due to food poisoning, and was accused of disrespecting the Argentine flag at his November 9 Buenos Aires concert.
Despite a pile-up of lawsuits, allegations, and ripe rumors, IQ notes mitigating reasons have been made for each. Bieber tells the magazine, "I'm happy with the man I'm becoming."
His reply could be taken as a response to recent quotes reportedly attributed to sources in his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez's camp which slammed the heartthrob's character.
Running alongside his eye-popping press, Justin has been enjoying more success with his "Music Mondays" series. Since early October, the teen has been releasing singles on iTunes every Monday at midnight, the latest, "PYD," is a duet with veteran Lothario R. Kelly.
Billed as autobiographical musical reflections of his year so far, Bieber's R&B-soaked songs have put the world on notice that is making the crossover to that genre --- and isn't looking back.
Telling THR, "PYD" is an attempt to create "a modern Boyz II Men sound," the teen admits to being "very influenced by black culture, but I don't think of it as black or white. 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."
While the media scrutiny shows no signs of abating, Bieber does have mentors --- and potentials --- queuing around the block.
Adam Levine, Mark Wahlberg, Oprah Winfrey, Rita Wilson (on behalf of husband Tom Hanks) and Eminem's manager (for the rapper) have contacted Justin's manager Scooter Braun, offering their pep talk services.
Will Smith, whose son Jaden is Bieber's pal, mentors the singer in weekly phone calls during which the pair discuss whatever's pressing.
Braun says his relationship with Justin strained this year, telling THR. "I saw the rebellion."
He reveals, "I saw our relationship being hurt. We were struggling in talking to each other because I wasn't having conversations about anything good anymore. It was constantly calling to say, 'No!'"
However, he is adamant that he and his protege will not only survive their present challenges, but thrive.
"Justin's not going to go crazy," he says. "He's not going to end up in rehab. He's not going to end up a statistic. Nine months ago, they said he lost his mind — he hasn't missed a show since."
As for Bieber, he jumped off Hawaii's Shipwreck Cliff on Kauai island on Wednesday to a perfect landing.
Whether the similarly bold leap he has taken in his stance with critics and grittier musical direction follows a similar fate, remains to be seen.
[Image via The Hollywood Reporter]