Justin Bieber and Chris Brown, two of the most polarizing artists in contemporary pop/R&B, can at least count on LL Cool J as someone who understands their struggles.
The 46-year-old star had wise words to offer the two artists in a interview with The Grio after playing Miami’s Jazz in the Garden Festival last weekend.
“That’s about maturity. Sometimes when you’re a young kid with a lot of money and bunch of crazy friends around you, things happen. It takes a while to become a man and there really is a difference between a man and boy and it’s not just physical.”
The hip-hop veteran added, “It takes time to become a man.”
While LL managed to steer a safe course through typical temptations such as drugs, crime and fast women when he made his name in the 80s music scene, he insists he knows what Bieber and Brown are going though.
“You can’t expect a nineteen, twenty-year-old with $20 million to just be a man because they have money. Money does not make you a man,” he notes.
“You’ll just be a rich boy. I’m a little more lenient on them in my judgment, because I’ve been there, done that. But you gotta give people an opportunity to grow.”
It’s an insightful view.
Both Chris and Justin entered the music industry as children and haven’t had an opportunity to simply socialize as anything but famous stars for much of their youth.
Distortions in behavior are well-trodden celebrity footsteps in these scenarios.
Philip Patson, a Kiwi author, counsellor and social worker, agrees:
“The blatant exploitation of child celebrities by the music, film and television industry has never sat well with me.”
“Michael Jackson is a classic example of what happens when children are exposed to the crazy hype of modern entertainment from too early an age.”
Of Bieber, Patson adds,
“Let’s have a bit of compassion and generosity with these kids. No other 19-year-old boy would be deported for speeding on drugs and alcohol at 4 am.”
“I’m not condoning Justin’s behaviour and I know he’s considered a role model for kids. But he didn’t set out to be the model teenager — that’s a by-product of his fame, which was engineered by adults.”
What do you think of LL Cool J’s views on Brown and Bieber?
Add your voice in comments below.
[Image via Instagram]