Ice Cube weighs in on Justin Bieber’s yesteryear N-word videos.
Ice Cube is the latest celebrity to be asked for an opinion on Justin Bieber’s N-word videos from yesteryear.
Considering the last time we had occasion to put Cube’s name in the same sentence as the Biebs, the rapper-actor was slamming him as a “f**k up” and “young, rock ‘n’ roll rich kid who’s able to do whatever he wants” when a magazine dared to compare Justin to anarchic punk artists — lets just say we were wondering how NSFW the former NWA rapper’s view on this hot topic would get.
Nor, did Ice Cube talk about “all the scrutiny” that Bieber endures as Trey Songz did, or – not surprisingly – refer to the singer as “family” as Young Money Entertainment and boxer Floyd Mayweather have.
But, while Ice Cube firmly called out Bieber’s past racially inappropriate comments, he didn’t annihilate the singer.
“It’s really on him,” Cube told MTV News. “You gotta always be in tune with what you sayin’ and who you talkin’ about.”
Adding, “What might be fun and games to you could really, really hurt and affect somebody else.”
Last Sunday, the UK’s The Sun leaked the first racial slur video. It showed Bieber as a 15-year-old telling a racist joke about black people and chainsaws with the repeated N-word as its punchline. Within hours, the singer and his team issued a full, earnest-sounding apology.
As per TMZ, the first “racist” video has reportedly been used to extort Justin and his camp over the years and they’ve been terrified about its exposure. Small wonder, given the orgy of equal parts gleeful, (we’re looking at you, Drake “Troll” Bell), angry, shocked, disgusted, and disappointed reaction from media, fans and wider internet.
After a generally well received first apology, the world was just about beginning to talk about the idea of moving on from Bieber’s first clip when a second video was posted three days later by TMZ (the singer’s camp asked them to), hours after The Sun’s written report which didn’t yet include video for legal reasons.
In it, a 14-year-old Justin was seen singing “One Less Lonely N*****” to his Usher-penned 2009 hit “One Less Lonely Girl,” and including a reference to race hate group the Klu Klux Klan. Bieber apologized after it leaked.
As Billboard put it, watching the 30-second clip is like seeing “the singer unwittingly destroy his innocent persona with blunt force.”
It also effectively kills any possibility that Bieber can ever sing “One Less Lonely Girl” live again, which is itself symbolic of the ending of a years-long tradition where one female fan gets to be serenaded onstage at the Canadian’s shows.
It’s a full stop on an era.
“You live and learn,” Cube told Horowitz.
However, he did add that as most of Justin’s present-day friends are black he can’t have “too many issues” now as a 20-year-old.
Which, to cut through Gonzo for a moment, is surely the point to take away from all this raking up of past childhood ignorance, non?
Ice Cube’s comments come after the supportive crop mentioned above, and a critical stand from Lupe Fiasco who also spoke to MTV this week.
Lupe compared Bieber’s 14-15 year-old racially unaware comments to what Page Six noted as the 80-year-old, former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s “history of alleged discriminatory practices.”
“Donald Sterling, did he say the N-word? Justin Bieber said it, but it’s cool?” Lupe replied, when asked whether people should be offended by Bieber’s remarks.
“There’s already people coming to his defense,” Fiasco griped, later adding, “I don’t think anyone should be profiting off racism.”
“Donald Sterling made a billion dollars. You know, sold the team, and made a billion dollars. And then, you just have somebody who just made a very racist joke about it. “
He added: “I wonder if Justin Bieber is going to get the same treatment as Donald Sterling. I don’t think he will. It’s an absurd twist of fate. Absurd things. I guess that’s how that universe puts things out.”