Justin Bieber embraced Yeezus at a listening party on Friday night.
The album, you understand, not the artist behind it. Kanye West himself, was off comforting Kim Kardashian as they prepared for the imminent arrival — and now arrived — child of Kimye.
But back to Bieber.
The 19-year-old “Baby” singer, whose love of hip-hop has long been a part of his soundchecks, shows, interviews and rap offerings, showed up to Hollywood’s Milk Studio’s with rappers Lil Twist, Tyler, The Creator, and reportedly about 8 others in tow, including his security team.
From the clip below, which shows a tiny reveal of Bieber getting his party on, it’s clear the pop star got totally into Yeezus’ 10-track playlist.
And going by some of the reviews of West’s experimental, at times discordant, explicit, always challenging, provocative and personal album — that’s no mean feat.
Guests at the reportedly noisy throwdown were also treated to a debut of West’s American Pyscho-inspired short film to trail Yeezus, which features Jonathan Cheban (Kim’s best friend) and Scott Disick (Kourtney Kardashian’s boyfriend).
The clip, which was was projected onto the studio’s outside wall, is a riff on the “It’s Hip to Be Square” axe scene in the original film. The lines about Huey Lewis and the News are swapped out for Yeezus references.
Perhaps because of the hysterical coverage that follows Bieber, whether it be his clothes choices, comments, and actual or alleged activities, it seems the teen heartthrob found resonance in West’s speak-to-power record.
While some of it themes the African-American experience as well as topics such as politics, taboos such as inter-racial relationships, modern interpretations of slavery and racially motivated killings, the album’s parallel currents may have appealed to the Canadian.
Indeed, it says something about Yeezus that the lighter moments of the leaked album — all industrial landscapes, erratic time-signatures and fury — covers failed relationships, non-conformity, media judgment with its often blatant ‘stay in your lane’ racial narratives, and the corroding effects of celebrity particularly when it’s turned against a celebrity; all things both West and Bieber know a little something about.
At some point along his triple evented Friday Bieber tweeted West, writing:
Fact. @kanyewest new album is the truth.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 15, 2013
It’s interesting to see Bieber’s metamorphosis as a young adult wearing his hip-hop leanings boldly, alongside his enthusiasm for R&B, soul and pop. A deluge of daily tweets from the teen singer about the new music he’s working on, seems evidence of a strong motivation to prove the Billboard booers and amassed doubters wrong.
Undeniably, where he goes next musically in the weeks and months to come is critical to his career.
The once mop-topped darling of middle America moms and the tween universe is growing up, as too are Bieber’s fans. Leading the way, then, for most media outlets’ peculiar obsession with fashioning negative headlines out of any rumor doing the rounds, whether true or not.
Check out clips from the Yeezus party and the original American Psycho film below. West’s album is officially available from June 18.
[Image via Enstarz]