Exactly a month ago Justin Bieber announced his new single "Heartbreaker" was "coming soon."
More has been revealed since then and now. But the immediate news on the single is: "It's gonna happen suddenly."
That was the caption to Bieber's Independence Day Instagram and it's pretty self-explanatory.
While the hype now surrounding "Heartbreaker's" imminent debut cannot in any way be described as sudden, clearly the singer is talking about the actual drop date.
On June 4, the 19-year-old unveiled simple but effective artwork --- white back, grey Eros, purple, smudged heart --- via Instagram. A few trending topics later and "Heartbreaker" hysteria began.
A serious level of anticipation for what will be the first new music from Bieber since 2012's Believe and 2013's Believe Acoustic (if you ignore the upcoming Tyga ft. "Wait For A Minute" and Asher Roth's "Actin' Up," which you'd be unwise to as both tracks have tasty moments), has been building in the blogosphere.
Fan fever is so high that within days of Bieber's unveiling the Internet was awash with fake VEVO, YouTube, and Tumblr accounts, all hosting a supposed leaked "Heartbreaker."
Social media omniscience meant Bieber soon got wind of this, and days later he teased fans with a treasure hunt, telling his legion: "Heartbreaker is on the Internet somewhere find it."
However, as the canny Canadian already knew, all roads led to "What's Right, What's Wrong?" --- a song by an artist called Khalil Underwood. On June 11, an indignant Underwood posted a half-rant/ half-explanation to YouTube revealing users had downloaded his 2012 song from one of his mixtapes and re-uploaded it with Bieber's single artwork.
The hilarious clip seen here. In it, Underwood asks Bieber for his help to clear up the confusion, and in hindsight it seems the 'hunt for Heartbreaker' task was his tongue-in-cheek way of doing just that.
Meanwhile, the most recent media reports on the singer have included:
A rehab rumor (later denied), a paparazzo-led lawsuit arising from a 2012 allegation but with an added Bruce Lee twist, a reported lifetime ban from Las Vegas Indoor Skydiving, a video that appeared to show Bieber and a waitress in said skydiving venue getting affectionate, a private jet kept waiting in Miami over an alleged monkey search, mass speculation on whether or not Bieber was stoned in his first instagram video, lots more videos, speculation about a female seen coming off a tour bus in Las Vegas, a possible sighting of Selena Gomez out with the singer at the movies, and a "fake" photoshoot rider that portrayed Bieber as pop's answer to Kim Jong-Un.
This list is by no mean exhaustive.
On July 2, just 24 hours after posting a overwhelmingly strong statement of support for the boy he's guided for six years, manager Scooter Braun told MTV News the concept and release of Bieber's new album would be "very, very unique" and done in a way "unlike we've seen before from him."
The reason? The new songs will come out "in a different way than the normal album" to allow Bieber to "express himself in music while dealing with so many different bulls**t stories every single day."
On the same day, Bieber posted four tweets expressing a mix of frustration and zen over the press he receives. One of them read: "Interesting how some people in the media wanna take shots at me for no reason. all good. keeping it positive over here. all about the music."
Braun's statements are big build for Bieber's new material. Whether that's such a good strategy in the current climate where a rapacious press is evidently keen to criticize the pop star over quibbles such as the way he dresses or drinks water --- I kid you not --- remains to be seen.
The album that's coming, Bieber's fourth and referred to by the teen as his #musicjournals, will mostly comprise the songs (apparently over 250 and counting) he wrote during his Believe world tour. But it could also include tracks written off it.
The expectation, and need, for the singer to deliver something amazing is huge. And if ever there was a time for Bieber to dig deep and pull together the ideas he's been fleshing into a genuinely classic but progressive album that phoenixes him out of negative perceptions with truly glorious art — it's now.
But a hint of the music to come, at least to Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam and Global Grind shareholder, may provide hope for narrative and game changing possibilities.
Oh sh... @justinbieber. New sh../Sounds like a young cool jodeci/prince/ blue eyed soul- hip h/p/op singer wowow
— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) May 26, 2013