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Who the frack is Justin Bieber?

September 30, 2009

I believe Jesse posted a tidbit about this kid before, but let’s really get into this here.

We’ve all heard this story before: young Canadian gets discovered and plucked from small-town Ontario, packaged by the massive labels and becomes a pop-sensation. Except this isn’t Avril Lavigne. It’s Justin Bieber, a 15-year old kid from Stratford, Ontario who looks like a child model from a Consumer’s Distributing catalogue.

I’m not going to hate on this kid even though he’s essentially our Aaron Carter. I suffer from that Canadian inferiority complex where I tolerate (if not support) anything produced in our home and native land, even if it’s not of exceptional quality. Examples include Celine Dion, Roots clothing and clubbing baby seals.

Here are some random facts on Justin Bieber in point form:

  1. He was discovered on YouTube
  2. If you type “Justin” into the YouTube search, he is second in the autofill options behind only that Timberlake fellow
  3. He’s 15
  4. He’s being mentored by Usher
  5. He’s signed to Island records
  6. His single went platinum while he was at Canada’s Wonderland, where he tweeted a celebratory tweet then probably was turned away from riding Top-Gun because he’s too short.
  7. His album doesn’t drop for another several weeks

And you know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if he out-sold her. The really interesting aspect of this whole Biebermania however isn’t just how fast he’s blown up — that’s become part and parcel of the internet generation, viral phenomena and all.

What I find engrossing is that this kid, in my short term memory, is the first case of a YouTube talent crossing over to mainstream celebrity status. Yes, Sean Kingston and a few others were discovered on MySpace, but even they had to kind of earn their stripes. This Bieber kid was basically a case of some A&R guy calling his mom and saying “I saw your child on YouTube, I’m going to make him a star.”

We’ve known this was the future of pop-machinations for a long time. This is just the first time the process has seemed so blatant and strangely transparent; like the ubergloss of a Demi Lovato for example who was completely created by Disney, except without being able to hide the talent’s past.

He’s the real life version of the movie Josie and the Pussycats. Is YouTube fame sustainable? I guess we’re about to find out. Also, how many parents are already scheming of ways to turn their kids into viral video superstars?

My favourite part of the below video is imagining the epilogue, when all the parents come to pick up these underaged children from their wild text messaging party, then filing lawsuits at the obviously of-age party participants who creepily are having a good time instead of chaperoning.

Also, I am strangely uncomfortable seeing underage prepubescents chasing after each other. This video makes me feel dirty.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jessekg permalink*
    October 1, 2009 11:25 am

    ummm…….. wtf? I’ve never posted on this guy, but thanks. I’m still a bit baffled by it actually.

    on another note, speaking of youtube blow ups, there’s also that sliimy group, or maybe it’s slimy. Not sure. All i know is that it started on you tube, perez hilton is endorsing it, and it’s worse than this for all those reasons plus the fact that the music is un-listenable.

  2. Simon permalink*
    October 1, 2009 12:56 pm

    I swear someone posted a link to him playing Drake acoustic?

  3. anupa permalink*
    October 2, 2009 7:14 pm

    I posted that link! Thanks for answering my question: who the hell is Justin Bieber anyway? And there are tons of parents trying to turn their kids into stars via Youtube these days-just search “baby beyonce”!

  4. Rehana Hirjee permalink
    October 3, 2009 1:33 am

    Yo guy, i didn’t even read this yet and i’m already dying.
    okay i’m gonna read it now

  5. David Lipson permalink
    October 6, 2009 8:54 pm

    I heard Mos Def lost in a battle to this kid.

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