Hit Justin Bieber with your best shot. The Bieb proved that he could roll with the punches in a recent interview for Complex, both figuratively and fake-literally, as he consented to both a full, relatively in-depth discussion with the Mag (even without Scooter at one point!), and to a cover shoot concept that had him getting pummeled bloody by a series of bare fists while dressed as a ring ref. Here are some of the gory results:
It's a great idea for a Bieber photo spread, and kudos to the
kid man for being game for it, but the interview itself is almost as compelling. It's long, but we've parsed it for some of the more interesting chestnuts, so...you're welcome.
- Justin is the Police Academy sound-effect guy of rap. "'Yo, I can rap anyone, like perfect. Watch me do Drizzy'...He does a flawless Drake impersonation, with perfect accent and flow. He follows that with verses from Eminem, Biggie, and 2Pac. After Jay-Z’s 'Big Pimpin’ verse, he finishes with an impersonation of Nicki Minaj, complete with exaggerated facial expressions. 'I love how scary the faces she makes are,' he says with a laugh."
- Justin raps on new single "Boyfriend." "Tell me what you like, dear/Tell me what you don’t/I could be your Buzz Lightyear/Fly across the globe/You don’t even need to fight, dear/You already know/I can make you shine bright/Like you’re laying in the snow/Burr.”
- Justin hates getting beaten to the punch by Swizz Beats. "The mood takes a turn when someone on his team hands him a BlackBerry that shows a photo of Swizz Beatz wearing an MCM jacket identical to the one he’s wearing right now—the same one he proudly described as a one of one. Bieber immediately calls his stylist to ask why Swizz had the jacket first. There’s a little bit of tension, but the conversation doesn’t last long and ends with Justin saying confidently, 'Well, whatever. I just rocked it here in France and it looks swaggy.'"
- Justin has unusual culinary vices for a teen. "With that, he polishes off the extra plate of broccoli he requested from the waiter and heads back to his hotel room to retire for the night."
- Justin is gonna be working with some famous people on the new album. "Scooter’s already got plenty of A-list collaborators lined up. 'We’re talking to Benny Blanco, Bei Maejor, Mike Posner,' Braun says. 'We’re going to work with Pharrell...and Bruno Mars. He’s going in with Drake and 40 next week.'"
- Justin just wants to be a regular
kidman. "Most of the 'pushing back' has to do with wishing for a more ordinary life. 'He doesn’t like being famous,' Braun explains. 'He struggles with not being normal. I’m constantly telling him, ‘You’re not normal, and since you’re living an extraordinary life, I’m holding you to extraordinary standards.’'"
- Justin is always gunning for that #1 spot. "'When I release something I want it to be the best,' he continues. 'When I release my fragrance, I want it to be the number-one fragrance; I don’t want it to be the ninth-best-selling fragrance. My Christmas album went double-platinum worldwide. Christmas albums don’t do that, and that still wasn’t good enough for me.' Bieber wants to win so much he’s only looking to the record books for comp. “He’s competitive with Michael Jackson,” Braun relates. 'He looks at other groups in his space not like competition, but as part of the team. When he looks at who he should chase and who’s setting the bar, we only talk about Michael Jackson. We talk about Michael probably every other day.'"
- Justin has a shot at for-real royalty. "'It’s awesome that he’s Canadian,' Braun says before they head back to the studio. 'Because I just realized Canada is a province of the U.K., so the Queen of England is the Queen. Technically, if Justin has an amazing career, he can be knighted. He can be Sir Justin.'"
- Justin just wants—and expects—to be great. "'I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the greatest I can be. If I start making terrible music, I don’t expect people to like me. If I’m making great music and there’s no reason for people to dislike me, that’s when it’s going to make me upset. People just need to take a chance and listen. If they don’t want to take a chance, then I don’t know. That’s going to be the biggest problem, to make them feel like it’s cool for them to like my music.'"