Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are getting flack after pleading with fans to buy and stream their new music.
This month, Justin Bieber returned with his first solo single in nearly five years, "Yummy."
Many fans and critics alike weren't on board. It's catchy, sure—but it seems even his newly knotted marriage with Hailey Baldwin couldn't spark a chorus much deeper than "you got that yummy-yum."
Nevertheless, the Biebs persisted. In an absolutely ruthless attempt to milk his comeback for all it's worth, Bieber promoted the absolute sh*t out of "Yummy." His end goal—one he narrowly missed—was to reach the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. As a few internet analyzers have pointed out, he went to some embarrassing lengths to try to achieve it.
In a since-deleted Instagram post, Bieber provided instructions for listeners to help get "Yummy" to No. 1 on any platform. Those tips included buying the track multiple times from the singer's website and—best of all—creating a Spotify playlist of "Yummy" alone and playing it on repeat at a low volume while the user sleeps.
Of course, promoting new music is all in a day's work for major pop stars (and, mind you, Bieber did plenty of promotion before his post). What irked many is Bieber's sheer desperation and his pleas for listeners to help him out, because—in his words—he "did everything he can on his end." He did not do everything he could on his end, because he did not make a good song!
But whatever, we're all aware and have accepted by now that Bieber's behavior can teeter into unhinged territory. His failed ploy for a No. 1 hit was pathetic, but we'll forget it soon. That is, unless, others follow his example. Selena Gomez, in fact, already has.
"So I just found out that my album is neck to neck with another incredible artist," Gomez said in a video directed to her fans. "I told people before that, you know, it's not about numbers for me, but I would love for the most important album I've ever released to become number one, so if you don't mind streaming it or listening to it on all the platforms, it would mean the absolute world to me."
The singer, who just released the album in question, Rare, also posted an Instagram story in which she and her friends were making their rounds at Target, Best Buy, and Walmart, on a mission to buy each copy of Rare in sight.
It's harrowing to see two of the world's biggest pop stars act in such desperation over music that, frankly, is pretty room temperature. It's a step beyond basic promotion, especially for artists at their level of unimaginable popularity; Rare is Gomez's third album to go No. 1 on the Billboard 200, while Bieber already has 11 hits on the Hot 100 chart to his name. Besides greed, what's the point of another hit for either of them?
One issue surrounding this is that many No. 1 songs as of late follow a trend of being surprises, or sleeper hits. Last year saw newcomer Lil Nas X make chart history, while Lizzo went No. 1 with a two-year-old song. The latter was dethroned by a relative unknown, Lewis Capaldi. Are we tired of the radio saturation from massive artists like Bieber and Gomez? Yeah, Ariana Grande is still pretty much always guaranteed to top the charts, but it seems we're ready to usher in a new norm for pop stars. In the last year or so, rap has eclipsed pop as America's favorite genre, and the top three slots on the Hot 100 right now—Post Malone, Future featuring Drake, and Bieber's new nemesis Roddy Ricch—prove that statement true. Artists like Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and the disco-inspired Dua Lipa prove that even when we people do want to listen to pop, it needs to have an unexpected edge. And especially with the rise of Internet virality and apps like TikTok spreading potential hits like wildfire, having Bieber or Gomez's name attached to a release doesn't always guarantee its success.
Anyway, someone please check on Justin Bieber. He needs help, again.
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Breaking down the bias of comfort films.
With the constant onslaught of complicated news that 2020 has brought, sometimes you just want to be able to shut off your brain, relax, and feel happy.
Enter comfort films. These are the feel-good movies that feel like a warm hug when you finish them, the ones that allow you to escape for a short while. We often turn to these types of films in times of trouble or extreme stress, and when we're not sure what films of this nature we should watch, we turn to the Internet for options.
We know Ellis Ross is fun and has an offbeat style, but her hairstyle felt like a caricature, and one that was completely unnecessary because there are Black women who have the kind of hair she seemed to be trying to mimic.
Black hair is political.
It is still a radical act for Black people to wear our hair just as it grows out of our heads.
Just as Black people are diverse, Black hair is inclusive of a broad range of colors, textures, density, and porosity. Terms like 3B and 4C are commonly used to describe hair types. While some people still think of hair types as a grading scheme, much like the debate about having "good hair," we are learning more about how hair types have specific care needs. As we grow deeper in love with ourselves and our hair, Black people are looking for the best products on the market and are committed to supporting Black businesses.
When Tracee Ellis Ross announced the launch of Pattern Beauty, there was a lot of buzz and excitement. A Black woman we love and whose hair has always been an unapologetically overwhelming feature was going to respond to Black hair care needs. Sign us up! Now, however, with her Elle magazine cover, some Black women are wondering if Ross is taking up too much of the Black hair space.