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Justin Bieber's "Hold On" Video Is Another Misguided Story About Suffering

In his latest music video, Bieber once again makes a vicarious trip into tragedy

Justin in "Hold On"

Justin Bieber's past few years have been tumultuous. In a cinematic redemption story, the former child star went from troubled teenager to devout Christian and married man.

His upcoming album, Justice, seems to be a testament to the new Justin, and the singles from the album are anthemic odes to love and hope. Each has come with a music video that tells the story of a different character and their different hardships.

But why is Justin so obsessed with these vicarious trips into tragedy?

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Top Stories

I Never Want to Hear About Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" Again

Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page starred in a "Driver's License" skit but we need to be honest: The song is not that good

Everything I've learned about this song, I've learned by force.

When Olivia Rodrigo's "Drivers License" was released in January, it debuted at No.1.The song first became viral on TikTok's star-making algorithm, then went on to break streaming records and top the charts.

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Top Stories

​How Frank Ocean’s "Nostalgia, Ultra" Changed Music

In creating Nostalgia, Ultra, songwriter and producer Christopher Breaux became Frank Ocean and started on the path to icon status

Don't play "Hotel California" by the Eagles around me unless you want to hear Frank Ocean's "American Wedding" sung over the original lyrics.

On his 2011 mixtape, nostalgia,ULTRA, Frank Ocean famously sampled, covered, and remade everything from video game clips (notably from Street Fighter, which is referenced ubiquitously in his work) to films, to songs by Coldplay, MGMT, and, yes, the Eagles.

The rock band was not too happy about the uncredited, unapproved sample, but there was nothing they could do. Despite the fame and success of the mixtape, it was released for free, outside of any label affiliations, and Frank Ocean wasn't making money from it.

"Why sue the new guy? I didn't make a dime off that song. I released it for free. If anything I'm paying homage," Frank Ocean said on his Tumblr page in response.

The short-lived controversy is barely a footnote in the album's legacy, though the idea of Don Henley referring to Frank Ocean as "talentless" is laughable now. Today, the drama is mostly forgotten, while the album was an instrumental factor in launching Frank Ocean from unknown producer/songwriter to the icon who has changed the sound of music that he is today.

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Music Features

"The Life of Pablo" Was the Beginning of the End of Kanye West

On its 5 year anniversary, it feels like The Life of Pablo was a turning point.

Kanye premiering the album at his Yeezy NYFW show in Madison Square Garden

Kanye's music has always reflected his inner thoughts.

When Kanye released his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo, on February 14th in 2016, we should have known things were about to take a turn for the worse.

The album, in short, was not Kanye's best. There were some bangers. Its opening track, "Ultralight Beam," was a Chance the Rapper gospel track introduced by audio from a viral video, so obviously that has stood the test of time. But the album did not live up to the epic emotion of its opening track. Not even a little bit.

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Poonam Singh's pretty and playful presentation is what you would expect from an emerging pop star.


However, the former Miss Global International Guyana has more to offer listeners with her latest single and video, "Happy Place."

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Music Reviews

Is Playboi Carti's “Whole Lotta Red” Really That Bad?

Playboi Carti has always been a trendsetter, an explorer of new worlds, and Whole Lotta Red finds him further pushing the boundaries.

Playboi Carti "Whole Lotta Red"

"Damn my sh*t so radical," Playboi Carti caws over giddy synths and meticulous high hats on his 2017 debut mixtape.

To be fair, to call Playboi Carti's discography anything other than progressive is to do the emcee a disservice. From the guileful braggadocio of his self-titled mixtape to the unhinged, animated mania of 2018's Die Lit, Playboi Carti has always walked the line between groundbreaking art and nonsensical absurdity.

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