What Justin Bieber's lyrics really mean

It's our way of celebrating his 22nd birthday...

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We love Justin, then we hate him...then we love him again. We've all been there, right? Well, at the moment we're pretty much obsessed with him...so we asked the office Bieber expert 'Miles' to really analyse this modern day marvel for us in celebration of his birthday. 

Be warned...Miles means business:

What a year old Biebs has had. His public profile has gone from one of those kids that hang around on street corners asking you if you’ll buy them a packet of cigarettes to basically that of a UN peace envoy. The shift from...class clown to all-round cool boy has been pretty amazing. 

Last time He was in Dubai he turned up two hours late to a performance and racked up six speeding fines. This type of perception transformation should usually only be possible if your PR firm is run by Rumpelstiltskin. I checked the books, and he’s not on there, so how has he achieved it? To try and uncover the source of this miraculous metamorphosis – I have been searching his written texts for some clues, some hidden ancient wisdom that might help us all on the path to enlightenment and total awareness. 

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“I gave you the key when the door wasn't open, just admit it, see I gave you faith, turned your doubt into hoping, can't deny it” ...Where Are U Now? (2015)

Nope, this was not taken from any of the old school Gospels, this is a direct quote from the assembled works of Bieber..well his album ‘Purpose’. Justin has clearly positioned himself here as some kind of redeemer figure. Which is both brave and ironic given his position in the mass public mind-set before the release of this song. But is seeking redemption through the act of redeeming others such an ignoble act? Yep...bit confusing!

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This is hurting my head

“I gave you the shirt off my back, what you sayin?”

Sticking with the same song...

Justin offering to take his shirt off is probably enough to win over 50% of the population, but what if we drill down in to this a little deeper. What if he’s not offering to take his shirt off – what if he’s talking about the way we treated him during his period in the wilderness, or his fans at least. 

And what if the question ‘Where are U now?’ is indeed introspective, and he’s seeking the whereabouts of his own inner self? To achieve any great growth or change, we must at first strip down to our most base form, understand our most central identity. 

All those years doing English literature homework is really paying off here: massively reading in to things that really probably aren’t there!

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If this is what he looks like without a shirt...hide all his shirts immediately (said women everywhere)

"When you don't want me to move, But you tell me to go, What do you mean?” ...What Do You Mean? (2015)

The second single released from the album. The second posed as a question.  WHAT, INDEED, DO YOU MEAN JUSTIN? It’s like a lyric within a lyric, a trail of musical breadcrumbs leading up to Christopher Nolan’s house. 

Bieber seems to be asking a lot of questions in this song, but he actually only ever asks us one, ‘what we mean’.  During the song, the question is often asked after 'our' seemingly erratic behaviour. 

“First you wanna go to the left then you want to turn right”, no, this isn’t the furious response to using google maps as a sat nav, this is him commenting both on the polar nature of our opinions on him and on a simpler more human level: that our own desires are often contradictory. No I don’t want any chips darling, but actually if you order them I WILL STEAL EVERY SINGLE ONE FROM YOUR PLATE. 

By asking us what we mean, he is asking us to disrupt our inclinations towards indecision, vanity and excess. Either that or he’s rubbish at sharing chips.

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"Before you can learn to love someone else, you have to love yourself" ...Love Yourself (2015)

It’s a scientific fact proved by science in science class by scientists that every teenager has, at one point said (or written, tweeted etc) the line – ‘before you can learn to love someone else, you have to love yourself’. But this is of course superficial nonsense. In reality, it means absolutely the opposite: Narcissism is a clinically certifiable mental illness. The track ‘Love Yourself’, is absolutely not an indulgence of this broken soundbite – quite the opposite, it’s a critique of those too quick to love themselves. A warning to us, to perhaps not fall into the trap his own ego set for him. Either that or 

‘Love yourself’ is a thinly veiled euphemism for asking somebody to go and [insert four letter word] themselves.

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And even if somehow, defying all the odds and for the very first time, I’m wrong and he’s actually not an Oprah, Obama, Chopra, Dylan, Dalai Lama or Aristotle, what we can probably all agree on is that he has superhuman ability, to at the very least, appear grounded. 

I cannot begin to imagine the titanic disaster of a human being that I would become if I had only a small percentage of Bieber’s looks, talent and six-pack. You would probably have to kill me with fire. So when he’s back in Dubai, and he will be back; he has an album to promote, lets welcome him with open arms....because despite what the messiah has said...it's never 'too late to say sorry'.

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Now read: The six best places to get an ice-cream in Dubai

Written By

Miles Buckeridge