Justin Bieber's "Boyfriend" And The Death Of The Word "Swag"
Sunday night, when Justin Bieber's new song "Boyfriend" dropped, the social-media landscape at large began comparing it to the work of Justin Timberlake, the music industry's somewhat dormant leading man.
I was sad, because I like the Timberlake.
Justin Bieber, I bought Justin Timberlake records, I watched Justin Timberlake videos, I followed Justin Timberlake on Twitter. Justin Bieber, you're no Justin Timberlake.
The opening is fun enough, with that weird lone techno whistle, his new deeper register -- pillow voice for the girls -- jarring folks who only know him as a cherubic-voiced teen crooner. And apparently chicks these days like chilling by fires and eating fondue. Is Bieber a time traveler from the '70s?
But then he starts using the word "swag" as filler, like how your mother uses bread crumbs in her turkey stuffing. A placeholder if you will.
"That's not swag at all," said the nearly 30-year-old music critic.
You keep saying this word "swag." I don't think this word means what you think it means.
Inconceivably not swag at all.
The best part is the "Buzz Lightyear" reference in one of his raps. In a few years, I can't wait for a teenage pop star to tell a girl in a song that he gonna "do her weird like Yo Gabba Gabba" or at least caress her down "like we was Bella and Edward."
Pop culture is fun. Life is fun.
What's even stranger is that I have been a big defender of Bieber here on Rocks Off. I stayed up and attended the first midnight screening of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never -- in 3D, no less. Yes, I had a chaperone, but the late hour and the theater's location wasn't conducive to masses of screaming girls.