By: SYDNEY YACULLO
On March 19, famous pop star Justin Bieber released a new album entitled “Justice.” This album includes 16 songs, with features such as Giveon, Daniel Caesar, Khalid, the Kid LAROI, etc. This album has received loads of success over the past few weeks including major success over the song “Peaches” featuring R&B singers Giveon and Daniel Caesar. This hit song is currently at the #1 spot on the Billboard Charts and is trending all over social media.
Though this album has received lots of success and praise, some listeners weren’t pleased with the inclusion of MLK quotes and speeches. The album starts with a song entitled “2 Much.” The song begins with the quote from King’s 1963 “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” speech, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” In the middle of the album there is also a track titled “MLK Interlude” which is a 1:44 minute clip of MLK’s speech, “1967 sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.”
Fans wondered why Bieber included these quotes in his album if none of the songs discuss racial injustice. The Wrap states, “One listener noted they were laughing at “the way MLK jr is credited as a WRITER for a new Justin Bieber song bc he sampled “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” in a song about how much he loves his wife. No one asked for this…””
Another twitter user says, “yes, we’re a year into a global pandemic but I think what’s more bizarre is justin bieber releasing an album with MLK samples about racial injustice to sing about his white wife.”
While fans and listeners may be upset about this, MLK’s daughter Bernice King had a different opinion. She states on twitter, “Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something. Thank you @JustinBieber, for your support in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign, which is a part of our global movement for justice #MLK #EndRacism.”
Bieber doesn’t have the best record with racial issues though. He has been called out for saying extrememly racist jokes as a teenager, which he did make an apology for. In 2014 he stated, “As a kid, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was ok to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance.”
Listeners continue to call out this album as they are confused why the samples were even included if the songs had no correlation to racial injustice. On the other hand, listeners including Bernice King herself praise Justin for including the clips and spreading awareness.