Justin Bieber’s latest studio album Justice, while self-described by the Ontario-born pop star as a record meant to “provide comfort” amidst “suffering, injustice and pain,” has been courting criticism and even legal action since its release on March 19. In addition to the French dance duo Justice sending Justin a cease-and-desist letter over an alleged trademark infringement in the days leading up to Justice, the album itself has also received backlash for its use of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speeches.
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Many have criticized Justin’s use of the MLK samples mainly because the album’s lyrical content doesn’t seem to match up to the messages in MLK’s speeches, and some fans have even called out the singer-songwriter for possibly drawing a parallel between himself and the legendary civil rights activist. According to Uproxx, Justin recently hopped on the emerging social media app Clubhouse to set the record straight about the MLK snippets.
“I want to keep growing and learning about just all social injustices and what it looks like for me to be better, what it looks like for my friends to be better. And I know I have a long way to go,” he revealed. “I love that when people are listening to my album, these conversations are coming up and they’re like, ‘Well, how is he going from Martin Luther King into a love song?’ I’m not trying to make a connection between me and Martin Luther King.”
Justin further explained his decision to use the MLK speeches on Justice by saying, “That’s why I never try to talk about social injustice or I didn’t want to be the one to talk about it because I just have so much more learning to do. But I have this man who was ready to die and what he believed to be true. If I’m not willing to face some sort of ridicule or judgment of people wondering my motives or whatever that is for me, it was a no-brainer.”
Despite the disconnect surrounding the MLK snippets, Justice and its standout track “Peaches” have both been performing well, with both the album and single hitting the top spots on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100, respectively.
Have you been listening to Justin Bieber’s new album Justice?