Justin Bieber has answered critics who slammed his decision to feature a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech on his new album, Justice, insisting he just wants to continue the Black Lives Matter “conversation”.
The MLK Interlude wasn’t popular with many people, even though the pop star sought permission to use the civil rights icon’s words from the King estate.
And after debuting Justice at the top of the charts, Bieber has tackled the issue head-on in a new chat with Kristal Terrell, one of the co-founders of Clubhouse’s Bieber Nation.
“Being Canadian… they didn’t teach us about Black history,” he said.
“It was just not a part of our education system. I think for me, coming from Canada and being uneducated and making insensitive jokes when I was a kid and being insensitive and being honestly just a part of the problem because I just didn’t know better…” the hitmaker went on.
“For me to have this platform to just share this raw moment of Martin Luther King in a time where he knew he was going to die for what he was standing up for (sic),” he added.
Bieber was also criticised for opening the album with a King speech at the beginning of its first track 2 Much, and for the placement of the MLK Interlude, just before Die For You, a love song to his wife.
But Bieber insists he made the right choice: “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,” he explained.
“And I know I have a long way to go. 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?'” the singer shared.
Admitting: “I’m not trying to make a connection between me and Martin Luther King. 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,” Bieber noted: “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.”