Justin Bieber’s latest album, Justice, has received the support of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s King Center, which has allowed him to play a prelude of one of Dr. King’s popular speeches at the start of the album.
According to Justin Bieber, the album was so named because of the injustices of the world, and he was hoping his music could be a respite from the issues many are facing due to the injustices.
The Daughter of Dr. King Jr., Bernice King, thanked Bieber for supporting the King Center and its ‘Be Love campaign as part of the singer’s philanthropic efforts around the new album.
“Each of us, including artists and entertainers can do something,” she wrote on Twitter to Bieber. “Thank you @justinbieber, for your support, in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign which is part of our global movement for justice #MLK #EndRacism,” she tweeted.
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 https://t.co/nTkR1XdcvW
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) March 18, 2021
The album features a handful of MLK audio clips, and one track, “2 Much,” starts with one of the most famous quotes from King’s 1963 writings, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” which says, “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The album also features an “MLK Interlude” from the popular historical figure, which is an audio recording of a sermon Dr. King gave at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in November 1967, which starts “I say to you this morning, if you have never found something so dear and so precious to you that you will die for it, then you aren’t fit to live.”
Not only is Justin Bieber collaborating with the King Center, he also announced that he is supporting organizations “that embody what justice looks like in action.” Among those receiving his support are the Anti Recidivism Coalition, Alexandria House, the Compton Pledge, Baby2Baby, The Equal Justice Initiative, Lift, Self Help Graphics, and Art. This is About Humanity and the Poor Peoples Campaign.
Bieber’s move has not been without controversy as there was some push back over his use of MLK in his music. However, he said in recent interviews that “what I wanted to do with this was amplify [Dr.] Martin Luther King Jr’s voice to this generation… being Canadian, it wasn’t so much a part of my culture.”
He also spoke about the MLK interlude and why it was chosen “This speech was actually during the time when [he had] a feeling that he was going to die for the cause, and what he was standing up against was ultimately racism and division. I think his message was that a lot of people can be afraid to stand up for what is right, but if you’re not standing up for justice- for what is right- what are you doing with your life? I’m sorry to get so deep, but these are the times we’re living in. That’s why I wanted to make this album because I think it’s very timely and very necessary.”
Meanwhile, the album is a hit as it is currently the #1 album on iTunes in the United States.
Justin Bieber, who was nominated for four categories of the 63rd Grammys held last week, boycotted the ceremony as he said he did not like the categories they placed him in and felt his music should have been nominated for R&B rather than Pop.
According to him, his album “Changes” is an R&B album, and “it is not being acknowledged as an R&B album, which is very strange to me.”
The album, which is the artist’s fifth studio album, was released through Def Jam Recordings and RBMG in February 2020. One of the songs off of the album Yummy was nominated for Pop Solo Performance.
This is a real MLK speech on a Justin Bieber album. Ava couldn’t even use MLK’s speeches for SELMA. https://t.co/fh7LcDVeIV
— RacismSummitBookingAgent (@KirkWrites79) March 19, 2021
bieber has an interlude on his new album called ‘MLK interlude’ and it‘s a clip of a MLK speech and then it moves into a song…. about his love for… hailey? pic.twitter.com/DQVYUiLV4o
— ?joe (@jxeker) March 19, 2021
justin bieber profiting off of the civil rights movement as a white man is weird. his album is called ‘justice’ and has an MLK interlude but speaks nowhere of social justice, and is focused on love & relationships… huh?
— aly (@herestokesha) March 19, 2021
justin bieber’s album is cute but calling it justice and inserting a minute MLK speech when the rest of the album are love songs … pic.twitter.com/b7dGPWin7D
— thalia (@ThaliaMariie) March 19, 2021