Justin Bieber has a giant chip on his perpetually shirtless shoulder. He isn't doing much press for his new Believe Acoustic album, but he did sit down with Billboard's Bill Werde for a Q&A. Werde describes him as "unfailingly polite, though occasionally he flattens himself down into a black leather couch, hands jammed into his pockets, and seems bored," and "every bit a normal 18-year-old kid." Which is to say, he's a little bit of a dickhead.
Skinny motherfucker with the high voice Prince has crawled out of the bathtub to give an interview to Billboard. Per his usual press policy and determination to be as big of a pain in the ass as humanly possible, he would not allow veteran music journalist Gail Mitchell to record their interview or take notes:
On next week's Billboard Hot 100, dated June 23, Carly Rae Jepsen's diabolical ear candy "Call Me Maybe" at last assumes the No. 1 position. The song was practically preordained as the song of the summer, and wouldn't you know, it happens hit No. 1 on the first chart of summer proper. Everything is going according to the universe's plan.
"Somebody That I Used To Know," the Sting-esque earworm of a single from Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye, has ascended to the peak position on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 15th week on the chart. Have a listen, if you've somehow managed to avoid its rise so far. It's a great song, but its popularity is particularly notable for two reasons.
There are many interesting ways to earn a living in our post-industrial economy. Like ranting on camera about your sister being nearly raped. That's what Antoine Dodson did—now he's got a Hot 100 Billboard single!
A roadside billboard sprung up in West Plains, Missouri, recently, featuring a caricature of Barack Obama wearing a turban along with the message "Barack 'Hussein' Obama equals more abortions, same sex marriages, taxes, gun regulations." While some members of that community are shocked and disgusted-the Obama campaign dismissed it as "a distraction"-other locals are of the opinion that if you don't like that sign you can drop dead. The billboard is after the jump. So is a video of McCain/Palin supporters at yet another rally in PA-one of them telling a really funny joke about sex assault victims who are forced to pay for their own rape kits. Starts at about 2:08.
Hip hop, as a business, is on the slow downward slope of its peak of several years ago. The traditional music industry as a whole is crumbling under assault from online distribution. And print magazines, of course, are one of the most perilous business ventures in all media. So the launch this month of the print-based Hip Hop Business Journal is truly an idea that takes after one of its cultural heroes; it combines Tupac Shakur's heedless, go-for-it bravery, his headstrong pride, and his inevitable tendency to die young.
• Newspapers are packaging free CDs with each copy in an attempt to reach younger readers. Because that's what kids are into these days, CDs. This industry deserves to die. [LAT]
• Bloodbath at VNU. Yeah, us either. Apparently they put out Billboard or something. [Mediaweek]
• Cond Nast flack says don't call them a magazine company: "We're a company that provides content." Sure. Related: Gawker Media is not a blog company. We're an organization provides gratuitous use of the word "douchebag." [NYT]
• AOL fuckup. No, not the merger. [Reuters]
Settlements, it seems, are busing out all over these days. Not only did Martha Stewart announce on Today this morning that she's close to settling with the SEC, but word also came last night that the sexual-harassment suit against Billboard magazine reached a settlement yesterday morning, as jury selection entered its second day. As you'll recall, two fired Billboard editors charged that the mag discriminated against minorities, encouraged workplace hookups, and created an oversexualized workplace — as most famously exemplified by exec editor Ken Schlager, who allegedly kept on his office shelf a green dildo, which from time to time he brandished to female employees. The fired employees wanted $27 million; today their lawyer is pronouncing them "very happy" with the settlement. Sadly, though, the rest of us are far less happy: This means we'll never get to hear about the dildo in open court. Alas.