Justin Bieber is feeling the wrath of social media after including sound bites of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his new album.
Thursday night, the “Holy” singer dropped his new LP “Justice.” The first song on the album, “2 Much,” features a sample of Dr. King making one of his iconic quotes: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Additionally, midway through the album, Bieber features a two-minute transitional track entitled “MLK Interlude.”
After “Justice” dropped, an overwhelming number of Twitter users criticized Bieber for featuring the famed civil rights leader on an album that (despite its title) appears to have little to do with social justice.
One Twitter user wrote, “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?” The tweet referenced Bieber’s wife, Hailey.
“Ok can we just talk about his whole -- reason bieber names the album ‘Justice’ & then put an mlk interlude on it ?“suffering, injustice & pain can leave many people feeling helpless” yet his album is yet again about a girl, weed, ‘pls dont leave me bc i will die’ ??? BroOo,” a commenter wrote.
“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?” another added.
Despite the controversy, TMZ reports that Bieber went to Dr. King’s estate to get clearance for the audio clips.
Additionally, Bieber announced Thursday that he is supporting a number of organizations — including the King Center, founded by Dr. King’s wife, Coretta Scott King.
Following this news, Bernice King — the youngest child of MLK and Coretta — wrote a message thanking Bieber for his support.
Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something.— Be A King (@BerniceKing) March 18, 2021
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