It’s been 10 years since Complex debuted with Nas and Dominic “Uncle Junior” Chianese on our cover and since then it’s been a constant progression. And progression is something our current Complex cover star, Justin Bieber, knows a little something about. Our epic cover story followed Bieber from an awards show in France to Miami where he was recording with Timbaland as he prepped his sophomore album, Believe.
Along the way we spoke with Bieber’s manager/mentor Scooter Braun about the past, present, and future of JayBee’s career. And the future is looking bright: Bieber released his new hip-hop-flavored single “Boyfriend” earlier this week, and currently it’s the No. 1 record in 32 countries.
We spent ample time with Bieber, and not everything we spoke about made it into the pages of the magazine, so now we’re giving you the full uncut interview with the chart-topping pop star. In this Q&A he speaks on the pressures of growing in the spotlight, his high-profile relationship with Selena Gomez, and ranks his top 5 (or 6) favorite rappers. Get used to JayBee, cause the hits just keep coming…
Interview by Joe La Puma (@JLaPuma)
Scooter, what do you fear most as Justin enters the next stage?
Scooter Braun: You want me to say this in front of him?
Well, not really... It doesn’t matter.
SB: [To Justin Bieber] Do you want to hear what my biggest fear is?
I’ve got such great people around me. They don’t really care if they make me angry. A lot of teams, they’re afraid to make the artist angry, because they don’t want to get fired.
Justin Bieber: I don’t want to hear this.
SB: You don’t want to hear what my biggest fear is?
SB: He already knows what my biggest fear is, by the way.
What is it?
SB: My biggest fear is that he surrounds himself with the wrong people.
Is there any reason for that? Is it something that he’s done or something that’s happened in the past maybe in your career?
SB: No. I’ve just seen it. I think anybody who’s been a part of a kid’s life, you hope that when they go out into the world, that they surround themselves with the right people and don’t find themselves in trouble. My fear is that we’ve protected him from a lot of the vultures of the world, and I don’t believe in overprotecting. I believe that if you do that, people make the wrong mistakes. I have to trust in him that he’s going to make the right decisions and make the right mistakes, and that he’s going to react to his mistakes as well as he reacts to his victories. My biggest fear is that he allows people in his life that are more concerned about the access than they are about him.
Totally. You’re going to be there to step in if that happens. Is that fair to say?
SB: Yeah, but I can’t step in too often. Like, for the first time he’s going to be away from me more often. He’s becoming an adult. I’m not going to be with him every single day.
JB: What’s up, bro?
I have assorted questions, but I just want to ask this while Scooter’s here. A lot of people who start young kind of get into stuff that’s not cool—like drugs and stuff. Why do you feel that you won’t go down that path?
JB: I just have no real drive to, first of all. That’s one thing. A lot of teenagers, when they’re in the business, they want to rebel, because they’ve been so tied up and stuff. I’m not too tied up. I still like to have fun. I just don’t see myself getting out of control.
Do you feel like, if you did that, someone in your camp might slap you around a little bit?
JB: Yeah. I’ve got such great people around me. They don’t really care if they make me angry. A lot of teams, they’re afraid to make the artist angry, because they don’t want to get fired and all that stuff. My team’s pretty good about letting me know when to get in line.
SB: [To JB] I told him. That’s why he’s asking you that. I told him about that night you called me and said, “You know why I won’t do that stuff?” and I said, “Why?” and you said, “Because you’d beat the shit out of me.”
That’s what a good older brother would do.
SB: Honestly, he’s the same way. If his younger brother ever did any of that shit, he would cancel the concert, fly home, and beat the shit out of his little brother.
[Scooter Braun exits]
JB: [To SB] Peace out.
SB: Don’t fuck up [All laugh].