JUSTIN BIEBER’S SORRY IS AS DISHONEST AS SONGS COME

sorry

Warning: The following post contains some very colourful language and some very questionable philosophy. Proceed at your own peril. You’ve been warned.

To put Sorry in proper context, we need to go back in time to 2011, to Lloyd’s Dedication to My Ex.

My girlfriend at the time had essentially broken up with me. I was new to this heartbreak business, and as you may imagine, I was quite understandably shocked and distraught all at one go. (I’ve just found a rather meticulous diary I kept of that time and it is embarrassing that it seems to suggest I did not eat for 44 hours after the event and that I cried and that Esther, my best friend at the time, was a rock in a way that I sadly couldn’t be for her.) Although it looks fairly straightforward, I can’t explain now how that state of affairs culminated in my discovering Lloyd’s song. I did not go looking for end-of-epoch songs, and the songs that came to be my heartbreak songs were already denizens of my computer or phone prior to the shake-up.

The song’s brusque pettiness and reduction of what must-may have been love into a matter solely of sexual organs appalled me even then, when I had every right to be petty and revel in such songs as this, maybe even borrow a few lines and shoot them over to her via text message seeing as how only the iPhone had WhatsApp then.

But we’re made of class.

I retreated into the familiar philosophical comforts, the what-is-this-life-ness of Adele, Pink, and strangely, Jason Derulo (try listening to It Girl soon after you’ve lost your it girl), but not before Lloyd had caused me some pause.

Was it not possible that I was only distraught I would now have to hunt for sex when before it was a given? And what sort of sex did I know was out there? Would it be as involved and involving as it had been with her? Would it be as crazy, as spontaneous, as dangerous? Would the sex out there make me lose all sense of propriety too? Would I feel, or would it just be “hey, round peg, meet round hole”? Was it the love or the sex that kept me glued to her? Was it both? If it was both, then each to what degree?

Big secret: One key reason why relationships are such a thing is that at the back of their minds, partners are relatively certain their partners will have sex with them some 8 times out of 10 attempts. These odds can only be bettered if you’re the sort who pays through your nose to squeeze stuff out through your penis, which can only be bettered if you’re a hot chick who’s just really into sex. I mean, how is anyone supposed to say no to you with that sort of a combination?

I once did and I’ll tell you for free: If you don’t have to, never, ever sniff at free vagina. If you’re worried about where the hot vagina has been, wear a condom. (If you’re not, wear a condom still.) Because you’ll grow older and wiser. Because you’ll lose your principles. Because then you’ll regret being a sniffy little piece of principled fuck, because there are some opportunities that never come knocking again. Never. You can only sniff at free box if you’re married or in a relationship, not that it stops some of you.

Putting things in context Kayode-style does tend to run away sometimes, but at least, Lloyd attempted to be direct even if you can discern his pain through the riotous pettiness. He was explicit about his motives, even if like Big Sean, the puerileness is astounding. (Have you heard a more puerile song than IDFWU?)

In his case, JB misses the pussy quite alright but tries to sugarcoat this straightforward desire with an over-generous flavouring of sorry and asking for forgiveness. Sorry Bieber, that you slap all that seasoning into the pot does not make party rice of your jollof rice.

Let me oh let me oh let redeem oh myself tonight
Cos I just need
One more shot
To say I’m sorry.

Redeem ko, Redemption Camp ni.

With “tonight” and “one more shot”, a sleazy picture already begins to emerge. In the lines that follow, Bieber tears off his pants like a male stripper at one of those CFNM things, and gives us an eyeful.

Is it too late now to say sorry
Cos I’m
Missing more than just your body

I know we sometimes tell these little fibs to get laid, but c’mon, fibs are a work of art whose expression must not betray their design. It is instructive that Bieber expresses all he misses in terms of her body. You go through the song in the hopes of finding any hint at all of this extra-body desire, but you don’t. Even a deaf man listening to those lines can tell whatever else he claims to miss must come a very distant second to her body. It’s like a Kenyan and a Nigerian at a marathon…

Later on we hear that he’s “just trying to get [her] back on him/Cos [he’s] missing more than her body.” See, the whole point of Sorry is that Bieber wants one or two for the road. If you ask Bieber, he’s probably succeeded in constructing this elaborate conceit to disguise his intentions. If you ask me though, he’s only somehow managed to make see-through lingerie out of stacks of bricks and a sea of concrete. End of.

But God, I love the song. It’s not a tendency of mine to make a fool of myself. This means I choose my battles carefully. This means I move in for the kill when a self-advertising PhD holder insists El Chapo is Colombian, was extradited to the US, escaped and was recaptured again. This means I don’t dance where anyone can see me, and I don’t sing where I might be overheard. There’s a good chance that if you catch me doing any one of these last two sacrileges, it’s Sorry up in my ear. Or Waje’s Coco Baby, which along with Drake’s makeover of Wizkid’s Ojuelegba, are the only Nigerian songs on my phone.

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