Justin Bieber: “Intentions” [ft. Quavo]

Justin Bieber: “Intentions” [ft. Quavo]

“Heart full of equity, you’re an asset”—is this a Justin Bieber lyric, or a Jeff Bezos sext draft? The pop star’s latest single, “Intentions” ft. Quavo, is a loving tribute to his wife that reads like an eerie mishmash of corporate slogans. Taking a page from “natural beauty” campaigns, Bieber croons “picture perfect, you don’t need no filter” over equally uninspired ringtone beats. Not only are his platitudes reheated leftovers from the likes of One Direction and Drakehey ladies, did you know you’re beautiful?—they’re also easy to dispense when the 23-year-old you’re talking about has modeled for Guess, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger.

In the “Intentions” music video, Hailey Bieber is notably missing. Instead, hedge fund jargon and feel-good clichés narrate the success stories of three women of color affiliated with Alexandria House, a Los Angeles-based transitional shelter that supports women and children experiencing financial hardship. (The video ends with an announcement of a $200,000 donation from Bieber, only slightly more than he’s paid for years of dumb stunts, like egging his neighbor’s house.) A noble cause to be sure, but whatever Bieber’s original intention, his presence risks turning charity into spectacle. The white millionaire dances with black and brown children and proffers empty advice to a foster care advocate. The attempts to center himself make “Intentions” feel more like a self-serving PR campaign for Bieber than an actual act of generosity.

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