Justin Bieber And Billie Eilish Address The Links Between Race And Genre

4 months ago 22
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Over the past week, as international demonstrations in support of Black lives and against racial injustice and violence have grown to unprecedented numbers, Justin Bieber has used his Instagram page to share his own support. He's posted that "all lives do not matter until Black lives matter" and a guide to being an anti-racist ally, as well as how to honor Breonna Taylor on what would have been her 27th birthday on June 5.

On Sunday (June 7), though, Bieber spoke out about his own relationship to Black culture, namely how he's "benefitted" from it, and how he's aiming to better use his platform now. "I am inspired by [B]lack culture," he wrote. "I have benefitted off of [B]lack culture. My style, how I sing, dance, perform, and my fashion have all been influenced by [B]lack culture."

Bieber continued: "I am committed to using my platform from this day forward to learn, to speak up about racial injustice and systemic oppression, and to identify ways to be a part of much needed change."

The pop/R&B singer's note hit social media just a few days after his one-time collaborator (and massive Bieber fan) Billie Eilish spoke out about the ties between race and music genre in a new profile for British GQ. "Don't judge an artist off the way someone looks or the way someone dresses," she said, agreeing with comments Tyler, the Creator made backstage at the 2020 Grammys — an event just prior to this story's interview date. "Wasn't Lizzo in the Best R&B category that night [at the Grammys]? I mean, she's more pop than I am."

"Look, if I wasn't white I would probably be in 'rap,'" Eilish continued, referencing the fluidity of her sound, crafted alongside her brother, Finneas, which draws heavily from the rattling low end of contemporary hip-hop. "Why? They just judge from what you look like and what they know. I think that is weird. The world wants to put you into a box; I've had it my whole career. Just because I am a white teenage female I am pop. Where am I pop? What part of my music sounds like pop?"

Eilish also addressed her own race as it related to her history-making Grammy wins. "Then there's the other side of this whole thing: People shitting on me because I am white. 'Oh, she's white, that's why she won,'" she said. "You know what? I agree with the sentiment; I get why people say that."

Eilish has also shared her support for Black Lives Matter on her Instagram page, including via a long note she posted last week where she called out the "All Lives Matter" crowd: "You are privileged whether you like it or not. Society gives you privilege just for being white."

Read Bieber's note in full above, and see Eilish's full interview with British GQ right here.

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