Justin Bieber releases new single "Friends."

Justin Bieber Is His Own Worst Enemy on His New Single, “Friends”

Justin Bieber Is His Own Worst Enemy on His New Single, “Friends”

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 17 2017 4:08 PM

Justin Bieber Is His Own Worst Enemy on His New Single, “Friends”

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Justin Bieber.

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for iHeart

The greatest threat to Justin Bieber’s No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 may just be … Justin Bieber. The singer, whose vocals helped propel a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” to the top of the charts, just released a new single with producer BloodPop. The new song, “Friends,” was written by Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter (the same team behind another of Bieber’s No. 1 hits, “Sorry”) and comes just a few weeks after Bieber cancelled the last dates of his Purpose tour.

In “Friends,” Bieber calls an ex to see if they can be—wait for it—friends! Funnily enough, an ex that won’t stop calling is the subject of yet another No. 1 Bieber hit, “Love Yourself,” though told from the opposite perspective, with the ex on the receiving end of the call uninterested in resestablishing contact. In fact, when you view lyrics of the two as a dialogue, you wind up with Bieber trying to rekindle a relationship over the phone—but being repeatedly rejected by himself.

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“Friends” Bieber:

Girl, you wonderin’ why I’ve been callin’?
Like I've got ulterior motives

“Love Yourself” Bieber:

I didn't wanna write a song ‘cause I didn't want anyone thinking I still care
I don’t but, you still hit my phone up
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“Friends” Bieber:

Wonderin’ if you think about me
Actually, don't answer that

“Love Yourself” Bieber:

If you think that I'm still holdin’ on to somethin’
You should go and love yourself
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“Friends” Bieber:

I was wonderin’ ‘bout your mama
Did she get that job she wanted?
Sold that car that gave her problems?
I'm just curious ‘bout her, honest

“Love Yourself” Bieber:

My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone

That’s cold, Biebs. Put yourself in “Friends” Bieber’s shoes!