Considering all the stories about hotboxing private planes and rejecting very reasonable plea deals for his DUI arrest, it’s easy to forget that Justin Bieber is primarily famous for creating music. His extra-curricular activities have eclipsed his work as of late, though he’s making attempts to shift the focus back on the tunes.
Thus, the arrival of “Broken,” Bieber’s first post-arrest song and a seemingly direct response to his latest tabloid turmoil. Over the weekend, Bieber’s DJ Tay James dropped a mixtape called We Know The DJ Radio 4, which contains “Broken” and features a guest rap by Blake Kelly. On the track, Bieber repeatedly announces “I cannot be broken,” and opens the track with the line “I guess they want a reaction/ I ain’t gonna give it to ‘em.” (Don’t work too hard trying to resolve the logic of that line—just go with it.)
Listen to “Broken” below.
It’s not the worst thing in the world, but much like the tracks Bieber was putting out toward the end of last year, there’s something frustratingly nondescript about “Broken,” as though it’s one concept short of a fully-formed idea. That’s a bummer, because thanks to the ineptitude of the U.S. men’s hockey team, we’re stuck with him.
Of course, plenty of people are still into Bieber’s old stuff: This morning, his publicist announced that his smash single “Baby” just became the first clip to pass one billion views on Vevo, making it the most-watched video in the service’s history. That’s not a bad early birthday gift—Bieber turns 20 this Saturday, March 1. What are you going to get him for his big day?