Yes. You did read the headline correctly: Mark Wahlberg just compared
Justin Bieber to Tupac Shakur. Since you -- like us -- probably can't quite believe that
just happened, here's the actual (ridiculous) quote:
"The world needs Justin Bieber," Wahlberg opined. "Justin Bieber is like the white Tupac. Compared to a lot of people."
Is he, Wahlberg? Really? That's a bit like saying Lady Gaga is like the white Aretha Franklin -- compared to a lot of people (who've never held microphones). Or that Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch were like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five -- compared to a lot of people (who've never made any music at all).
If you're going to throw "compared to a lot of people" on
the end of a comparison, it makes it null and void. The only thing
Justin Bieber has in common with Tupac is that they've both had successful
careers in music -- and it definitely isn't the same kind of music.
Bieber is from Ontario, Canada; Shakur was a Harlem boy who wound up in the Bay Area. Shakur focused on social issues in his songs; Bieber sings about girls. Bieber is squeaky clean (if a little creepy around older women); Shakur was in and out of trouble with the law throughout his life. Bieber sold locks of his hair on eBay for $40,668; Shakur survived being shot in the head in 1994.
Saying Justin Bieber is like Tupac Shakur, compared to a lot of people, is like saying Barack Obama is like Adolf Hitler, compared to a lot of people (who've never been in charge of a country).
Nice one, Wahlberg. We actually do think you're a good actor, with fine abs and a penchant for having babies every three minutes. And we're not even going to assume that the movie you're cooking up with Bieber that prompted you to make such jaw-dropping statements will be bad. We'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. But there are lines that shouldn't be crossed, sir. And comparing a tween popster with one of the most important figures in hip-hop history is nothing less than absurd.
Now, to cheer us all up, let's take a little look back on Wahlberg's previous experiments with music. Brilliant.