Discussing Justin Bieber (But Really Talking About How We Treat Young Mothers)

A suggestion on how to discuss teen pregnancy, paternity, and young mothers that intersects with Justin Bieber's media attention.

I wrote an article last week about Justin Bieber for a youth focused website, something I didn’t think I’d ever do. However, the piece was more about how we support and discuss young mothers in the US and how that is connected to what is going on regarding Justin Bieber and Mariah Yeater, whose attorney had asked Bieber to take a paternity test. 

Many media outlets reported that the paternity test was withdrawn and one of the respondents on my last article asked if I would write a follow-up regarding the paternity test results. Here’s my response to this entire situation with Justin Bieber: I hope he takes notes from Raymond “Boots” Riley of The Coup on how to respond to a young woman who claims you were a part of creating a child with her, regardless of the situation.

The Coup are a hip-hop group from Oakland, California and Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress, one of the few women DJs, are the main members. In their album Party Music (2001), the song Nowalaters was included. This song is Boots Riley’s open letter to a young woman who had stated he was the person who impregnated her when he was a teenager. I’ve included the song and lyrics below. I’ve bolded parts of the song lyrics that I think are extremely useful and telling when it comes to discussing teen motherhood and pregnancy and how we treat young mothers in the US. 

I hope this quick post will be useful for those of you seeking to use this story in the media in your classrooms or groups with youth to discuss abstinence, pregnancy, consent, and assault. Please note there is some profanity in these lyrics, so listening at work may not be appropriate for all readers.


Well if you thrust, eventually you gonna gush

And I’m implyin’ I ain’t had no business cryin’

Cause we used the rubber twice

And we knew that shit was dyin’ to bust

Well we was only seventeen

But you was older in between

And in my fresh Adidas fits

I used to come more clean than Jeru jerkin’ off in a can of chlorine

Sophisticated with the game I was spittin’ in

A nymphomaniac was with it, that’s just a clip, more experience

V on my chest when I was put to the test

You said “Goddamn nigga, that ain’t how ya get it in”

Dashboards for the leverage, tall cans for beverage

The weed can make you courageous, make a Honda Civic seem so 

spacious Make 

five minutes seem like ages, anyway


You smelled like Care-Free Curl and nowalaters baby

Said you liked high-top fades

And Jesse Johnson’s “Crazy”

Seventeen, all on you like chicken and some gravy

Learned a lot, thank you much today I’m still campaignin’

[Repeat 1]


The lake don’t smell so bad now, do it

Don’t trip off ya hair baby just re-glue it

The windows is fogged up, can’t nobody view it

Put down the O-E and turn up the Howard Hewett

And some more, we had things to discuss

Like how we do it, we got amniotic fluid

And a baby floatin’ though it

Hey, imagine if it look like us, it was me up in the vaginary

And I’ma love my kids whether real or imaginary

Quit school, work well depends at the mall next to Fashion Berry

Operation cash and carry

Manual labor from six to noon

Makin’ six doubloons, got a baby that’s fixin’ to bloom

And he need ‘fits to groom plus grips the spoon

So let me twist the ploom

And inhale and emit the fumes



I was composed, I didn’t even crack a frown

I was supposed to let my pants fall down

And show my ass when I found

That the baby was four months early and around ten pounds

I heard a lot of bad things about teenage mothers

From those who don’t really give a fuck about life

They say “It ain’t so much that they startin’ out younger”

“It’s just they supposed to be more like a wife”

Meanin’ you ain’t shit without a man to guide you

If ya mama tried to feed you that she lied too

Make ya grab any motherfucker that ride through

If jobs are applied to knots can get tied too

Plus I know that you must have been scared

It made it easy when the feelings were shared

Flashback to 20/20

I know you waitin’ for the dollars cause you knew I had funny money

Yellin’ all loud like I’ma tear the whole hood up

Don’t tempt me cause the real daddy stood up

He said I was a mark for believin’ in you

Now it’s more that I’m seein’ is true

There’s a few things I’d like to say in this letter

Like I wish I would’ve seen him grow

And ask my wife I learned to fuck much better

And thank you for lettin’ me go

Yeah, thank you for lettin’ me go

For real, thank you for lettin’ me go