On Friday morning, Justin Bieber released his long-awaited studio album Justice. On the album, Justin has scattered bits and pieces of audio from Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches, including the "MLK Interlude." He was quickly criticized for using MLK Jr.'s speeches, as many believed it was an example of "performative activism."

The day before the album’s release, Bieber took to Twitter to express that he was “supporting organizations that embody what justice looks like in action,” one of them being The King’s Center, which is a nonprofit organization founded by MLK’s family. MLK’s daughter Bernice King, who is also The King’s Center CEO, later publicly thanked Bieber for his support. “Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something,” King wrote. “Thank you, @justinbieber, for your support, in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign, which is a part of our global movement for justice.”


Bieber attempted to explain his use of the samples in a recent interview with Vogue, saying,

"What I wanted to do with this was amplify [Dr] Martin Luther King Jr’s voice to this generation. Being Canadian, it wasn’t so much a part of my culture […] this speech was actually during the time when [he had] a feeling that he was going to die for the cause, and what he was standing up against was ultimately racism and division. I think his message was that a lot of people can be afraid to stand up for what is right, but if you’re not standing up for justice — for what is right — what are you doing with your life?"