Like any young star who becomes too famous too fast, Justin Bieber has been through some rough stuff. His whole life is constantly scrutinized, and while some people would crack under pressure like that, Bieber just comes out more enlightened and well-rounded. Part of that may be due to his recent embrace of Christianity—or at least the highlights of Christianity—which lead to an introspective-ish comeback album last year called Purpose. Of course, as Bieber moves away from his hard-partying days to a more thoughtful outlook, some people might begin to question just how cool the Biebs is now.
Thankfully, they don’t need to question it anymore, because Bieber has cemented his status as both a sensitive sweetheart with emotions and a cool badass who probably says swear words. He did this by appearing on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and performing an acoustic cover of Tupac Shakur’s “Thugz Mansion” that Rolling Stone describes as “starling,” “poignant,” and as having “a little extra soul” compared to the original. Whether you agree with Rolling Stone or not, the whole thing is very earnest in a way that suggests Bieber really is serious—like, deadly serious—about his new “nice boy who also has tattoos” persona.
Bieber also performed a cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” but it’s not quite as interesting as the Tupac cover: