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Taking sides: How to make Justin Bieber cooler

justin bieberDarling, please go and cut that hair. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

As if Justin Bieber didn't already have it good enough, now he might actually be cool. Kanye West loves him, is going to help him collaborate with Raekwon and that super-slow version of "U Smile" is just flat-out awesome.

So that got us thinking? How does Bieber up the ante and make this coolness a lasting thing?

Chris Richards: The Biebs is a young star in the Justin Timberlake mold -- i.e. an adorable white boy who wishes he was Michael Jackson -- so, WWJTD? When it was time for Justin the elder to graduate from 'N Sync to adulthood, he ditched everything that was annoying about him: his bandmates, the weird man-perm, etc. So what does Bieber need to lose? The mop top, first and foremost. Don't let Ludacris near your next album. Shelf the forthcoming autobiography until you've experienced enough debauchery to make someone over the age of 13 want to read it. Don't cameo on the new Kanye album, (but do let Kanye produce yours). And for real, cut that hair.

Allison Stewart: There are only three possible ways Justin Bieber could get any cooler, and they're kind of all related:

1) Have a showmance with Taylor Swift. She's got an album coming out. And if you combed his hair differently and made him legal, he seems like he'd be her type.

2) Make that Kanye collabo happen.
Kanye said it would happen. Kanye says a lot of things.

3) Kanye. Bieber. Swift.
Five words: Rolling Stone "True Blood" cover. No baseball hats. No merkins. Just love. And lots of blood.

David Malitz: How does Bieber achieve ultimate cool status? Easy. Disappear. And I'm not talking about some short-term break. (But neither some literal Richey Edwards-type deal.) Just a solid, Jeff Mangum/Lauryn Hill/Kevin Shields/D'Angelo dropping off the map. The legend will only grow stronger with each passing year of silence. Maybe release an album of field recordings to remind people you still exist but stay silent and try to be photographed very rarely.

By Click Track  |  August 19, 2010; 1:45 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags: Justin Bieber  
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