Most people who have casually followed Justin Bieber’s evolution from sweet young man to college-aged douche would probably point the finger at the Selena Gomez break-up as the catalyst for the shenanigans. That hypothesis certainly isn’t wrong, but people close to the situation often cite two other possible problems in the pop star’s life: Lil Za and Lil Twist.

Both Lil Za and Lil Twist live with Bieber inside his Calabasas mansion. They moved in to give the Biebs a group of friends to hang out with on a regular basis, but lately, they’ve started to seem like more trouble than they’re worth. In just the past year, Bieber has been caught smoking pot. Lil Twist has been caught for driving under the influence in one of Bieber’s cars, and shocking videos of abhorrent d-bag behavior involving the three man crew have gone public.

At first, the pop star’s handlers just let it all go, but in recent days, they’ve reportedly been trying to get Bieber to kick Lil Twist and Lil Za to the curb. At the very least, they reportedly want them gone from his mansion, but according to TMZ, that doesn’t seem very likely at all. The musician has reportedly spent so much time hanging out with adults over the past few years that he’s really enjoying spending time with other people his age. Besides, he allegedly feels like they’ve supported him quite a bit over the last year, and it would be poor friend form if he didn’t do the same after Lil Twist’s DUI.

No doubt this story will be considered a disaster by most of Bieber’s neighbors who are very sick of the entire crew, but even so, it’s not particularly surprising. As numerous parents over the years have discovered, having a conversation with someone about how their friends may be bad influences tends to get the person to dig in his or her heels even more. That doesn’t mean that talk can’t cause a revaluation process, but it doesn’t often happen overnight.

I’m all for Bieber hanging out with the people he wants to hang out with, but there’s a big difference between going out on the town with some wild friends and having some fun a few nights a week and actually living with those good times friends who might not be advocating sensible behavior.

Since none of us are there, it’s really hard to know whether Bieber is the bad influence or whether it’s the other way around. For all we know, Justin could be pushing for the outlandish behavior, but regardless of who the lil devil on the shoulder is, something needs to change before Justin winds up arrested or further vilified by the media who once loved him.

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