Aaron Carter is adamant about sending a message to Justin Bieber.
In an interview with Complex magazine, the 28-year-old musician -- who is busy promoting his upcoming album, LØVË -- addresses comparisons between his big break in music at a young age and Bieber's rise to fame.
The younger brother of Nick Carter says it's the hardship he's endured that will set him apart from "everyone else" in the music industry -- the "Sorry" singer included. "Justin Bieber might talk about that, but bro, let me tell you, man," he begins. "When you lose everything, and you’re in debt $5 million, and you have nobody wanting to believe in you -- that's a phoenix rising from the ashes."
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In a November 2015 Billboard interview, Bieber's lawyer, Aaron Rosenberg, was asked, "How did Bieber not turn into Aaron Carter? What went right?" Rosenberg responded by saying "family, faith, friends, fans and the formula," which led Carter to tweet: "Can't knock this but watch what YOUR people say/answer @justinbieber all questions are approved I'm not an idiot."
When talking to Complex, Carter addresses the 22-year-old singer directly, asking, "Justin Bieber, can I ask you a question? How did I turn out? Do you pay attention? Maybe you should open your eyes. Or wear my glasses, 'cause they’re really dope."
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Carter also explains the meaning behind his huge neck tattoo. "I’m always chasing after love," he declares. "And that’s why I got 'love' tattooed on my jugular, you know what I mean?"
Carter's return to music has been a long time coming. After enduring some financial woes over the past decade, he says he's finally able to do what he loves. "I spent nine years trying to figure out how to file this bankruptcy so I can fix my career," he shares. "In the interim, I was working on music. And I spent nine years trying to figure it out."
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Carter adds that regardless of the album's outcome, he will not be defeated. "There would never be any failure. Because I did it myself and I’m proud of what I’ve done," he proclaims. "I have a statement that I’ve come up with: I’d rather do what I feel is right -- or, what's the statement? I’d rather do what feels right for me and fail than do what everyone expects me to do and succeed temporarily. Because at the end of the day, you’re left with yourself. You see?"
When Carter was just 12 years old, he told ET that he had another career aspiration in mind other than music. "My ultimate goal is to be a marine biologist because that's my dream," he said in 2000. "I always wanted to be one and I always wanted to be a discoverer and go around the world, see different things."