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May 16, 2012 at 08:02 PM EDT

As another pop star put it a decade ago, Justin Bieber is not a boy, not yet a man. But he’d certainly like to transition to an older fan base, so as Bieber Fever hits adults (or is it just me?), the eighteen-year-old opened up to GQ about drinking, haters, and the struggles about how one goes from teenybopper to Timberlake  in 2012 .

Features in magazines for adults, as opposed to Tiger Beat and Seventeen, certainly help, and this latest interview shows a more mature Biebs than when Rolling Stone caught up with him last year and he made some ill-advised remarks about abortion and Korea.This new media-savvy Bieber is a “Baby” no more. He even shot a fun cameo for last week’s NSFW Saturday Night Live digital short. With his new album Believe out June 19th, the timing is perfect for a big leap forward. Adult superstar? Never say never. (Side note: The new video for “Boyfriend” is certainly helping things.) We parsed through the profile below to bring you up to speed.

No club stumbles for him. If Justin Bieber was your boyfriend, he’d let you drink some beer. The still-underage star showed a healthier view of imbibing than most college freshman his age. “For me, it’s just like, I like to be in control of myself,” he told the magazine. “I mean, I’ve had a beer, like, before…. But I never get out of control.” Points for candor, plus an eighteen-year-old who occasionally drinks is about the safest “danger” that Bieber’s handlers could hope for.

-“I’ve never made a bad song,” Bieber proclaims. We’re going to have to agree to disagree, Justin, but that ego shows a performer who is eager to keep hustling — cheesy Christmas album or not.

Bieber’s been Keeping Up With The Kardashians. When members of his entourage start making fun of Kim, he jumps to her defense and claims, “She works hard.” The Kardashian love is strong in that one. I’m no K.K. defender, but it’s nice to see someone who gets a lot of flack sticking up for someone else who does. Even if said person is someone many others in the entertainment industry — Jon Hamm, Daniel Craig — want nothing to do with.

As the GQ profile points out, the road is not kind to grown-up pop stars, and it can be tough to transition to an artist with respect. Popwatchers: Where is your Bieber Fever registering these days?  Will you pick up a copy of Believe?

Read More:

Justin Bieber releases Mother’s Day single ‘Turn To You’: Listen here

Justin Bieber’s grown ‘n’ sexy ‘Boyfriend’ video debuts: Watch it here 

This week in Twitter: Justin Bieber taunts non-babymama, Nicki Minaj says goodbye

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