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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stop, Drop and Roll: Justin Bieber is White?

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Biebster on the mic
  • Biebster on the mic
I think I can still legitimately claim to have never heard a real Justin Bieber song, which doesn't bother me very much. Doesn't keep me from appreciating his cherubic wholesomeness and his unauthorized novelties, such as the Sigur Rós-caliber majesty of "U Smile" slowed down 800% and the probably ill-advised Kanye West remix of "Runaway Love." 

And now there's this, Wherein Bieber, reincarnated as Shawty Mane, rhymes for about a minute over the beat to "Speaking In Tungs," the last track on Dipset protégé Vado's debut album, Slime Flu, released on Tuesday. 

And maybe it's my contextual ignorance of most things Bieberian -- is he even old enough to be rapping about getting "hella dome"? -- but I have to say: it's pretty good. 

If not pretty good, then at least impressively uncanny. The "A Milli"-soundalike beat helps, of course, but Shawty Mane's sounds eerily similar to Lil Wayne's reptilian rasp, minus a couple thousand blunts. Listen the way the kid purrs little yeahs between verses. (He doesn't sing like that, right?) And then listen to the way he slings legit slang about dating black chicks despite being, as he takes pains to write on a pad at 1'24, WHITE: 

My new chick, she a yellowbone
I buy her yellow stones
Cause I like it when she got that yellow on

There's plenty here to exegize -- even more, arguably, than in the Das Racist freestyle over the same beat. You should probably get familiar. Or maybe being a little less familiar is the trick.

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Daniel Levin Becker


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