In 2008, Asher Roth, Brain Bangley, and I moved to Atlanta, GA. That same year, Scooter Braun moved Justin Bieber to our neighborhood. Naturally, knowing no one else in this new town, we all became friends. To kill the free time we had between our restaurant jobs, we did what all friends do: we recorded silly rap songs in the studio located in our rat infested basement. These songs were never supposed to be heard by the world. The lyrics of these songs were very much typical of anyone's first raps: braggodocious, crude, and meaningless. Recently, someone sold one of these songs to TMZ for an amount of money that won't measure up to the karma that will bite them in the ass. Now that the song is out, we might as well present the full version and offer some context as to how it was recorded.
At the time, it was just an inside joke—a "just for fun" remix to a song between some friends killing time. Even to this day, I never intended to
release it. But, five years and 50 million fans later, it's proven hard to keep these types of things in the vault. We've had ample opportunity to do put it out ourselves, but the fact that this song remained unreleased until now should be indicative of the fact that it was never intended to be heard by anyone other than those of us who were goofing around in the recording studio that day. Nevertheless, here's your opportunity to relive that moment and laugh along with us.
The story for this particular song is as follows: Brain Bangley and I were in our basement in Atlanta, GA recording when Justin Bieber's Mom dropped him off. The honest truth is that we didn't initially let him record with us—we knew Scooter and his mom wouldn't be cool with him "rapping" in general (especially considering what typical rap content entails).
Recording was just a hobby at the time—instead of shooting hoops, we make stupid rap songs. We wanted Justin to stay upstairs and play MarioKart, but he insisted and persisted. So we gave him a notepad and paper, sent him upstairs, and said, "If you can write 16 bars, we'll let you hop on."
About 10 minutes later, Brain Bangley and I were a few lines into our verses when, through the makeshift blanket doors of the studio, we heard
an excited, high-pitch voice exclaim, "I'm done!" That he was. I thought it was clever and fun, so we decided to let him record it, all the while thinking we could just delete it so Scooter would never hear. We sent him into the studio, and he laid down his verse in one take. We laughed, high-fived, went upstairs and played video games. That was it.
Also, a personal note from me: keep in mind that Justin was just a regular kid. He still is. We all are. We all have different journeys. We all have a life we need to experience in order to grow and mature. I always wonder how beautiful the world could be if more people took the energy they directed at the faults of celebrity figures and diverted it towards their own issues.
In this world, relationships are all we ever really have. Relationships with certain amazing people in our lives are what make us who we are. The
reason the best songs, movies and moments are made. They're the reason I'm writing this. I truly hope that Justin will find true love and friendship in his life. I'm not saying that their aren't amazing people in Justin's life, because there are and I know them personally. I'm just saying that it might make his world a little less confusing at times. Maybe instead of ridiculing him, next time just appreciate the fact that you have authentic people in your world. People that won't secretly sell your image, or a song you created five years ago, to an online publication for next month's
We were fortunate to get to know Justin during his last year of being a "regular" person. He became a younger brother to all of us. I understood Justin as a wide-eyed, big-hearted, eternally curious, regular person with extraordinary talents. And trust me, he is still that person.
I still believe in the big hearted Justin Bieber I knew five years ago in Atlanta, GA, the same way I believe in any of my friends whenever they hit a rough patch in their life—be it televised or lived out privately.
Hey, yo I'm JB, a.k.a. untouchable
Similar to Jay Z, cause my shoulder is brushable
Yo I'm droppin' this beat like Cannon
Oh you know I'm chillin' on the couch like Shannon
Oh I got boys, Bangley (bang!), all up on the mic
And oh, what a feelin', I'm feelin' nice
No ring on my finger to hold me down
So I got all these women that are holdin' me down
Hey, my young wanna have some fun
And you can play with my cannon
Oh it is my understanding
That you would like to start webcammin'
What about Facebook? Or Myspace
How would you like to take a look at my face
Isn't it pretty? But so is my cannon
No I'm not done, I am still standin'
Chrome 22's on my grocery cart
Rollin' down the street, tryna find me a heart, to break
That is not hard, it's a piece of cake
It's all because of my cannon
[JB] Yo, Lenox Mall, man
[Guy 1] Justin, we're takin' you to Lenox Mall, and we're gonna pick up some chicks
[Guy 2] Yeah.. I'm not gettin' girls otherwise
[Guy 1] We got it, it's the answer
[Guy 2] Yeah, Justin's the key to gettin' girls here