At a recent concert in Detroit, Justin Bieber rapped the opening lines of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” his hit song from the 8 Mile soundtrack. Video after the jump. Now, I’m not saying that this is the first time a musician has covered (or even written) a song to which he or she had no directly relatable experience, but this is pretty egregious. The movie 8 Mile, which was based on Eminem’s actual life in Detroit, is about a struggling would-be rapper who spends his days working at a car parts factory, and spends his nights picking his pill-addicted mother up off of the trailer house floor. His is a world of abject poverty, desperate violence, dead end employment and grueling survival. Justin Bieber has been famous since he was 9! Him rapping this song is a lot like when you see clips from foreign talk shows where people who clearly don’t speak any English are singing Johnny Cash songs that they learned how to reproduce phonetically. “I feel ehn toe ah borning rang uf fahr.” Obviously, Justin Bieber is a beloved performer who can rap whatever the hell he wants at his concerts filled with thousands upon thousands of shrieking fans. It is just my pet peeve when famous CHILDREN present themselves as people who have “worked hard” or “struggled” to get where they are. No, you didn’t. It’s OK! Some people luck out and don’t have to, which is not their fault, and they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for embracing the opportunity that life gave them from a very early age, but one of those people is def you bro. It might also just be that I can’t stand what he is doing with his hands:

This guy’s a gangster? His real name’s Clarence! Almost feel bad for him, actually. The way in which he is forced by his circumstances to play dress up, a child’s natural inclination, in front of the entire world is too bad. And anyone can have empathy to see this little boy struggle as he tries so desperately to find the one thing that his incredible wealth can’t buy him: credibility. JK he’s fine. He’s #bieber!

Comments (30)
  1. The best thing I could ever do for myself this Monday is not watch this video.

  2. My favorite part was all of it.

  3. He’s definitely got the “arms spaghetti” part nailed down.

  4. Future cool dad, Justin Bieber.

  5. I’d just like to point out that Donald Trump singing “Started From The Bottom” would be just as apt as Ivanka, he’s old but he’s still just a spoiled little brat blowing daddy’s money

  6. Unbeliebable

  7. i totes was just talking about this gabe. these kids who grow up with everything have no appeal. it looks like you understood my mickey mouse club argument after all.

  8. Also, is there anyone who is at this concert who would know/get this? I mean, how many of the 13-year-old girls in the audience are familiar with Eminem/8 Mile even IF they live in Detroit?

  9. I mean, the kid was 8 or something when that song came out. It’s probably a favorite from his childhood. And he was in Detroit, a town that has few remaining points of pride beyond its musical heritage. I don’t see it so much as co-opting as playing to the home town.

    I swear, though, this book ( totally reoriented my thinking on pop stars. Pissing in mop buckets aside, it’s a twisted universe in which your every fart is dissected and debated.

    • Yeah, I agree with you. I liked Eminem a lot when I was younger, even if I wasn’t always aware of the socio-political themes in his work, it’s just the only rap that I could actually keep up with (you guys, I’m so white). And while I’m no Bieber apologist, he was raised by a single mother who had him at 17, so I don’t think his early life was exactly gilded toilet paper and Polo with the President (king?) of Canada. As far as Bieber goes, this is hardly an egregious sin to me.

  10. Started From the Bottom may not be the best choice as a comparison, considering Drake probably should have titled it Started From the Middle.

  11. Enjoy your Belieber death threats.

  12. His wardrobe looks like he is supposed to be part of a a boy band from the late ’80s/ early ’90s, then no one else showed up and he had to perform by himself.

    Did you guys hear denim on denim is coming back? Denim is back in a big way. I think Minaj wore denim, and so did someone else. It’s crazy. Who’dathunchtulu?

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