Is Tyler, the Creator Really Looking Out for Justin Bieber?

June 5th, 2013

(Photo: Justin Bieber via Instagram)

By Jake Rohn

Last week Justin Bieber made headlines after allegedly terrorizing his Calabasas gated community with his Ferrari, driving fast and reckless. In fact, it was so bad that former NFL superstar Keyshawn Johnson chased after the teen pop sensation in an attempt to confront him about his fast and furious driving. Bieber claimed he was not the one driving the expensive car but Keyshawn later told TMZ Bieber was a punk and a trickster, insisting that the Canadian wunderkind was behind the wheel. Now we have a new twist in the story as Odd Future rapper Tyler, the Creator has stepped up to say he was the driver in question.
Three witnesses in the neighborhood have also identified Bieber as the driver, yet the plot thickens with Tyler, the Creator’s admission. The OF rapper took to Twitter to “confess” that it was he, not Bieber, that was behind the wheel of the now infamous white Ferrari. Despite Tyler’s confession, many people believe he is just taking the fall. First of all, the two definitely do not look alike, so it’s unlikely that four people would mistake one for the other. Secondly, Bieber, like Vin Diesel’s character in every movie he’s in, has branded himself as someone that drives fast and with little regard for his own safety or that of others. Was it a good idea for Tyler to confess?
Let’s look at the positives. Number one, his reputation among his music brethren will be that of a standup guy who took a bullet for his friend. Secondly, despite Justin’s numerous attempts to sabotage his own career with his typical spoiled teenager with money antics, the kid remains one of the biggest stars on the planet, which means Tyler might have broadened global awareness of his own music by showing up in the Justin Bieber Google Alert. Basically, he just got free press for something he might not even wind up being punished for. For Tyler, taking the fall in this one might, in a weird way, be showing his awareness of his own target audience, because when it comes to driving recklessly, parents look at it negatively but teenagers don’t, and who buys Tyler and Odd Future’s music? Hint: NOT the parents.
Regardless of whether it was Tyler or Justin, this is a gamble for Tyler. If he is found guilty of reckless driving, he will have to suffer the consequences, which could mean losing his license for a while, community service, fines or even (doubtful but possible) jail time. But if you look at the cost/benefit of his actions, Tyler wins either way. As of now, there is no definitive proof of the Ferrari’s exploits, so the chances of a conviction are not as good as Bieber’s neighbors might hope. But even if Tyler does take the wrap for this one, Bieber – one of the most bankable artists on the planet – now owes him a favor, and musical favors from Bieber often amount to big dollars. If it was Tyler driving and he’s legitimately coming clean, he’s not damaging his reputation since he’s already known as a wild dude — as anyone who watches Loiter Squad on Adult Swim already knows. Whether or not any more evidence of what really happened comes to light, Tyler will probably be on the winning end of this. Bieber, on the other hand, might want to slow his roll. Parents do like him, and are probably responsible for a significant chunk of his concert tickets, album and merchandise sales. Endangering a suburban neighborhood while looking like a brat is a quick way to ensure that those dollars go to Cody Simpson or One Direction instead of him. Win or lose, Bieber and Tyler both better watch their backs for Keyshawn.
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