Get It Twisted.
Everything You Need To Know About Lil Twist, Justin Bieber's Oak Cliff-Based Bad Influence.
By Pete on Friday January 11 2013 at 11:42 AM
Hey! According to the Internet, today is Oak Cliff rapper Lil Twist's birthday! He's 20 years old now -- a full-fledged adult, no doubt.
But what do you get the rapper who has everything (or at least a recording contract with Lil Wayne's Young Money Entertainment)? What could he possibly be gifted that he doesn't have?
How about, say, a whole spate of bad press? No problem!
Since the turn of the calendar year, the rapper, famously a friend of otherwise squeaky clean Canadian pop star Justin Bieber, has been under serious scrutiny from the entertainment press, which has repeatedly referred to Twist as a "bad influence" since photos of the two reportedly drinking champagne (both are underage) and smoking blunts began to surface right around New Year's Eve time -- with some of these photos, even, coming straight from Twist's Instagram account. Worse, he may have even been driving Bieber's car when a paparazzo died while trying to snap a photo of the pop idol --- according to one TMZ report, at least.
But what do we collectively really know about Twist? Not much, if the national news stories about him are any indication; very few of these pieces go into much detail about him beyond saying that he's a Lil Wayne-affiliated, Dallas-based rapper who has known Bieber for a while now.
All those things are true, to be sure. But what else is worth knowing about Twist?
Glad you asked.
• Lil Wayne discovered him in 2007. By 2008, he was making cameo appearances at Weezy concerts (including a December 2008 concert at the American Airlines Center) alongside the likes of Drake.
• In 2010, Lil Wayne officially signed Twist to his Young Money Entertainment label. Impressively, Twist has released five mixtapes since signing that deal, although he has still yet to release his formal debut.
• He comes with a lot of hype. A year after formally signing with Young Money, XXL listed Twist as one of the rap game's top up-and-comers, naming him to their annual "Freshman" list alongside such names as Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Big K.R.I.T.,Mac Miller and Lil B.
• His singles have actually been moderately successful. To an extent, at least. On August 30 of 2010, the music video for his "Little Secret" collaboration with Bow Wow was voted as the most popular video of the day on BET's 106 and Park. (Interesting sidenote: The next month, he was part of a Dallas-dominated day on the countdown, in which three videos from Dallas-based artists were voted into the top 10. The other two Dallas artists were rapper Dorrough and R&B singer Dondria.)
• He's been in the movies. After having Bow Wow guest star in "Little Secret," Twist returned the favor, making a cameo appearance in the Bow Wow-driven comedy, Lottery Ticket.
• Kevin Durant is a fan, maybe, but probably not. After innocuously and observantly tweeting on August 18 of 2011 that the MTV Jams channel was playing a lot of Lil Twist videos over the course of that day, Twist's fans descended upon the star Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player's account, asking if Durant thought that was such a bad thing. Durant eventually relented, tweeting, "lol ok cool nah I like Lil twist tho forreal." This came almost a year to the date after Durant tweeted -- and then deleted -- his not-so-approving thoughts on the above-mentioned "Little Secret" music video.
• He's a big Mavericks fan. After the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA title in 2011 and immediately celebrated their victory at the LIV nightclub in Miami, Twist was photographed hanging out with the team and posing with the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
• He has his own line of headphones. They're called "Swag Earphones," apparently.
• He used to be a "clean" rapper. Young Money used to handle Twist with care, crafting him in a squeaky clean image not all that dissimilar to Bieber's. He never cursed on his albums.
• Now, he's into "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll. Or so says his Twitter background.
They grow up so fast, don't they?