Pretty well coordinated April Fools prank? Possibly. Creative protest railing against the over-commercialisation of music and Bieber’s over snotty attitude? I wouldn’t rule it out. An overly elaborate scheme to simultaneously promote your own music whilst pissing off a bunch of Californian teens? Absolutely. At some point over the weekend across a bunch of department stores in Los Angeles, a DJ who goes by the name of Paz played a little switcheroo on a whole mess of Justin Bieber’s last album “Believe”.
By printing up a whole bunch of CDs with the exact same cover as Bieber’s album, but with a Paz’s CD on the inside instead, Paz went to a swathe of Wal-Mart’s, Best Buy’s, and Target’s and put copies of his Bieber creation on the shelf with the intent that they would stay there for as long as possible. The fake albums are, on the outside, completely identical to the genuine item, right down to the barcode that still registers as a copy of Justin’s album, presumably sending money into the Beeb’s pocket despite the different musical content.
The CD the cases actually contain is a doge, taco, cat, pizza, dog-in-a-taco emblazoned copy of Paz’s album “From the Bottom of my Heart to the Top of your Lungs.” Though I’m inclined to suggest that “Dog Taco Pizza Cat” is a much better title and would move many copies, negating the need for a bamboozle such as this.
The prank is reminiscent of the one that Danger Mouse and Banksy pulled in 2006, where they replaced copies of Paris Hilton’s album with ones that had slightly altered artwork, and contained a disc with a 40 minute song featuring statements she had made.
Paz has come out in defence of the act, insisting it’s no prank. “The general idea is that retail stores make it almost impossible for independent musicians to get their music in there. I’ve always believed that retail stores can be the best outlets and ambassadors for independent music. They just choose not to be and sell the same recycled [expletive deleted from the quote but I’m going to presume he said ‘shit’ here] We thought if they’re going to lock their doors to independent musicians, we’re just going to knock them down and get our music in there.”
A fair enough statement theoretically. Though in this instance, I feel that replacing Justin’s music with one long, continuous fart noise would probably have had the same effect.
Photo: Robyn Beck via Getty Images.