It’s been a while since Shia LaBeouf has done anything really stupid, so naturally it’s time for a video of him freestyle rapping to surface. Dropping lyrical couplets with all the linguistic agility of David after the dentist, a shirtless LaBeouf decided to demonstrate his prowess on the mic, and the results are in: a somewhat inebriated-seeming Shia LaBeouf raps as well as you’d expect him to. The kids around him end up in a real-life version of the classic Simpsons “Boo-urns” vs. “Boo” moment, only replace those two exclamations with “LaBeouf” and “Oof”:
It’s a discomfiting watch, somewhat akin to a friend popping in a DVD of his child’s horrendously atonal piano recital performance, then turning to you and going, “Eh? Eh?” LaBeouf repeatedly acknowledges his own amateur status—“I already said it” comes out of his mouth more than once—and yet he plunges on, convinced that a great rhyme is just around the corner, the “corner” here being a seemingly unending stream of simplistic and hokey syllables. “And shit” is by far his most common interjection. (“Shia LaBeouf interjects with shit” would be an accurate summation of his recent apology tour, as well.)
Look, this is the equivalent of a backyard barbecue home movie, and it isn’t fair to come down on him too hard for what was no doubt a goofy lark. Judging people for farting around in camera footage taken from parties is basically the equivalent of dancing terribly in front of your mirror at home, and then stepping outside and mocking someone with a physical disability in public because they’re not as graceful as you. We are all Shia LaBeouf doing an embarrassing freestyle rap.
Now, if you want to step onto a red carpet wearing a paper bag on your head? That’s a wholly separate thing, one we will happily mock. Besides, most of these rhyming couplets will probably turn out to be plagiarized.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Someone has already come forward to accuse Shia of plagiarism—at least of one couplet. As a few commenters have noticed, several sites already called out Mr. LaBeouf for lifting several of his final lines from a 1999 song called “Perfectionist” by rap group Anomolies. Happily, some enterprising fan already transcribed his rhymes on Genius, making it very easy to see just what he lifted. So, in other words, Shia ran out of gas, and started substituting others’ work as his own. Hmmmmmm.