Justin Bieber has decided to use his "bizzle" moniker - previously used only in private by the superstar and friends - as his public name on Instagram and his invested-in app, Shots of Me. Update: Bieber's Instagram account has now returned to his formal name.
The 19-year-old made the change over the weekend, retweeting a message by a fan Twitter account to underline the move, while also telling them "Bizzle" would be used "for now."
Given that Bieber has over 49 million Twitter followers, it's unlikely the Canadian will change his Twitter handle, as he and his brand are currently battling two criminal charges, with a possibility of a third now being decided amid a PR backlash over criticism of his behavior.
The "Bizzle" change has prompted reports speculating whether the teen star is preparing to drastically shift his music style and relaunch as a rapper.
The speculation - which isn't outlandish - comes after Justin's collaborations with rappers Lil Wayne, Big Sean and Chance The Rapper on his latest Journals album.
However, Bizzle is also the name Bieber often signs his graffiti art under. As such, the name change could mean no more than a teen's whim to use a nickname more actively.
When Bieber was arrested for suspected DUI in Miami Beach last month, his friend Xavier "Lil Za" Smith spray-painted "Free Bizzle" on a skateboarding half-pipe in the grounds of the singer's home in protest.
(Photo: Bieber's half-pipe in Calabsas, California.)
Apparently staying away from egging-related tensions in his Calabasas neighborhood, Justin has decamped to "second home" Atlanta, Georgia, and is believed to be recording there for at least one month.
The heartthrob was spotted partying shirtless with new gal pal, model Chantel Jeffries, 21 - who rode shotgun with him before his DUI - at Atlanta's Vanquish Lounge Wednesday night with Sean 'Diddy' Combs, T.I, Rick Ross, Jermaine Dupri and Wale, among others.
(Photo: via Instagram, Bieber and T.I)
At some point during the wee hours the Bad Boy CEO, Bieber, Ross and others, blitzed Twitter teasing Ross' upcoming Mastermind.
Justin tweeted an Instagram photo of himself with the rap royalty which Diddy retweeted, explaining they were in the studio working on Ross' album.
With talk of Bieber's speculated career jump and rap heavyweight outings, over the weekend TMZ published a version of the then 14-year-old freestyling over a remixed Asher Roth track "Cannon." The effect of risqué lyrics such as:- "Hey, my young, wanna have some fun? You can play with my cannon" becomes blushy fun in Justin's high voice.
The remixers of the track, Boyder and Brain Bangley, met Bieber and his manager Scooter Braun when they relocated to Atlanta within months of each other and became friends.
Fast forward to a day when the crew were hanging out, typically recording silly, rap tracks never intended for public consumption.
The remixers explained both Braun and Bieber's mother would not have approved of Justin rapping, so they initially said no when he asked if he could rap on the track.
Set a challenge of writing a rap to 16 bars which was intended to discourage him - in fact - Bieber completed it in 10 minutes, dropped the rap in one take, and the moment was over.
The track was recently sold to TMZ by someone for what Boyden called "an amount of money that won't measure up to the karma that will bite them in the a**."
Of the mounting and, in some instances, deliberately inflated furor presently surrounding Bieber, the remixer -- who knew the singer the year before his fame went supernova --- offers some insights into what such a change does to a life.
"The teenage years are the most confusing, weird, and awkward years of anyone's life. Justin had to go through those years with non-stop cameras in his face. It's been really easy for me to forget the stupid s**t I've done in my life because there was no one there to document it (or I documented it and I deleted it)," the remixer wrote.To read Boyden's essay about the background to Bieber's harmless "Cannon" rap in full, click the link within the tweet below.
"If you really think about it, it might be the same scenario for you. Imagine that you lived a life where everyone around you was secretly plotting a way to benefit from your existence. 99.9% of the people in JB's world are there because they hope their career will become better as a result. I don't know about you, but that would make my life very complicated," he added.
As to whether Bieber is about to bust out as a rapper?
Never say never.
@BOYDERyo although never wanted this out what u wrote here is real & heartfelt and we all loved those days grinding it out together. Thanks
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) February 10, 2014
I have nothing but love for @justinbieber and @brainbangley and the moment that this song was made in 2008: http://t.co/L7sAGfCPMT
— Boyder the Enjoyer (@BOYDERyo) February 10, 2014