Ever enigmatic and probably still nursing a gnarly headwound, Shia LaBeouf is making headlines again from North Dakota, where he’s reportedly filming a movie called “American Honey.” Just a few days after being featured on TMZ looking a little worse for the wear, all banged up with a bandaged forehead, a video of the actor freestyling in a makeshift cypher is making the rounds.
And as quickly as the clip garnered its own entry on Genius, the annotated lyrics database, did his efforts get harangued for its similarities to a track from the ’90s by a rap crew called the Anomolies. The clip features Shia rapping a capella at an Oglala Lakota swimming hole, according to Corey James, from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, who shot the video of LaBeouf rapping.
While that footage is mildly entertaining in a Joaquín Phoenix sort of way, there’s a clip from a few years back, when Craig Kilbourne was still hosting the “Late Late Show,” before LaBeouf was bearded, that’s infinitely more intriguing and insightful, particularly in light of LaBeouf’s latest endevors.
Talking about doing stand-up as a 11-year-old, looking like “Disco Screech,” as he puts it, he notes how he learned early on that he had to be outrageous to raise eyebrows to grab and keep the attention of drunk grown ups.
“I used to perform at the Icehouse and stuff, and they got alcohol there, and so I couldn’t perform there unless the alcohol was away,” he tells Kilbourne, at least more than a decade ago. “So you’d be sitting there with all these drunk people, and they really don’t give a crap about some kid performing. They just want their alcohol. They don’t care what you’re saying. So you have to come there and, like, shock value.”
Later in the segment, a much younger LaBeouf, sans facial hair, indulges his inner b-boy, breaking for a bit before offering up a much more stilted freestyle, in which he invokes Jeremy Shockey.
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