Shia, un-rapped! Just days after he made headlines for an on-set injury that required stitches, Shia LaBeouf is back in the spotlight, this time for a viral video that shows him "freestyle rapping" amid a crowd of onlookers.
The clip — posted to Facebook and YouTube on Sunday, June 28, and shot by someone named Corey James — features the shirtless Fury actor, 29, spitting rhymes for more than two minutes. His lyrics include: "I'm so underground, rap kids call me Tubman" and "Still breaking down potatoes like I'm f--king Galileo."
At one point in the clip, he trash talks the Transformers franchise that made him a worldwide star, spitting, "Nah, none of that / Transformers is the dummy rap / I'm so past that."
The rap may not be as "freestyle" as it seems, though. After the video surfaced online, emcee Pri the Honeydark accused the actor of ripping off some of the lyrics from the Anomolies song "Perfectionist."
"Mr. Shia Labeouf...You are re-activating my Battle MC inner being!" she wrote in a note on Instagram. "You can't rip songs from my ANOMOLIES crew, recite them in a freestyle as your own, get credit for it, then not expect to be called out by ACTUAL MCs!"
Pri the Honeydark continued: "I don't care WHO YOU ARE! There is a respect factor in this REAL MC life & there are levels to this! In the words of my ANOMOLIES Crew member Helixx C., 'WATCH HOW YOU APPROACH DUDE!'"
According to her caption for the note, "Perfectionist" was "written, recorded, and performed" by the Anomolies crew in 1999. "This is straight disrespect to lyricism," she added.
A video of "Perfectionist," posted to YouTube in 2009, indeed contains rhymes used by the actor in his rap (though it's worth noting that he never explicitly claims them as original). This verse, for example, appears at the 48-second mark of the Anomolies song, and at the 2:20 mark of LaBeouf's video:
"I reckon you want more of that rare commodity / the quality is what it's gotta be / and my philosophy is much farther than what your eyes can see."
He also uses a version of this line, which appears at around 1:57 in the Anomolies clip: "Need to rock a gas mask now / see who got the last laugh."
Incidentally, this is not the first time LaBeouf has been accused of plagiarism. Back in December 2013, he came under fire for using parts of Daniel Clowes' comic Justin M. Damiano in his short film HowardCantour.com. He proceeded to apologize via skywriting and Twitter — but as Time and others pointed out, his apology was plagiarized, too. LaBeouf lifted a few sentences from a Yahoo! Answers post four years before, and then tweeted several unattributed quotes from public figures including Tiger Woods, Robert McNamara, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Earlier that same year, he re-appropriated a 2009 essay from Esquire, titled "What Is a Man?," in an email about his "creative differences" with Alec Baldwin, which led him to quit the Broadway production of Orphans.
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