Justin Bieber Gives a Spicy Nod to Louisiana on His Latest Song, But Did You Know About His Cajun Roots?
Which one of you introduced Justin Bieber to Cajun seasoning?
I'm asking because, on his latest single, the pop superstar delivers a "spicy" line that describes his muse. The song is called "Honest" and features crooning rapper Don Toliver. I can only assume Bieber's muse on this record is his wife Hailey Bieber.
The record is a dreamy pop tune with a start-stop rhythm where the parts of the tracks with no vocals almost do as much lifting as the segments that do contain lyrical content.
It actually reminds me of an equal-to-or-better version of a track that JB and Don Toliver did with Skrillex called "Don't Go"—but I'll let you be the judge of that on your own time.
Today, I'm investing all of my focus into the idea that Justin Bieber may just be more cultured in the Cajun ways than we may have realized. I wonder if it started when he came to Lafayette back in 2010?
Do you remember that concert? Justin Bieber was in the infant stage of his career but already a megastar with an insane fan base who were definitely well-represented 11 years ago on that hot August night.
Before I go any further, I think it's time to tell you why I'm even having this discussion about Justin Bieber's Cajun influence. On his new track "Honest," Justin spits the following line.
You get spicy (you get spicy)
I like that cajun on you (yeah)
On occasion, that's your testimony
I've seen the word Cajun used in ways that should warrant jail time, but this one actually sticks.
"Spicy" is a reoccurring theme in the record and in this lyric Justin is actually using the word Cajun as a double entendre to describe that type of spice but also the "heat" on his muse—in both a figurative and a literal sense.
Other people have taken notice as well.
Of course, this entire story is a tongue-in-cheek opportunity for me to point out that one of the biggest superstars in the world is shouting out our culture, but his roots in our area are probably closer than we think.
First things first, Bieber was born in London, Ontario to parents Jeremy Bieber and Pattie Mallette. While he was born in Canada, his ties to our Acadian culture run deeper than I thought.
While he is a well-known Canadian celebrity, it may come as a surprise to learn that Bieber has deep French-Canadian and Acadian roots on his mother’s side of the family. His grandmother Diane Henry grew up in Hearst, Ontario, a largely Francophone community.
While that was an interesting tidbit to discover via The French-Canadian Genealogist, Bieber's family actually gets even closer to Acadiana than that.
Bieber’s 6th grandparents were forced to leave in 1758 aboard a British ship. On 23 Jan 1759, they arrived at St-Malo in Brittany, France. During the crossing, they tragically lost their 2-year old daughter Agathe. In 1764, British authorities allowed some Acadians to return home. They slowly returned, settling mainly in Nova Scotia. Simon Henry and his family moved to Bonaventure, Québec instead. About 3,000 Acadians chose to settle in Louisiana, where they maintained their language and culture, their descendants becoming known as “Cajuns” (an anglicization of the French “Acadiens”).
So, there you have it. It's more than just a lyric. Bieber's family is definitely familiar with seasoning and his spicy cajun lyrics on "Honest" are probably more authentic and intentional than we thought.
So the next time you hear it, just know that you're pretty much listening to a Zydeco song.
Just kidding :) but it's still pretty cool to see the culture in the spotlight—even if it's just a subtle lyric tucked away in a Justin Bieber song.
By the way, if you wanna see Justin Bieber perform this song live, then enter to win our flyaway here and you may just score two tickets to his concert in L.A. along with airfare, hotel, and $500 cash.