[artist id="3187077"]Justin Bieber[/artist] chills with [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] and [artist id="961097"]Ludacris[/artist] and he's even gotten a shout-out from [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] — how does he feel about being embraced by the hip-hop community?
"I like hop-hop a lot. I'm really glad they've taken a liking to me," he told MTV News recently. "Having Luda [on my song 'Baby'] and having Lil Wayne give me shout me out on UStream and, like, you know — it's cool."
He added that unlike many of his contemporaries, including pop stars Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, he didn't need the House of Mouse to get ahead in the industry. "I think it's because I didn't go through the Disney route," he explained. "I didn't go corny, but, like, at the same time I've been cool and collected."
And while one of his musical icons got his start on "The Mickey Mouse Club," Bieber still looks up to Justin Timberlake and his mentor, Usher. "Well, basically I look at people like Usher and Justin Timberlake and how they went from being a child star to blowing up and doing what they're doing now," he said. "I look up and see what they do and see that's what I want to do ... and things that I want to do that's different and things that I wanna do that's working for them."
And although he's working for Usher these days, he admitted he wouldn't pass up the chance to work with Wayne. "I would love to work with him in the future, but nothing so far," he explained, adding that despite all the hip-hop in his life he's actually got a lot of friends who are strictly pop.
"I mean, I just hang out with whoever. I'm also friends with Selena Gomez. I hang out with everyone," he said, adding any rumors of a swagger coach have been greatly exaggerated. "I mean, it's just a joke. It's just something we made up. ... I don't know; I'm just myself."
MTV News will be rolling out highlights from our exclusive sit-down interview with Justin Bieber all week!
What do you think of Justin Bieber's hip-hop connection? Tell us in the comments below!