From his off-and-on relationship with Selena Gomez to the current controversy brewing about a leaked photo of him smoking weed, Justin Bieber has hit a bit of a rough patch in the past few weeks. It always helps to have close friends supporting you through difficult times, but in Bieber's case, his BFF Lil Twist seems to be catching some heat as well.
The YMCMB rapper is being pinned as a bad influence on Biebs, but judging from their history, these two simply seem to have an unbreakable bond. Let's take a closer look at their friendship:
A Friendly Introduction
Bieber and Twist have become close over the past few years, after being introduced by a mutual friend, even referring to each other as "brothers." "Me and Justin, we actually met through a mutual friend, and after that, we got real cool," Twist told MTV News back in 2010. "[We] started working in the studio, sending stuff through the MacBook and everything. And then he was like, 'Yo, bro, we should do a mixtape. Let's go.' We just started then."
Lil Twist earned a spot on XXL's 2011 Freshmen list, and during his interview for the feature, he name-dropped JB. Turns out, that friendly introduction had blossomed into a full-fledged friendship. "[When I got the call to be a Freshman] me and Justin Bieber was on vacation," he revealed at the time. "That's like my best friend, my little brother. We just took a vacation [to St. Lucia], and once I did get the call we just wild-out at the house we were at."
Making Sweet Music Together
When two talented artists form such a tight bond, a collaboration is typically on the horizon. Bieber has been steadily recording his own music and touring over the past couple of years, but a joint mixtape from the two is also in the works. They've been teasing the project since 2010, and last summer, Twist was excited to reveal that Bieber would appear on the single "Wherever You Are" from his debut album Don't Get It Twisted.
Lil Twist was nominated as one of MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2011, and even though he didn't win the fan-driven contest, he got plenty of support from his friend. Justin Bieber openly supported Twist during the competition, tweeting to his millions of followers that they should vote for his YMCMB pal.
Back in November, Bieber temporarily split with girlfriend Selena Gomez in the midst of rumors that he was spending time with Victoria's Secret model Barbara Palvin. The details are still sketchy, but Twist was by his side through it all. In a photo that appeared on Twitter, Biebs and Twist were seen hanging with Palvin in the background. Bieber also rang in the new year with the YMCMB rapper in Mexico, where he also partied without Selena Gomez.
The year got off to an unfortunate start when a paparazzo was killed while trying desperately to catch a shot of Justin Bieber driving in California on New Year's Day. Bieber sent out condolences to the photographer's family, but turns out it was actually his pal Lil Twist borrowing his white Ferrari for a quick spin. Earlier, the two had been hanging at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills.