Culture Wars

This Prankster Swapped Out Every Justin Bieber CD in the City

Comments (1)

By and

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 4:10 AM
click to enlarge Paz's CD, inside a Justin Bieber case - ARTEMIS THOMAS-HANSARD
  • Artemis Thomas-Hansard
  • Paz's CD, inside a Justin Bieber case
In a rather epic undertaking of graphic design manipulation, self-promotion, and petty crime, Los Angeles DJ Paz Dylan has swapped every Justin Bieber CD in the city, and replaced it with his own.

He made a bunch of fake Bieber CD cases, put his own CD in them, and then swapped the cases on shelves of stores all over the city - 5,000 CDs in all, he says.

Don't believe it? We didn't either, especially since Dylan, a veteran prankster, sent around his press release on April Fool's Day. But then we tested it ourselves, going to a random Best Buy on Pico Boulevard.
  • Artemis Thomas-Hansard
There, sitting on the rack were a handful of Bieber Believe CD cases, in plastic wrap just like all the others. If you look carefully, however, you'll see that, unlike other artists' CDs, Bieber's didn't have any stickers. Other than that, they looked totally legit.

Once paid for, we opened it up and - voila! - behind Bieber's urgent-looking mug was Paz's From The Bottom Of My Heart To The Top Of Your Lungs, whose art features a dog in a baseball cap wrapped up in a taco, and which sounds like Skrillex with Kendrick Lamar rapping over it.

A pretty neat trick, and one that he says took about a month of intense work. In fact, when we took the CDs to the front register and paid our 15 lousy bucks, the swapped-in cases actually scanned!

"The bar code was one of the most difficult parts," says Dylan when reached by phone.

His bio describes him as a "25-year-old subversive street artist and electronic musician." But what exactly was the point of all of this? Dylan, complaining about the difficulty independent musicians have getting into retail stores,  says the goal was to get exposure for his own music.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Alice Cooper's Words of Warning to Guitarist Nita Strauss

    At age 27, new Alice Cooper touring guitarist Nita Strauss is younger than many of the fans in the audience. But gigs playing guitar with acts as diverse as reunited ‘80s rockers Femme Fatale, video game tribute band Critical Hit, and Jermaine Jackson – yes, that Jermaine Jackson – have...
  • The 10 Biggest Classic Rock Douchebags

    While rock ‘n’ roll is necessarily classified as a form of pop music, it is actually an idiom whose radical, destructive primitivism established a new type of socio-cultural disorder. It’s about rejection of the status quo and celebration of the dis-imprisonment it instills. Always exploited for profit, rock’s unmanageable aspects...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, July 21 Lady Gaga STAPLES CENTER Since she first burst onto the scene and into the hearts and minds of her little monsters, Lady Gaga has become a genre unto herself. Beyond her hit-laden catalog, featuring many of the...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • Air Guitar Championship Semifinals @ The Troubadour
    The Southwest Semifinals of the US Air Guitar Championship were held last Saturday at the historic Troubadour Club in West Hollywood. The event determined who would compete as regional representatives at the 2014 National Finals in Kansas City on August 9th. The colorful contestants (many of whom opted for elaborate codpieces) were judged by comedians Kristen Schaal and the Sklar Brothers. The top score was awarded to crowd-surfing guitarist Kingslayer, the mother of a teenage son who also competed wearing little more than an American flag bathing suit. All photos by Gustavo Turner.
  • Lucha VaVOOM @ The Mayan Theatre
    Lucha VaVOOM to The Mayan Theatre on Thursday night with a dose of their Sexy, Hot, Summer FUN! show to a packed house. With all the girls, guns and muscles what could go wrong? All photos by Timothy Norris.
  • The Best L.A. Concert Scenes of 2014 (So Far)
    With more secret shows, more once-in-a-lifetime performances, and more venues than any place else, there is no doubt that L.A. is one of the top places on the planet to see live music. Here are the best concert scenes of 2014 (so far).