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Justin Bieber Vs. The Black Keys — The War Begins

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Feb 12, 2013 | 5:50pm EST

Justin Bieber Vs. The Black Keys

"Of course you realize," a great man (well, anthropomorphic cross-dressing rabbit) once said, "this means war."

Whether you deem warfare a contemptible crime puppeteered by ivory tower politicians or a necessary evil through which the common patriot can uphold the bounties of his beliefs, it has proven — at least so far — to be inevitable. Fury can break out between any two parties, be they countries with conflicting ideologies or survivalist tribes vying for the meatiest beefalo hide. Or, most frequently, between professional music artists who just don't really seem to like each other.

The latest industrial blitzkrieg to overwhelm the headlines faces Justin Bieber against The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney. Following Carney's reported suggestion that Bieber doesn't need or deserve a Grammy Award — the musician told TMZ, "Grammys are for like, music, not for money ... and he's making a lot of money. He should be happy." — the "Believe" singer took to Twitter with a retaliatory message: "the black keys drummer should be slapped around haha"

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Now, you might be inclined to shrug off this sort of exchange, thinking it no more than a round of inconsequential venting. But while rational human beings might be able to step away from a contentious back-and-forth, dedicated to nipping the issue in the bud then and there, we're dealing with musicians here.

And so we say... Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.

As one last peaceful moon rises over the music industry, we sigh with calm and contemplate this flickering inferno. If you think the madness will stay contained to Bieber and Carney, you carry with you the sort of naïveté most of us pray nightly to procure. No, sir — war is a team sport.

Obviously, Carney has his bandmate on his side: Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach. But what might not be so readily obvious is the remainder of troupes who'll line up to support the "Lonely Boy" duo. The Keys (do people call them that? am I out of touch?) have collaborated with the likes of a handful of respected artists with passionate followings:

Team Keys: Mos Def — I'm sorry, he goes by Yasiin Bey now, RZA, Jim Jones, Pharoahe Monch, Q-Tip, director Harmony Korine

What the underdog squad has in its corner is moxy. Heart. Raw talent. Lasting reverence. And as far as any sports movie made between the years of 1983 and 1999 is concerned, that's all you need to take the gold.

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But in this unfortunately real-life circumstance, can the BKs (how about that? is that better?) compete with the superpower status of Bieber's militia?

Team Bieber: Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Sean Kingston, Carly Rae Jepson, Boyz II Men

Here's where the might comes in. Bieber has a practical Justice League of music superstars at his disposal. While the bunch may not enjoy the same critical favor that the Blackeys (nope, worst one yet) do, their record sales speak for themselves. And if not, they have tons of hired reps on hand to speak for them. "No comment."

Officiating: Ludacris, as he's collaborated with both parties.

And now, we wait. We wait with brows sweating and mouths drying as an apocalyptic cataclysm readies to engulf the headlines in whole. Who will come out the victor? Who will be lost to the ravenous flames of buzzworthy animosity? And when — pray tell, when — will the atrocities end?

Why can't we all just be more like Adele?

Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter.

[Photo Credit: WENN (2)]


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