Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber is convinced he has been embraced by the hip-hop community because he isn't a "corny" Disney star like his contemporaries Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.
The 16-year-old singer is mentored by R&B superstar Usher, and Ludacris provided a rap cameo on his hit track Baby. Bieber is glad hip-hop's finest are fans of his pop sound - and he's adamant they are eager to work with him because he didn't follow the same route to fame as many other teen artists.
He tells MTV.com, "I like hop-hop a lot. I'm really glad they've taken a liking to me. Having Luda (Ludacris) and having Lil Wayne give me shout me out on UStream, you know - it's cool. I think it's because I didn't go through the Disney route. I didn't go corny, but, like, at the same time I've been cool and collected."
However, there is one former Disney child star Bieber is inspired by - ex-Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake.
He adds, "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. 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."