UPDATED, 5:05 p.m ET: According to a source, Ski Mask turned in his verse for the song in 2019 after Justin Bieber had reached out directly to him with the intention to feature Ski Mask on his album. Ski Mask "didn't hear until a couple weeks ago" that his verse would not be making the final cut.
See original story below.
Justin Bieber's long-awaited new album Changes is out today. As fans and even detractors alike expected, the album sees Bieber very much back in his element and delivering a litany of songs we'll likely all be familiar with by the end of the day. Early standouts include the previously released "Intentions" with Quavo, "Available," and the Posty and Clever-featuring "Forever." However, release day has brought up some minor guest feature perplexion regarding another track: "Running Over" featuring Lil Dicky.
As it turns out, according to DJ Scheme, the track was initially set to feature Ski Mask the Slump God, who—notably—is not Lil Dicky.
A SoundCloud upload of the song with Ski Mask's verse has also been shared, with a lyrical reference suggesting Bieber had advised him to refrain from sprinkling in any profanity with his contribution:
Justin told me 'Keep it PG'
Ski mask, meanwhile, hasn't addressed any of this, though a tweet he shared on Changes release day has been interpreted by some as a subtle nod to the discourse:
A widely floated assessment of the situation is that this could theoretically have something to do with the fact that Bieber and Dicky are both managed by industry titan Scooter Braun, though that shared connection has of course not been in any way confirmed by involved parties to have inspired the ultimate decision to feature Dicky.
Listeners, as seen below, have had plenty to say about the apparent Dicky x Ski Mask switch:
Listen to the album version of "Running Over," which sadly does not feature Ski Mask, below via YouTube:
On the eve of the new album's release, Bieber appeared on the Tonight Show to give host Jimmy Fallon a quick lesson on the joys of hockey. He's also set to appear on Friday night's episode.
Later this year, Bieber will embark on an extended tour in support of the album, which is his first new full-length release since the holds-up-quite-well Purpose back in 2015.