The internet is going wild for this photo of Pope Francis on the mic

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Pope Francis is finishing up his trip around Africa with a visit to the Central African Republic. While he was there Gianluigi Guercia, a photographer working for the AFP, took a photo of him gesturing while giving a blessing at a displaced persons camp.

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This photo:

This image was removed due to legal reasons.
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Twitter users saw this photo and thought "the Pope sure looks like he's dropping a freestyle verse." Thus #PopeBars was born.

https://twitter.com/DustinShim/status/671290348946223104

https://twitter.com/Peve20/status/671371722235449344

“Who shot Biggie Smalls, if we don’t get them, they gon’ get us all” pic.twitter.com/BsMr6fcdtk

— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) November 30, 2015

As the name suggests, the hashtag consists almost entirely of people appending pontifical raps to this photo of Francis holding a microphone. A lot have been surprisingly funny.

According to Topsy the first #PopeBars tweet seems to have come from a Malawian Twitter account called @CurateMW that's run by a different Malawian each week. At the moment it's being operated by a guy named Gome, who posted the following:

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From there, it spread elsewhere, particularly to parts of southern Africa and Rwanda:

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In the past few hours, the rest of the world has been playing catch-up:

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“Walk through the valley of the shadow of death/I exist even when no things are left” #popebars #jeru pic.twitter.com/UBskW2s6nH

— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) November 30, 2015

“I did it, but the devil didn’t make me/
I did it for the suckers who tried to shake and bake me“ pic.twitter.com/BsMr6fcdtk

— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) November 30, 2015

At this point there are just shy of 9000 tweets using the hashtag, so you can peruse to your heart's content. A fair share of them are just people reacting excitedly (expect plenty of 🔥to turn up in search), but there's also more than enough lyrical work. For my money, though, this early one takes the gold:

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Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at ethan.chiel@fusion.net

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