coming to terms with miley cyrus's contradictory hip-hop comments
The singer says she now gravitates towards 'uplifting' rap music, despite co-opting hip-hop to shed her Hannah Montana persona.
Less than a week after her disparaging comments on hip-hop hit the web, Miley Cyrus is eating crow. After stating that she "can't listen" to sex- and wealth-centric rap songs anymore, she went on Instagram over the weekend to claim her words were unfairly edited and taken out of context. "When articles are read it isn't always considered that for hours I've spoken with a journalist about my life, where my heart is, my perspective at that time, and the next step in my career," she captioned an Instagram picture. "Unfortunately only a portion of that interview makes it to print and a lot of the time publications like to focus on the most sensationalised part of the conversation."
The apology comes after Cyrus delivered a sweepingly dismissive critique of contemporary hip-hop during a Billboard interview. Cyrus delivered these comments despite shattering her "Hannah Montana" persona by twerking on stage and rapping in Mike WILL Made-It's 23. After praising Kendrick Lamar's Humble for its body-positivity message, Cyrus went on to complain about the chief subject matters found in today's rap songs.
"'Show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretch marks,' I love that because it's not 'Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock,'" Cyrus told Billboard. "I can't listen to that anymore. That's what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much 'Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my cock' — I am so not that."
It only took .5 seconds for Cyrus's hypocrisy to be pointed out. It can be justifiably argued that Cyrus metamorphosed from Disney star to global pop diva with her 2013 album Bangerz, which was chiefly produced by hip-hop juggernauts Pharrell Williams and Mike WILL Made-It and featured appearances from rappers Ludacris, French Montana, Big Sean, Nelly, and Future. This era saw Cyrus sing lyrics like, "I'm in the club high on purp with some shades on," rock gold grillz, and have a crew of backup dancers composed entirely of black females.
In her Instagram post, Cyrus stated she appreciates "all genres of music." She tried to perform a 360 on her shade towards today's rappers, many of which she has collaborated with at one point or another, by saying, "At this point in my life I am expanding personally/musically and gravitating more towards uplifting, conscious rap!"
The apology feels half-baked. Nowhere in the clarification does Cyrus acknowledge once taking part in the very things she is now criticising. The problematics of it all is only heightened by the photo Cyrus paired with the apology. It's a snap of her walking through prairie grass while wearing a lace dress — a return to her "country roots." The scene only further supports Cyrus's critics. It is yet another example of a pop star dipping their toe in urban music to obtain a "cool factor," then moving on to the next thing when the genre is no longer beneficial to their career.
Cyrus cannot be blamed for going through a reinvention. Being a pop star goes hand in hand with evolution. Case in point: singers like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj shedding their outlandish looks circa 2010-2013 for more sleek, au naturel personas this past year. But what is problematic is Cyrus attacking a genre she once wore as a costume. As the saying goes, "never forget where you came from."
Text André-Naquian Wheeler