APPARENTLY, MILEY CYRUS WANTS TO BE WHITE AGAIN
Written by Cher Valentine
Miley Cyrus has gone through a series of transitions in her musical career.er most noticeable change was when she cut of her hair in 2012, the beginning of her infamous era experimenting with black culture with the “I’m about to appropriate” haircut; used by white artists when they are about to become R&B or hip-hop “influenced.” Before the iconic MTV VMA award show opening that began her streak as a white artist using “blackness” to further her career; Miley was primarily known as Hannah Montana, when the program had gone off the air, the pop artist wanted to break away from the reputation it had stained her with. Her music had a rocker's edge to it and the clothing she wore became grungier, but she was still good little Miley. No one perceived her as anyone other than “The Hannah Montana Girl” until her hit album Bangerz.
Bangerz was a departure from her Disney trained label to RCA Records where she was taking more control of her image. In a desperate attempt to completely get away from her well-known childhood innocence, she embraced hyper-sexual personas with skimpy clothing and obscene lyrics. Her videos were filled with Black women twerking and in that she managed to falsely take credit for making twerking "mainstream.”
When she dropped her video for We Can’t Stop, the catchy, summer-fueled jam we all know and have twerked to, produced by famous hip hop producer Mike WiLL (who’s worked with the likes of Kanye West and Lil Wayne), it became impossible to look the other way. We Can’t Stop – not to mention Miley’s wild tweets, persona, and overall attitude – was filled with cultural appropriation. Her performance at the VMAs, with the help of 2Chains, turned black women’s bodies into a spectacle; used as a tool of objectification. This is not to say that Miley wasn't influenced by hip-hop at any point in her life; she very well could have 2Pac and Biggie in her Apple Music playlists. But Rock City, who wrote We Can’t Stop for Miley, has gone on record saying Miley "was like, 'I want urban, I just want something that just feels Black.'" Hip hop is becoming increasingly infiltrated by white artist, and even though Cyrus’ Bangerz album seems to be more pop than R&B, her career reinvention was focused on giving the star an “urban” vibe. Miley wanted to appeal to the black community rather than the white because at that time black was “in." Urban or “black music” is what the public wanted; it’s what she needed to become relevant again.
However, Cyrus has decided that she is done exploiting black culture. In her Billboard Magazine Cover Article Miley stated that she was pushed away from the Hip-Hop scene by it’s derogatory lyrics towards women. She felt “uncomfortable” with the way women were talked about in rap music and has decided to completely ditch it and return to country music. This becomes such a hypocritical action because in the past, Miley was the one exploiting women’s bodies. She used the culture and the women of the culture to rise to fame but once she had millions of dollars she became “uncomfortable”. Truly black artist like Nicki Minaj and Rihanna are shamed for their blackness but Miley Cyrus, a white girl from Franklin, Tennessee, was praised for the “ethnic” vibe and sound she has now decided to ditch so she can return to her roots.
She made her official country music debut at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards where her father and little sister, the up and coming pop star Noah Cyrus, introduced her act by addressing the crowd, by way of explanation. They portrayed her as someone who, for the past few years, has just been ‘expressing themselves.’ They gave Miley a pass because she was, as she states in her song See You Again, “just being Miley.”
When Miley sang Malibu at the award show she was wearing clothing that was rather refined considering for the past few years we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing her in leotards, shaking her butt around. She became vulnerable on stage and even cried when the song was over, giving a rebirth vibe to her song; allowing the audience to see her as she “really is” and no longer as the girl who gropes women’s butts on stage and “acts black.”
Miley has used black culture as an advantage to her career and now that she’s well known and mainstream again, she no longer needs it. With 66.9 Million followers on Instagram and 32.6 Million on twitter, she knows she doesn’t need hip-hop anymore to make her popular. That isn’t evolution; it’s white supremacist capitalist manipulation. Luckily, for the majority of black America, we knew that we never needed her... and wish her luck in her future musical endeavors.