The Curious Case of Miley Cyrus – Existential Crisis or Cultural Appropriation?

Miley Cyrus Cleans Up Image After Deciding She No Longer Has A Use For Hip-Hop or Black Culture

So Miley Cyrus, the extremely scandalous and controversial American artist and actress, just dropped the latest, most predictable bomb upon the public. The singer who once claimed and I quote “Lil’ Kim is who I am on the inside” is now completely turning her back on the Hip-Hop scene/genre. She’s saddling up and galloping all the way back to her country roots, just in time for the release of her new single, “Malibu”. Fear not though people, she still loves Kendrick.

In her recent interview with Billboard magazine, Miley Cyrus expressed her disdain with the misogyny and over sexualization of women present in the Hip-Hop scene, saying:

Miley Cyrus
“’Come sit on my dick, suck on my cock.’ 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. Well first of all, can we get a direct link to the song containing these lyrics please?

Second, though Cyrus makes an extremely relevant point about the exploitation of women, the materialism and graphic sexual content that are oh so present in Hip-Hop culture, many are more concerned about Cyrus’ exploitation of said culture.

The former Disney star’s Hip-Hop “phase” dates all the way back to 2013, when a video of her twerking, or what she labeled twerking, in a unicorn outfit went completely viral on the internet. Next, she partnered up with distinguished producer and her then boyfriend, Mike WiLL Made-It for the creation of the single “23” where she didn’t seem all too concerned about materialism, rapping lyrics like: “In the club, high off purp with some shades on, tatted up, mini skirt with my J’s on.” Then, she released an album titled, Bangerz, which featured several notable rappers such as Big Sean, Future and French Montana. We should note that Mike Will Made-It also executive produced the album.

However, less than four years later, Miley Cyrus, who is now engaged to actor, Liam Hemsworth, is all of a sudden trading in her J’s (and all the twerking that comes with it) for some nice old cowboy boots and she surely comes off as a culture vulture. Trying on, exploiting and profiting from aspects of others’ culture for fame and social relevance then neatly and conveniently tucking it away in a closet when it no longer served her. Must be nice.

But this is something we should have known the minute twerking suddenly became important to her.  A move that helped her acclaim Black culture. Not like she was using her extremely influential voice to protest acts of police brutality.

Furthermore, if Miley Cyrus was as passionate about Hip Hop as she once portrayed herself to be, there’s no reason why she couldn’t put it upon herself to create music that doesn’t reflect the negative characteristics of the genre, but rather, her strong political feminist beliefs. Many prominent artists of our day have done so including J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, etc. But, of course, much like her Hip Hop phase, this sudden shift is a clear marketing strategy.

Good luck revamping your image, Miley!


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Michèle Eyenga

West African, based in New York, currently working towards a Bachelors in International Studies and Communications at Penn State University. Some of my interests and hobbies include: creative writing, blogging, traveling and learning about different societies and cultures, video and other forms of content producing, working out here and there and last but definitely not least, throwing down in the kitchen. I aspire to one day be able to intermingle my passion and interest in media, in social & human dynamics with my knowledge about politics and global phenomenons & issues by giving a voice to the most unheard population in any and every nation of the world, the youth.

Michèle Eyenga has 2 posts and counting. See all posts by Michèle Eyenga


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