Singer Miley Cyrus may have unintentionally given those who consider her to be a major African-American culture appropriator all of the ammo they’ll ever need to solidify that argument.
In an interview with Billboard that was posted Thursday to mark the announcement of her upcoming single, the country-tinged “Malibu,” the 24-year-old entertainer and Disney alum took a moment to note just how unimpressed she was with the current rap soundscape.
— billboard (@billboard) May 4, 2017
“I love that new Kendrick [Lamar] song, [‘Humble’],” Cyrus explained, prior to offering her favorite line of the track, “show me somethin’ natural, like a** with some stretch marks.”
“I love that because it’s not [like], ‘come sit on my d**k, s**k on my c**k,'” Miley mused on.
“That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. I can’t listen to that anymore. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my c**k,’ [and] I am so not that.”
Moments later, Miley touched on the fervor surrounding her decisions to seemingly align herself with the African-American community for a time, including music producer Mike Will Made-It, who shares a co-executive producer credit with Cyrus on Bangerz and Lamar on “Humble.”
“It’s mind-boggling to me that there was even a controversy around me having black dancers,” she continued.
“That became a thing, where people said I was taking advantage of [African-American] culture, and with Mike. What the f**k? That wasn’t true. Those were the dancers I liked!”
Be that as it may, a look back at the way Miley reinvented herself in the lead-up to Bangerz, including its heavily-urban-influenced first offering, the party-drug-influenced “We Can’t Stop,” and her current mind frame expressed in Billboard, made writers from Complex question Cyrus’ overall intention before, during, and after that career period.
“Just because you’re [now] working on some ‘rootsy,’ ‘political’ material for your next project,” they explain, “doesn’t mean you get to act like your most previous incarnation didn’t happen.”
“Bangerz wasn’t [released] that long ago, and your appropriating of hip-hop culture when it suited your rebellious, outspoken nature is easily Google’d.”
Within such a search, one may come across the now-infamous confrontation between Miley and rap star Nicki Minaj at the 2015 MTV Music Awards, which incidentally stemmed from Cyrus speaking out of turn on statements made by the “Anaconda” performer regarding the lack of black nominees that year for the ceremony’s main honor, Video of the Year.
“I don’t respect [Nicki’s] statement because of the anger that came with it,” Miley told the New York Times after another Caucasian pop starlet, Taylor Swift, first misunderstood Minaj’s intent on Twitter (she and Minaj ultimately hashed it out behind the scenes).
“And it’s not anger like, ‘Guys, I’m frustrated about some things that are a bigger issue,'” Cyrus continued.
“You made it about you. Not to sound like a b***h, but that’s like, ‘Eh, I didn’t get my VMA.'”
Following their standoff at the VMAs, Minaj broke down the reality of her issue with Miley in her own New York Times profile piece.
“The fact that [she] feels upset about me speaking on something that affects black women, makes me feel like [she has some big b***s,” Nicki remarked.
“If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us. You shouldn’t not want to know that.”
Additionally, for Miley’s own purported disdain for the seemingly stereotypical lyrical prowess of rap performers today, her own one-off take as a rapper on the Mike Will Made It-led “23” in 2013 was ironically submersed in it.
Mike Will Made It has not spoken on the Miley Cyrus Billboard controversy. Cyrus’ “Malibu” is set for release on May 11.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]