In 2013, Miley Cyrus released her fourth studio album, Bangerz. It was what many would call her outlier. Before that album, she was dedicated to the craftsmanship of lighthearted country pop songs. The former Disney star had an adequate amount of sales and hits. But it was nothing compared to the results of her hip-hop orientated escapades.
Cyrus forced herself into hip-hop by associating herself with producers and rappers with influence. Bangerz wasn’t a complete hip-hop album, but it had its moment and wasn’t done horribly. It was through her antics where she used hip-hop as a medium for shock value. This shock value allowed people to pay attention to her most vulnerable artistic moments, i.e. “Wrecking Ball.” Anyway, some people weren’t very fond of this. From her infamous twerking to her ridiculous outfits and hairstyles, Cyrus did a complete rebranding. Fans of hip-hop saw actions as cringe, but at least her musical output was above mediocrity. She went from country sweetheart, to unruly dynamo.
Back in May, MEFeater questioned the wholesomeness of Miley Cyrus’s disassociation from hip-hop culture. It started with her single “Malibu,” a slow, guitar laced jingle which was unlike anything she released the last four years. Of course, the masses questioned the sudden change of sound. When she was confronted about her 180°, she sent out the consensus that hip-hop is degrading and that it isn’t her anymore. For her egregious statements, she received immense backlash.
It’s interesting that Cyrus would point out the innate flaws of the genre when she leaves. Unfortunately, hip-hop has been stained with misogynistic mannerisms for a very long time now. It was like this when Cyrus entered the genre, and she didn’t speak on it until she broke away from it. We’ve already seen how white women have the unfair ability to enter any space they want and return to their formative position. It’s obvious that Miley Cyrus used hip-hop to escape from her box.
What were the results? Her new album, Younger Now, only sold 33,000 units its first week (45,000 through streams). This is a major contrast from the 270,000 copies she sold the first week with Bangerz. Despite Cyrus’s return to subtlety, as a pop star there should be little reason why she sold that low. Every artist has the right to make their own decisions, but the timing for Cyrus to switch genres is impeccably poor. Hip-hop is the genre that is reigning in popularity and for her to leave and disrespect it at the same time is troubling.
What do you think about Miley these days? Let us know!