(Photo of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke performing at the VMAS 2013)
Being from Los Angeles, I ‘m almost positive that the smog issue comes from the amount of celebrity culture that pollutes the city.
I was so excited to leave LA for college– I would finally be able to get away from the entertainment-crazed news stations and I’d be immersed in more serious news. My Freshmen year was great, I was so involved in watching cold-hard news, I forgot what “US Weekly” Magazine even was. Unfortunately, in recent weeks, I was traumatized by a celebrity occurrence– or should I say, a catastrophe– that is better known as the “Miley Cyrus VMA performance”.
It’s not even the fact that it was a “raunchy” performance– after the show, there were hundreds of pictures online zoomed in on her body and clothes (or lack thereof)– I love a controversial performance and “racy” clothing isn’t really an offensive aspect of anybody’s performance, in my opinion.
What I was really blown away by was the disrespect emanated by the “We Can’t Stop/Blurred Lines” performance. Both Songs represent a “controversial” lifestyle– Miley’s is all about the party scene for young adults, dancing with hallucinogenic drugs and living free– and Robin Thicke’s song is the “Blurred Lines” between consensual sex and rape. Despite their meanings, these songs have been extremely popular on the radio/ the charts.
(Photo Still from Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell)
Ever since Miley Cyrus has made her “come back”– her image has portrayed the “hood rich” theme that is the prominent theme within the Hip Hop community. Whether it’s performing with Juicy-J, a well-known artist in Hip Hop or starring in her latest video “We Can’t Stop” which is heavily embedded with bits and pieces of “hood rich culture”– Miley has really wedged her way into the Rap industry.
Rap culture is a big deal. There are tons of artists who make mix tapes in hopes that a producer finds them and turns them into the next big thing. The Rap Industry is very traditional in the sense that the big artists have paid their dues– almost every artist in the genre raps about their struggles– well, because, The Rap Industry is not an easy one to enter– it takes time, dedication, and dozens of mix tapes to even gain a fan base.
The issue with Miley Cyrus is the fact that she has the luxury of money—and her ability to enter this industry is incredibly easy. Basically, in other words, Miley has the ability to wake up and choose who she wants to be for the day– completely ignoring the cultural implications of Hip Hop.
Artists like Lil Kim, Khia, and Missy Elliot are ICONIC females in the Rap Industry– all have climbed the ladder up to where they are, all of them have extremely sexual/ controversial music/images, and all of them are….. sadly under represented. (Sure, Lil Kim and Missy Elliot are well known, but they’re not under the same magnifying glass as Miley)
(Lil Kim’s album cover– at the time, controversial)
How is it that when these African American females produce sexually explicit music/ videos, society heavily criticizes them? But when artists like Miley get on stage, uses African American dancers essentially as “sexual props” on stage, it’s WIDELY popular? Sure, the performance got critiqued, but since then, her stats have gone up– twitter followers, expected album revenue, etc.
(Miley Cyrus using a Black female as a sexual prop to perform sexual acts on for the VMAS)
Miley has gone the past few months with NO mention of any of her Hip Hop mentors– she has simply placed herself into the industry with no gratitude, no paid dues, and no respect to the legends. Sure, Miley “Can’t Stop”– but she needs to.