“A Lot Of People Wanted To Try To Make Me The White Nicki Minaj”: Miley Cyrus On Her New Sound And Love For “Hood Music”

June 17, 2013  |  

Miley as Nicki on Halloween

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed that Miley Cyrus and her music have undergone a big change over the last few months. As our writer pointed out on Friday about Miley, she went from not listening to Jay-Z and hip-hop music, to twerking on camera and at concerts, taking pictures with every black person she could find, and tooting “that thang” up in the air on the set of her music videos and posting pictures of herself doing so on Instagram. Rihanna is somewhere giving the side-eye since risque social media behavior and raunchy pop music has been her forte for a while now.

But in an interview with Billboard for the new issue’s cover story, Cyrus discussed her musical influences, as well as an alleged pressure put on her to rap and be a “white Nicki Minaj.” But she says she’s not trying to rap, but rather, to put on the map a new sound she calls “count-step” (like dubstep’s mix of styles), which is country music, dubstep and Southern “trap” music, which can be explained as Dolly Parton, Adele and Juicy J on a track together:

“I’ve always wanted country-rock influences, but now I’m moving over to a more urban side,” she says. “It’s not a hip-hop album, though-it’s a pop album. I’m not coming in trying to rap. It’s more like, ‘I don’t see any girls out there doing what Miguel and Frank Ocean are doing.'” Cyrus pauses, giggling. “We’ve been calling it ‘count-step,’ because it’s like country, dubstep and a little trap,” she says. “I love the Lumineers, but I also love French Montana, Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa and Dolly Parton. If you could put Dolly, some Adele and Juicy J together, you’d have that weird balance.”

Later in the article, she elaborates on why, even though she could probably spit a few bars if she wanted to, she’s not looking to rap as she takes on this new “urban” sound:

“A lot of people wanted to try to make me the white Nicki Minaj,” Cyrus says. “That’s not what I’m trying to do. I love ‘hood’ music, but my talent is as a singer.”

I’m just trying to see what makes Nicki “hood,” when she’s clearly out here trying to be the next pop star. But to each their own.

Also in the article, producer Mike WILL Made It (who is behind many jams, including Ciara’s “Body Party,” Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and 2 Chainz’s “No Lie”) says Miley’s new song “We Can’t Stop,” which has lyrics like “To my homegirls with the big butts/Shaking it like we at the strip club,” is a “mature” version of her past hit, “Party in the U.S.A.”

If the track-which debuts this week at No. 11 on the Hot 100 and enters the Hot Digital Songs chart at No. 3 with 214,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan-sounds more like a downtempo Rihanna song, that’s because it was originally intended as one. “It’s like a mature version of ‘Party in the U.S.A.,'” Atlanta­-based producer Mike WiLL Made It says. ‘That’s even how I described it when I presented it to Rihanna, before I’d even met Miley.’

Hmmm, maybe that’s why Ri Ri passed on that one…

We’ll have to wait and see if Miley’s young fans will be into her new “count-step” and “urban” sound as much as they were into her twerking in a onesie, but since “We Can’t Stop” debuted on the Billboard charts with big numbers, it’s safe to say they’re feeling it. But are you feeling her new sound and style (which looks awfully familiar)?


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  • -Eye freakin roll-

  • Starcru

    “to the urban side” ??? Smh at this girl and her foolery.

  • Taj

    Who cares?! Bring back authentic R&B with some of the artists from the 80s and 90s and let these young-ins and other misguided people listen to this foolishness. At the end of the day, she and others are going to do whatever they can to advance their careers. I don’t care what people say. Miley has always been a gimmick before this tomfoolery for stupid parents who believed that an adolescent girl who sings (if you call it that) and dresses “wholesome” would make a good role model for their daughters. The only reason why she has any relevance is because black blogs keep posting articles about her stupid statements regarding “hood” music (If that is the case, then why isn’t country music called trailer trash music) . But then Kim K keeps getting articles for “being seen”. So, I guess she should get cred for screaming into a mike -__-.

  • Clarke (An Afro-Centrist)

    That is why there is a certain aspects of the ‘White- owned music industry’ and, overall, media that I absolutely despise. It’s funny how they can “miraculously” transform behavior deemed and construed “inappropriate, hood and/or ratchet”, by mainstream American standards, when being performed by a Black person, etc. into something ‘adorable’ when performed by White people. Case in point: ‘Miley Cyrus Twerking’ and ‘Taylor Swift Grinding on Stage’.

    This is nothing more than an attempt for Miley to ‘affirm’ her street credibilty and garner herself, and her ‘label’, a Black [pubescent/adolescent] fanbase for sales but once her managerial team are tired of this faux- persona/image she is putting forward, they will soon retire her from the ‘urban’ scene and re-market her back into the ‘All-American’ Pop Girl that she once was – oh, so, slowly BUT surely.

    It’d be different if she actually had a genuine interest, and passion, in ‘Black’ music [Robin Thicke, Teena Marie, Joss Stone, Dusty Springfield, Amy Winehouse, Average White Band] but many of them don’t and truly have no connection to it, other than for popularity causes – ala: Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake etc.

    Did you know that the ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper recently compiled an article in which they ‘subtly and subliminally’ tried to blame Justin Bieber’s ‘current’ ill-formed behaviour and his recent glorification of the ‘Gangster culture’ on his [Black] friends such as Lil’ Twist? Which, to an extent, is what they’re now doing to Miley because of her [Black] ‘influences’.

    Every non-Black person wants to be a part of ‘Black Culture’ but they don’t actually want to be ‘Black’ or associate themselves with the race/ethnicity in ‘that way’.

    • susan

      YOU BETTER PREACH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Yeppers

    People are going to buy it because Let’s face it white people will keep they folks on top even wit b.s music and no singing talent what so ever. I don’t get wit her using what she thinks will “sell” to make a buck. If it ain’t her (as we all heard her say in past interview she didn’t even listen to rap music) now she’s a rap phenom? O ok… This has marketing geniuses written all over. No originality to be found! I don’t like it. It’s manufactured and not hot. The song sound stupid too.

  • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

    i’m over this… but clearly this wont go away like that effing Gangam Style song has yet to go away… this is going to be a LONG summer with her, Amanda, and Kimye feat. the baby….way too long with this stuff

    • shenai

      Shay you need to take ur own advice leave Scrapy alone mah

      • Realityh03$Anonymous….ohwait

        I was tryin to change the name 2 ShayizovaScrappy but it hasn’t changed yet… Oh well.