“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  |  

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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