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What Does Miley Cyrus’ Twerking Reveal About the Music Industry?

Twerk team, it looks like you have some competition: 20 year old Miley Cyrus was spotted twerking for Juicy J Saturday night!

Cyrus twerking for Juicy J
(Sledgren Productions/YouTube)
Cyrus twerking for Juicy J (Sledgren Productions/YouTube)
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Miley Cyrus and Juicy J (@MileyCyrus Twitter)

Miley Cyrus and Juicy J
(@MileyCyrus Twitter)

Twerk team, it looks like you have some competition: 20 year old Miley Cyrus was spotted twerking for Juicy J Saturday.

Juicy J was performing at the Los Angeles House of Blues Saturday night when Cyrus was asked to join the dancers onstage to perform to Juicy J’s stripper-influenced single “Bandz A Make Her Dance”. Of course, Miley Cyrus happily agreed to join the group of dancers on stage and began to drop it low. While the “We Can’t Stop” star swayed her hips provocatively with each and every drop of the beat; money proceeded to fly around everyone on stage. I guess Juicy really meant it when he referred to “Racks everywhere, they’re showing racks I’m throwing racks” in his latest single. The crowd went wild as Cyrus danced to Juicy J’s single, applause and cheers can be heard throughout the video. Juicy J was extremely proud of Miley’s performance and later tweeted to his fan base about the amazing show. The tweet read, “Miley Cyrus twerked on stage tonight. The crowd went crazy!”

Cyrus twerking for Juicy J (Sledgren Productions/YouTube)

Cyrus twerking for Juicy J
(Sledgren Productions/YouTube)

Miley surely is enjoying her time in the hip-hop spotlight and became a twerking sensation when she posted a video of herself twerking in a unicorn suit in late March to the song “WOP” by J Dash. Following her twerking debut, she has completely revamped her image from a conservative southern girl into an edgy woman. The Nashville, Tennessee native is veering away from her radio-friendly persona and is embracing a new appreciation of rap culture. I commend Miley for redefining herself and adopting a new sense of style, almost all artists undergo some type of change during their careers. However, I do not understand how her twerking video resulted in a rise to hip-hop prominence. Justin Bieber similarly changed his image to fit the needs of his newfound embrace of rap culture: tattoos, snapbacks, and a low cut haircut can now be seen on the Biebs. Moreover, artists like Cyrus and Bieber are taking on stereotypical components of hip-hop culture. Also, these artists are being rewarded by their ill-informed interpretation of urban culture by becoming well-revered in the extremely fickle hip-hop community.

Now, I do admit that the music of today’s generation is nowhere near as didactic as music from the early 70s or 80s, and I also concede that current hip-hop culture is not necessarily
“defined” based on the media’s depiction of what hip-hop culture entails, but it is important to realize that hip-hop culture is extremely important for certain members of the African-American community. The malleability of non-Black artists to flip-flop between rap and their original genre suggests that white privilege is particularly prominent in the music business. Consequently, not all rap artists are equally celebrated for their music and are oftentimes stigmatized based on their race.

Miley Cyrus and Juicy J (JuicyJ/Instagram )

Miley Cyrus and Juicy J
(JuicyJ/Instagram )

From what I’ve seen, the public may disagree with Miley Cyrus’ actions; however, she or any other non-black artist will never be subjected to the same discriminatory lens minorities face daily. If a young African-American woman decided to post a video online dancing salaciously to “ratchet music”, she would become subject to a slew of negative comments. People expect Black women to act in sexually explicit ways, therefore, the ability for white rappers to switch back and forth between hip-hop and contemporary music reveals the racial bias and double standard in the music industry.

Meanwhile, we can expect Cyrus to still be successful despite her blatant provocativeness.

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Brittany Dawson is a junior English major with a cognate in Secondary Education at the University of South Carolina. Although she is pursuing a career in the field of academia, Brittany’s current internship with the Urban Twist allows her to explicate her passion and appreciation for writing.

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  • Brittany Dawson

    “My conclusion, then, is that, companies and businesses should redefine the meaning of customer service.”
    My main point is that if the Dunkin Donuts employee decided to stand up for himself, would it still be regarded as “customer service”. Also, I’m not blaming his actions for the cause of crazy/irate customers, nowhere in my article did I insinuate that. I appreciate your constructive criticism, however, the article was not intended to victimize the Dunkin’ Donuts employee. More specifically, I am rather analyzing the loopholes in the idea of customer service.

  • Brittany Dawson

    My tone may have come across as venting against the employee but other than that, the article was a mere explication of what customer service is made out to be, nothing more, nothing less.