Miley Cyrus' Apology For Her Controversial Comments About Hip-Hop Acknowledge Her Privilege
Miley Cyrus just owned up to her privilege in the music industry. The "Mother's Daughter" singer, who dropped her new (albeit short) EP She Is Coming on May 31, responded to the continued criticism of her past comments about hip-hop in a way that lots of other white artists could learn from. Miley Cyrus' apology for her controversial comments about hip-hop came in the form of a YouTube comment on YouTube user Kenya Wilson's channel.
Wilson posted a nearly 30-minute video breaking down why Cyrus is her "problematic fav" (the video is titled "Miley Cyrus Is My Problematic Fav...Sorry"). In the video, Wilson talks about how Cyrus ushered in a new era of pop music with her 2013 Bangerz album. She spends a long portion of the video unpacking the justified criticism around Cyrus' racially insensitive comments made in a Billboard interview around the time of release of her Younger Now album. In that interview, Cyrus said she wasn't into hip-hop music anymore.
“But I also love that new Kendrick [Lamar] song [‘Humble’]: ‘Show me somethin’ natural like a** with some stretch marks.’ I love that because it’s not ‘Come sit on my d*ck, suck on my c*ck.' I can’t listen to that anymore," Cyrus told the outlet. "That’s what pushed me out of the hip-hop scene a little. It was too much ‘Lamborghini, got my Rolex, got a girl on my c*ck‘ — I am so not that.”
This drew criticism from people. They felt that Cyrus had no issue using hip-hop to her advantage when creating and promoting Bangerz, but by 2017, she was trying to distance herself from a genre of music she previously benefitted from. To hear her say she didn't like hip-hop anymore struck many hip-hop fans as disingenuous, and fueled the ongoing criticism that her Bangerz era image was appropriating black culture.
Now, Cyrus is somewhat dipping her toes back into her Bangerz-era sound with She Is Coming, which has, no doubt, made her rethink some of her past comments.
Cyrus ended up responding to the backlash saying her intentions were misinterpreted and that she only has stopped listening to a certain kind of hip-hop music.
That backlash, although it has quieted over the last few years, follows her still. And now, she has apologized in full for the comments in the Billboard interview.
Cyrus posted her response directly in the comments section of Wilson's video.
“Just watched your video. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak up,” she said in her comment.
Being silent is not like me at all. I am aware of my platform and have always used it the best way I know how and to shine a light on injustice. I want to start with saying I am sorry. I own the fact that saying … ‘This pushed me out of the hip hop scene a little’ was insensitive as it is a privilege to have the ability to dip in and out of ‘the scene.’
Her comment continued,
There are decades of inequality that I am aware of, but still have a lot [to] learn about. Silence is apart of the problem and I refuse to be quiet anymore. My words became a divider in a time where togetherness and unity is crucial. I can not change what I said at that time, but I can say I am deeply sorry for the disconnect my words caused. Simply said; I f*cked up and I sincerely apologize. I’m committed to using my voice for healing, change, and standing up for what’s right.
Wilson responded to Cyrus' comment saying, "Miley Cyrus OMG I AM DREAMING. I know your heart that was point of my video to highlight that u on several occasions have spoken up for what is right. Thank you for hearing me out."
Cyrus made the right move by owning the comments and unequivocally saying they were wrong for her to make.