Miley Cyrus has apologized for her 2017 comments calling hip-hop “lewd,” acknowledging her words were “racially insensitive.”
Following her 2013 Bangerz album, which featured rap producer Mike Will Made It and guest vocals by a litany of rappers, Cyrus denounced hip-hop for its superficial and vulgar lyrics. She returned to her pop-rock roots in 2017 to release her album Younger Now.
“I can’t listen to that anymore. 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—,” she told Billboard that year.
On Tuesday, Cyrus responded to a video by YouTuber Kenya Wilson, who called the singer’s comments “racially insensitive.” In a lengthy note from her official YouTube profile, the singer apologized in the video’s comment section and said her previous statements were “insensitive as it is a privilege to have the ability to dip in and out of ‘the scene.'”
“Just watched your video. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak up,” Cyrus wrote. “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.’
“There are decades of inequality that I am aware of, but still have alot [sic] learn about,” she continued. “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—ed up and I sincerely apologize. I’m committed to using my voice for healing, change, and standing up for what’s right. Miley”
Cyrus’ past hip-hop comments ignited public criticism, with many saying she used her white privilege to profit off a genre historically dominated by black artists. Critics also pointed out that even though she reduced hip-hop to a few features, she had no problem partaking in these provocative aspects, from twerking and wearing grills, to using black women as “props” in her music videos.
Back when her comments were first released, Cyrus posted a clarification on her Instagram. “I respect ALL artists who speak their truth and appreciate ALL genres of music (country , pop , alternative …. but in this particular interview I was asked about rap),” she wrote in May 2017. “I have always and will continue to love and celebrate hip hop as I’ve collaborated with some of the very best! At this point in my life I am expanding personally/musically and gravitating more towards uplifting, conscious rap!”
The 26-year-old recently released her EP She Is Coming, and starred in an episode of the Black Mirror anthology series. Cyrus also made headlines in the last few weeks for speaking out against being groped in Barcelona. A woman “can be wearing what she wants … she CAN’T be grabbed without her consent,” Cyrus tweeted, adding the hashtag #DontF—WithMyFreedom.