Monday, August 19, 2013

We Can’t Stop by Miley Cyrus

We all should be proud of Miley.  

“We Can’t Stop” is not on the same level of the pop masterpiece that “Party In The U.S.A.” (which I wrote about in this earlier post). But it’s an interesting song that demonstrates the spirit and strength of a young pop star as she struggles with challenges and double standards.



Much has been written about the drug references in this song and the sexuality and drug use Miley has expressed when promoting this song. The first reference is “dancing with Molly,” which apparently alludes to the drug ecstasy (which sometimes is referred to as “Molly.”) The second references is  in the second verse, “tryina get a line in the bathroom” referring to cocaine.

Should we be annoyed/outraged that former child star that had a show on the Disney channel is not making drug references in her songs? First off her kids show was canceled almost two years ago, many of her fans from that era, have grown up. Yes, many of her fans from when she was younger are only teenagers and maybe they could do better without hearing drug references, but most will be fine.

Snoop Dogg was only one year older than Miley at the age of 21, when he broke out rapping about drugs in a far more explicit way. If you’re not a fan of Miley’s stripper reference and her sexuality, take a look at what Rihanna was doing when she was seventeen. Let’s not forget that Britney Spears was only seventeen when she asked us to “hit her one more time.”

Did generations of people who listened to these young artists sing sexually about drugs become deviants living in hedonistic sin? Look, I’m sure some people hear references in songs and get excited about them but most people make their choices regardless of what pop songs sing are about.  Music is powerful, but it's not THAT powerful.  Last time I checked, there's not legions of people running around dressed like Marilyn Manson.  

“We Can’t Stop,” like Lesley Gore’s 1963 anthem “It’s My Party,” is a declaration of independence. The fact that this song ruffled feathers and got people concerned about Miley’s influence has more to do with people’s discomfort with seeing a woman try to assert herself as a adult.

No, Miley didn’t handle the “Molly,” reference perfectly in interviews well, but most artists in the her situation handle it in a similar way with a white lie and a smile. Really, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” is not about LSD? Really? Really?!?

Miley says that this song represents where she is in her life right now. Whether we like to admit it or not, many twenty year old woman are exploring alcohol, drugs, and their own sexuality. Yes, caution is important with these activities, but most people come out the other end of these times in their lives just fine.

If Rihanna performed this song would the controversy around the lyrics and the music video be as critical? What if a guy sang these lyrics? Chris Brown was singing far more explicit and concerning lyrics when he was younger than Miley.
 
"We Can't Stop," isn't about drugs.  The line that holds the most meaning isn't a reference but a statement of belief: "Remember only God can judge you, Forget the haters cause somebody loves you."

Chill, this is a fun song.  The way she sings "we like to party," sounds really weird and the opening "God" voice chant, is funny and like the music video is more silly than anything else.  I'm proud of Miley for getting out there and reminding all of us that sometimes we just got to get out there and try something new we we can't stop. 

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