Miley Cyrus unleashed a new song on the world today, and it’s worth discussing.
“We Can’t Stop” is a collaboration with hip-hop hitmaker Mike WiLL Made It. The song includes a Screwed vocal (something about a “deep south party”), a line about the importance of keeping it “turnt up” and, yes,one about “molly.” But she claims she’s “dancing with molly,” which doesn’t make perfect sense; maybe she’s just talking about the time she went to the club with a friend named Molly. The lyrics to the song also allude to the style of hip-hop dancing known as “twerking,” but we already knew Miley was interested in that.
Elements of street rap are finding their way into pop music in a variety of ways. Note Beyonce’s recent “I Been On” or the pitched-down sections on JT’s “Suit and Tie.” “We Can’t Stop” is in some sense more explicit in its referentiality. Is this a premontion of the future of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and other relatively square female pop stars? Waka Flocka Flame wants to do a track with this new Molly Cyrus character. Future was in the studio with her recently. Katy Perry recently admitted to liking “I Don’t Like,” after feuding bizarrely with Chief Keef on Twitter. There’s something happening here, but I don’t know what it is- do you, Miss Montana?
Despite all of these leads, “We Can’t Stop” doesn’t sound all that different from old-guard Cyrus . The hip-hop gestures are non-essential to the backbeat; there are no thirty-second-note trap cymbals here, nu-Atlanta rap fans. Mike WiLL manifests his trademark style mostly in the synth sounds he uses on the track. “We Can’t Stop” is a club shuffle that actually seems fairly turnt down for the most part, like Miley’s bummed out about something and is going to the club to forget about it.