With a nude bikini and a foam finger, Miley Cyrus gave Lady Gaga a run for her money. The two singers were easily the most provocative performers at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 25, 2013.
Sinead O'Connor said in an open letter to Miley Cyrus that the singer is pimping herself out and being a terrible role model to young women.
But many rappers she works with apparently disagree.
"I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying f**k about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music."
She then encouraged Cyrus to look at the bigger picture when it comes to how she is presenting herself.
"Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous," she writes. "Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfu**er who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you."
Which would apparently include all of the rappers she works with, who defend her outrageous style and antics.
Pharrell produced several songs on Cyrus' new album. She has been featured on the latest albums from Snoop Lion and will.i.am. Big Sean requested her as the star of his "Fire" music video. And to top it off, Kanye West invited her to appear on the remix to "Black Skinhead," his anti-racism rant from his eerie and dark "Yeezus" album.
Cyrus' album "Bangerz," out Tuesday, features guest spots from Big Sean, Nelly, Future and French Montana. In an interview, Juicy J called the 20-year-old "a genius." 50 Cent, who hasn't yet worked with her, added that Cyrus "can be on anything hip-hop orientated because (she's) rebellious."
The idea of the former "Hannah Montana" star becoming a muse for rap stars seems odd to some, but Mike WiLL Made-It, who executive produced "Bangerz," said the singer has struck a chord with rappers because she isn't following in the footsteps of pop stars like Katy Perry but creating her own bold path.
"People like Kanye are fans of music, people like Pharrell are fans of all types of music. ... It all boils down to her being very talented and not scared to do new things," said the producer, whose new single, "23," features Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J.
"Her voice is incredible. It's one of a kind ... no limitations," added Mike WiLL Made-It, who is behind hits like Juicy J's "Bandz a Make Her Dance" and Rihanna's "Pour It Up."
Others aren't sure if talent is the reason behind it.
"Whether you're a Miley fan or not, she is the girl of the moment," said Cori Murray, entertainment director at Essence magazine. "Business is business. They're in the music business; she's the girl of the moment, so why not get on record with the girl of the moment? That's as basic as it's going to get."