Music Thoughts – Taylor Swift vs. Miley Cyrus
My thoughts on the potential musical feud between Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus.
At the 2009 Grammy’s Taylor Swift graciously allowed Miley Cyrus on stage with her to perform Fifteen. The song is not a duet and, let’s be honest, Miley isn’t exactly a Grammy worthy artist. Being friends with Taylor has its perks though.
Being enemies has its perks as well. You get to hear your name and actions on the radio. A lot.
Miley could finally make her way back to radio now that she’s enemies with Taylor. But, unlike most Swift targets, it’s possible that Miley responds and we launch the pop version of Nas vs. Jay-Z. Most people on the receiving end of Swift’s vitriol are male companions who have broken her heart. It’s tough for a male to fire back as he can be seen as an asshole who is verbally abusing a young girl. It doesn’t matter if Swift started it, it’s still a man attacking a woman, and that’s frowned upon unless you’re a Chris Brown fan.
No matter how many jokes are made about her haircut, Miley Cyrus is not a man. She’s a female with a chip on her shoulder, who wants to be taken serious in the industry, so why not go after Taylor, whose reputation as a “sweet and wholesome” good girl takes a hit every other week when she’s seen with a new boy toy.
That’s actually how this feud started. Miley, upset that she’s always called a “whore” and a “slut” because of certain actions and what she wears, took a shot at Taylor, who is seen as innocent despite dating a new guy every two weeks. In a way, Miley has a point. She’s the one with a fiancé that she’s been with for years while Taylor’s best relationship is with her guitar and pen. That said, Miley is obviously very sexual and open with her words and actions while Taylor can’t keep a man because she doesn’t put out. I’m not here to debate which qualifies as being a slut; dressing like a stripper but being engaged or dating around but not having sex though.
Prior to her break up with One Direction’s Harry Styles, Taylor wasn’t happy with Miley and how much she parties. After the break up, Miley posted a picture of her cuddling with a Styles cardboard cutout, which means his cardboard cutout probably got closer to Miley than he actually got to Swift. That photo probably didn’t help their relationship.
Miley doesn’t have the same song writing ability as Swift, not even close actually, but she’s had radio hits before, seems to be pretty bitchy if needed, and, most importantly, has the popularity to compete with Swift. Even if not everyone likes Ms. Cyrus, chances are they know who she is. That’s half the battle when it comes to radio beef. You know why Nas and Jay-Z are still around and neither man was crushed during their rap war? They were both popular and respected in the industry. You know why Eminem has ruined the careers of Canibus, Benzino, and others? Eminem got radio play and the others stayed underground. Miley isn’t an underground figure. Is she as popular as Swift when it comes to the radio? No. But she knows how to make headlines in the mass media. Her music will get out there, and if her music takes shots at Swift, something no celebrity has dared to do, it’ll definitely be played.
Would this make Miley harder to trust if she went after one of her former best friends? Possibly, but friends grow apart, especially young friends who are famous. If Mean Girls has taught me anything, it’s that girls can be bitchy and turn on each other in a second. Plus, Taylor was the one who wanted to end the relationship due to Miley’s partying. Miley has to look out for herself and her career. If Taylor doesn’t want to be friends with her, she needs to do her own thing and move on.
Could Miley be risking career suicide though? Yes. But at this point, what career does she have left? Besides taking provocative photos on twitter and doing a guest spot on Two and a Half Men, what is she doing? When was the last Miley Cyrus movie or CD and how many people saw that movie or bought that CD? Ever since Hannah Montana ended, Miley has become pretty irrelevant. Going after one of the biggest stars in the world is a great way to become relevant again. If she fails, and her career never recovers, who cares? Dad still has Achey Breaky Heart money rolling in and her future husband, Liam Hemsworth, is bringing in Hunger Games money on top of that. Plus, worst comes to worst, Miley is friends with the Kardashians and we all know that Kris Jenner can turn even the most talentless slut into a money making machine.
Swift and Cyrus have a lot of mutual friends, including, but not limited to, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and Katy Perry. Should a real rivalry start between the two pop singers, it’ll be interesting to see who is on Team Taylor and who is on Team Miley. My guess is that Gomez and Lovato, who have been rumored to have problems for their own with Miley in the past, will be on Team Taylor while Perry, who has seemingly betrayed Swift’s trust by doing a song with Kanye West and is now dating former Swift flame John Mayer, will represent Team Miley. There are plenty of famous friends up for grabs though and who ends up on which side could sway this rivalry.
Swift can’t get away with her lyrics forever. Sooner or later, someone is going to step up and challenge her. But, as mentioned, that someone can’t be a male. At least a male who hopes to continue with his career in Hollywood. It needs to be a female who knows how she thinks. Miley has been around Taylor enough that, if Taylor isn’t as sweet and wholesome as she comes across in public, Miley would know.
Pop music needs this beef to happen. There are so many crappy songs on the radio that diss tracks between one of the highest selling artists in the industry and one of the more controversial figures in recent memory can bring pop to a whole new level. Look at what the feud between 2Pac and Biggie did for them and rap music. They’re both legends in the game and you can’t tell me that their beef didn’t have anything to do with that. They elevated each other to a new level. Taylor Swift is already at the top of the game, Miley Cyrus has a chance to push her, and herself to a whole other level that we haven’t seen in pop culture since The Beatles.