When Pop Culture Gets Down and Dirty, Dancehall Doubles Down
Who can forget the most provocative performance of 2013? Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards, fully equipped with a foam finger, wagging tongue and twerking dancers in oversized teddy bears costumes. Robin Thicke wore black and white pin stripes which became “Blurred Lines” when Miley let him know the time was 6:30pm. 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar kept the twerking vibes flowing and the conglomerate made for a memorable performance. Check The Dancehall Remixes after the Jump…
This performance went viral with a media circus to match. Miley received harsh criticisms with 161 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) complaints and even a lawsuit from one who her back up dancers who felt she was “degraded” during the performance. Even though many critics gave an In Living Color (Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier) “Hated It!” to Miley Cyrus’ unconventional VMA performance, a lot of hip hop and dancehall artists applauded it. Three dancehall songs were created as a result of this performance.
Mr. Vegas created the song with the portmanteau used to describe Miley’s VMA performance, “Twerktastic” on the heavy bass, “Spook Riddim” produced by Krish Genius. Vegas begins the song with the line: “Miley Cyrus/ Pon you mi wan buss/ Follow the West Indian girls dem and learn fa work it/Twerk it/Watch this.“A couple of weeks later Mr. Vegas released the official trailer for his upcoming reality TV series, Bruk Down To Reality. In this trailer, he mentions, “ I find that people say twerk now but dancehall have been doing it for years!” This show will invite dancehall queens from around the world to experience dance in Jamaica and compete at a chance to win $10,000 and the opportunity to tour with Mr. Vegas. When I caught up with Mr. Vegas this week, he made an open invitation to Miley, “I love Miley, she is so funny and talented! I would love to do a song with her and then have her shoot the video in Jamaica, where our dancers can teach her how to twerk.”
Elephant Man entitled his dedication, “Miley Cyrus Twerk” and reassures the ladies, “You have no virus twerk it like Miley Cyrus.” Even more interesting, he seems to be in agreement with Mr. Vegas that while twerking may seem like the “Up to di Time” dance, the original twerking has its roots way before now. The Energy God is dressed like an ancient Egyptian King and the video contains images of King Tutankhamun to make his point in this learn by example video.
The final Miley Cyrus tribute, gives clear instructions and fuses dancehall with hip hop in Magazeen featuring Wale, “Twerkin Cyrus.” This song produced on the “Suburb Riddim” by Tugz of Red Square Productions (record label owned by Reggae Icon, Spragga Benz) and according to Tugz, its called the Suburb Riddim: “because it describes a section of Red Square Corner (DunKirk) in Jamaica where we sit and get shade from the sun, talk and clown as youths. We call this spot, Suburb. There will be a compliation of artists on the “Suburb Riddim” released this spring and anyone interested in the riddim can contact me @tugzredsquare on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.” In ” Twerkin Cyrus,” the fellow artists on Rick Ross’ Maybach Music label, tag team the Suburb Riddim. Wale gives hiphop swag lyrics over the beat and Magazeen provides step-wise instructions with echoes of Little Lenny’s “Healthy Body” and Rayvon and Red Fox “Bashment Party:”Work it/ Twerk it/ Bend down/ Work it/ Tic-toc/ Tic-toc/ Ya batty up/ Look at that/ Stick out ya tongue like Miley/ Twerk it like Miley/ Wine up like Miley.“
Miley Cyrus continues to fascinate both her fans and haters as she sheds her Hannah Montana image. Her VMA performance left an indeliable mark on audiences and despite the media backlash and compliants, artists were impressed by her sheer bravery. Three dancehall songs were created in honor of her “twerking” efforts. Let’s just say Miley chose the right dance to emulate during her VMA performance.
RELATED: WATCH THIS Spice “Twerk”