Forget the twerk-fatigue. Forget the constant debate over whether or not Miley Cyrus is using her black dancers as props. Forget everything that happened before there was any visual component to this song at all. From its debut on Ryan Seacrest's radio show, this song was the bane of my existence.
I love Miley Cyrus. I was made to watch a lot of Hannah Montana one holiday trip to my grandparents' house and you know what? It's awesome. If you grew up watching Amanda Bynes (God bless) grow from her background player role on All That and come into her own on The Amanda Show, then Miley Stewart's antics were super charming.
So how did "We Can't Stop" end up so detestable? Because it is exactly what it is: A Rihanna reject.
So, I've been on Miley's side. When she made her first attempt to break free of her Disneyfication, she gave us "See You Again." Sure, it's poppier than the pop-punk its sound is gleaned from, but it gets in you. Not to mention the follow-up "7 Things," which was about liking a guy who is layered like an onion, which is to say there's a lot to him, and a lot of it makes you cry, but you know when you break him down, he's very sweet. That's deep, Miley! And do I even need to mention "Party in the U.S.A.?" That song is almost perfect, save her Jay Z flub. But she came back around and expressed her love of Gucci Mane and OJ Da Juiceman. I'll take them as her gateway thugs to rap culture over Hov any day.
So how did "We Can't Stop" end up so detestable? Because it sounds like exactly what it is: A Rihanna reject. It's the Kidz Bop "Pour It Up." It's full of embarrassing lines that sorority girls would say when they're dancing off-time to rap at a bar, "We run things/things don't run we," and "Remember only God can judge ya/Forget the haters, cause somebody loves ya."
"Shaking it like we at a strip club"? Rih made the strip club. And she brought bills with her own face printed on them. You wanted out of that Disney life? Then why did you make a turn-up anthem for Zack and Cody? Not to mention it's one of the most softball beats Mike Will ever made. Bands a make her dance, but this song should clear the room. But, as you sing here, "It's my mouth, I can say what I want." Go for it, Miley. But if you're really "'bout that life," you shouldn't have to tell us. —Claire Lobenfeld