We haven’t heard much from Billy Ray Cyrus lately, and no one’s really been complaining about that. He’s been mostly absent from the public and virtual spectacle his daughter Miley has managed to sustain for the last couple years, save for his words of encouragement after her VMA performance last summer.
But yesterday, he finally broke his silence, and gave the world “Achy Breaky 2.”
Yes, it’s a followup to his 1992 hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” which lives on in half-full karaoke rooms across the world. But this version features rapper Buck 22, who seems to have little Internet presence beyond the “Achy Breaky” remake-y, though he is the son of Dionne Warwick and Bill Elliott.
According to the lyrics, he’s been “next to BRC on TMZ, got everybody wondering who I am.” It’s true, the process of celebrity osmosis via TMZ has been well-documented absolutely nowhere.
This video has everything: a UFO abduction in Kentucky, sexy aliens twerking and smoking e-cigarettes, a “Wrecking Ball” reference, and for some reason, Larry King, who warned us all what was coming back in December.
Just spoke with @billyraycyrus on the phone - he's recorded a hip-hop version of 'Achy Breaky Heart' - he's excited about it & so am I!— Larry King (@kingsthings) December 31, 2013
In terms of questionable hip-hop and country pairings, this fares much better than LL Cool J and Brad Paisley’s “Accidental Racist,” but as misguided as that song was, it started a discussion. What is BRC attempting to convey here?
Nothing of real cultural significance, of course. It’s another in a long line of wouldn’t-it-be-funny-if jokes that become reality and urge us to click on them to see for ourselves. It’s a callback to his hit, which now references his daughter’s hit, via a remake of a song and a video full of empty cultural signifiers. Cyrus is a pop-culture ouroboros.
Screengrab via Buck22VEVO/YouTube