Well I guess that’s the last time we ever really believe that someone would just host an award show without having anything to promote…

Did Miley Cyrus get her ass dragged by Nicki Minaj? If it was real, she looked terrified. If it was fake, she didn’t step back hard enough to make a difference. Real or fraud, Nicki’s face won that battle. If we’re talking about “VMA moments” though, Madonna’s the one who really has multiples. The wedding dress in the 80s, the stare-down with Courtney Love, the kiss with Britney and Christina…

And now Miley has two of her own. Is she the one?

If we’re basing it on how she hosted the show, like all the weed references and the shout out to her dad and even the nipple flash, on top of all those weak ass sketches, there’s no way she came out on top. Right up until the last few seconds.

And then, at the last second, she dropped a surprise new album, Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz. For free. The website subsequently crashed. You can get it here. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, her new mentor, produced several tracks, as did Mike Will Made It, with whom she worked on Bangerz. The difference between Dead Petz and Bangerz though is that Dead Petz is NOT a studio album. It does not count towards her contract with her label, RCA. She produced it herself, has writing credits on almost all the songs, and made it for 50 grand. Most of it is not suitable for radio so it’s not like she’ll be charting either. And while the song she performed to close the show, Dooo It!, isn’t special, the album isn’t bad, not bad at all. I’ve been listening all night. The music is trippy and weird. But there are some standouts.

Karen Don’t Be Sad is really good at 2am on a deadline. Space Boots takes me back to the days when I’d just lie in bed, smoke cigarettes, and drift away after a breakup. The Floyd Song, about the dog she lost to a coyote, hits me in my raw spot. BB Talk cracks me up with the lyrics: “F-ck so you stop baby talking”. And Lighter is giving me a lot of 80s movie montage feelings. A lot of drug references, obviously. Altered state music, definitely. And wayyyy too many songs (23) which is how you know the label had no influence…but this isn’t a stumble for Miley. In fact, it will most likely be seen by many in the industry as a creative explosion, even though she tells the New York Times that she doesn’t need to be friends with them.

Yeah, it turns out that the interview with the NYT, during which she pissed off Nicki Minaj, was just part of a longer piece on Dead Petz. So now that Nicki and Taylor have officially made up, Miley claims she always wanted to be the outcast anyway:

While a pop star like Taylor Swift may be gathering “musicians, actresses, models, entrepreneurs,” she said, “I’m not trying to be in the squad.” She continued, “None of my friends are famous and not because of any other reason than I just like real people who are living real lives, because I’m inspired by them.”

Fine. Miley’s message is that she’s speaking for the outsider, as an outsider. But, what, really, beyond the surface sentiments, has she actually learned from them? Her response to the NYT’s questions about Nicki Minaj’s grievances exposed exactly why she’s not there, not even close.

“What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love. You don’t have to start this pop star against pop star war. It became Nicki Minaj and Taylor in a fight, so now the story isn’t even on what you wanted it to be about. Now you’ve just given E! News ‘Catfight! Taylor and Nicki Go at It.’”

Because you can’t scream “use your voice” from one side of your mouth and then from the other tell a woman with a very clear point of view that the way she was using her voice was wrong and “not very polite”. Not very polite? Coming from Miley Cyrus?

Click here to read Miley’s interview about Dead Petz at the NYT and click here to listen to the album.