Michael Jackson is AWESOME for providing a good Whitley moment. I am a huge fan and his songs cover the range of emotions and feelings. Best of all, it’s GREAT music. Not like much of the crap we are subjected to today.
To explain my love for MJ and some of my favs, here’s something I wrote about 6 weeks after he passed.
Michael, Music and Me:
I haven’t really written anything at length about Michael Jackson and his passing, but this evening I was in the car grooving to some MJ and I just have to say some things. It’s long, but folks need to read more. If you like it, cool and if you don’t cool too, but you are probably a simpleton anyway. I don’t expect much from simpletons. That would be like expecting BET to be worthwhile. But I digress…
This is about my LOVE for Michael Jackson and his music and my HATRED for 95% of mainstream music and the media. If you are an artist and get mad reading this: A. Hit dog hollerin’ and B. Step your game up. Even that 5% that is good, STEP.YOUR.GAME.UP! The biggest tribute you can pay to Michael Jackson as an artist is to create REAL music. Not some gimmicky, dumbed down, for the moment mess. Most of the stuff in recent years is nothing short of forgettable. 30 years from now it will be irrelevant. Just because you go platinum doesn’t mean you are putting out quality product. So slow down, stop being concerned with the bs and put in real time and effort into your craft. Why is downloading so popular? People are tired of spending money on a whole album for maybe 2 or 3 songs. Save your tattoos, shout outs, remixes of Michael Jackson songs to include you (automatic fail) and any other thing for some other person. Making real and good music is the best artistic tribute ever. Oh and humbling yourself. It baffles me how nobody has a negative thing to say about Michael Jackson and he gave so much to not only his fans but helping others, but some artists today act like fans are a burden. Keep it up and see where that gets you.
When I learned that Michael Jackson passed, I went through and continue to process many emotions and feelings. Not only was this man a great artist, he was a father, humanitarian and the prototype of how one should pour their heart and soul into their craft. Some people don’t get it and that’s their loss. I am a music LOVER. Music takes me to another place and makes me feel deeply. And the ability to make you feel is something Michael Jackson mastered. From the haunting cry of why in “Human Nature” to his anger towards the media when duetting with baby sis Janet in “Scream, you were wrapped up in the song. And it was always a story with his songs. There have been other artists that paint great pictures with their lyrics “Who the f*ck is this paging me at 5:46 in the morning crack of dawn and now I’m yawning, wipe the cold out my eye, see whose this paging me and why?” Biggie could do it too. (You know you can think of a time when your phone went off in your sleep and thought just this) But now this is so rare.
Every time I try to figure out what my favorite MJ song is, I damn near have a panic attack because I am so overwhelmed. Human Nature. No, Liberian Girl, wait Remember the Time was my JAM. Break of Dawn and Butterflies, but how can I forget Off the Wall? It goes on like that forever!
It marvels me the level of dedication he had for music and performing. If you have Mike’s ultimate collection you will get to hear interviews from Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton talking about the making of Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad. (Fun fact: Did you know Bad was going to be a duet between MJ and Prince?) In these interviews, they give you a glance into Michael’s creative process and his DEMO versions blow some artists final, studio magic songs.
Don’t believe me? Here is Michael’s 1981 home demo of Billie Jean: Billie Jean Demo
And he had equal fervor and drive when it came to performing. Rehearsing Human Nature: Human Nature Rehearsal
And here is the actual performance: Human Nature Live
When you put this much into ANYTHING you do, you will get results. His passion and drive were very evident and should inspire people to work just as hard for their goals. Stop putting so much energy into beefing and rushing out a half arse album and WORK!
Michael the humanitarian and father: No matter how much people tore him down (well the media really), he never stopped giving of his time and money to those less fortunate. Some of us can’t even give the change out of our pockets to the homeless woman sleeping at a bus stop. If you are a REAL Michael fan, pay tribute by giving to others. How are YOU going to give back and make a difference in someone else’s life? And most importantly, Mike was a father. And from all accounts, an EXCELLENT father. Anybody who is questioning whether it’s his dna that they have loses a little credibility in my eyes. Who cares? He was their father. I pray the media will leave them alone and let them grieve and have the life the media wouldn’t allow their father to have.
Which brings me to my last little rants: the media and BET. While millions worldwide were mourning the loss of MJ and celebrating his life and music, many media outlets took that time to dig up any and every negative and misunderstood thing that they could. Within an hour of confirmation of his passing, one news network was playing clips from the molestation trial. Are you serious? After they hounded and tortured him in life, they were seemingly doing the same in death. Yet when other celebs passed, you didn’t hear a peep about anything negative. And *sigh* BET you epic failure on all levels. If you were running for president you would be LaRouche. For a decade or more now, you have been on a steady and rapid decline. The programming is piss poor and I truly believe that the BET Boondocks episode is accurate. I also believe that within your company, your goal is to reinforce every negative stereotype, perpetuate ignorance and coonery and tear apart what is left of the black community. And this started way before Viacom took over. I, like many people were over you, but for some reason I am a glutton for punishment and tuned into that traveshamockery called an awards show. And miss me with all that “we only had 2 or 3 days” mess. You didn’t even have a video montage yet you extended your show to pay special tribute to Michael Jackson. Oh wait, you HAD a great one and didn’t use it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKrWw6rJUTo BET is owned by Viacom. Time and money were not an issue. In less than a day, Diddy put together a song better than that show. VH1, MTV and TVOne just played videos and concerts and it was better than BET. The resources were there, but you chose to take the punk way out and use Michael Jackson’s death to boost your ratings. You gave us an extended minstrel show. From those pre-show performances to the half bleeped out song about wishing one could screw every girl in the world with young girls on stage, I am set for the rest of my life on ignorance and stupidity. I am BEGGING my cable company to block BET from coming into my home tv. Apparently, they can’t do it.
I’m done for now. All of this is just my rant/rave. Thoughts that have been floating in my head for a while and got even stronger the past few weeks.