If you hating on Michael… “Just beat it…”

Michael Jackson kicking it in "Black or White"

Michael Jackson kicking it in "Black or White"

My mom says she’ll always remember where she was when John Lennon died. Likewise, I’ll always remember where I was when they first announced the death of a King.

Earlier when I was on facebook, I saw some statuses that made me wish there was an “I would LIKE to kick your ass” button. In hater terms, they went something like this,”Michael Jackson died. Who gives a f*ck?” I do, my friend. And so do a couple other billion.

Michael Jackson was at the peak of his career when I was born. Therefore, he’s been “The Best,” my entire life. Even as a disfunctional teenie bopper, blowing kisses at posters of Usher and Justin, I still kept it real. They’d never live up to the King. (All you young Chris Brown fans, take note.)

I remember crying when I first saw the”Thriller” video, and laughing when I first saw the morphing bodies off “Black or White.” I remember how “Smooth Criminal” had that impossible move, where MJ would lean foward and side-to-side without falling. I remember watching “Billie Jean” when I was a tot, and learning ten years later that the song was actually about his brothers’ baby-mama-dramas. Then there was “Remember the Time.” Magic Johnson, Eddie Murphy, and Iman. How epic can you get?

I remember watching “Jackson 5: The American Dream,” knowing that it would cost me more than three hours of my day each time I watched it. I didn’t mind then, and I especially don’t mind now.

I remember the vibes I got just listening to his music. Now I don’t know about y’all, but I’m all about the vibes. And his albums just felt—right. His performances—perfect.

And yes. As weird of a movie as it was, even “The Wiz” had me tripping over MJ. Diana Ross was okay too, although her Dorothy outfit had me a little bugged out.

To put it short: as a fan, as a musician, as a writer, MJ has influenced me a lot. And I know other artists would be lying if they didn’t say the same. To me, despite all the controversy past and present, his legacy as an artist has never been destoyed. I remember defending him in kindergarten:

“My mom and dad say Michael Jackson is a bad man.”
“Well, I don’t care. I like the airplanes in his video.” (You recall “Just Leave Me Alone”?)

That’s what a lot of people remember him as: a bad man. Well… Hell yeah he was “Bad.” No argument there. He was baddest. Homeboy grew up in Gary, Indiana (not exactly Pleasantville) with an abusive father, ultimately never having a childhood. Riddle me this anti-MJ radicals: how rough did you have it? Furthermore, when was the last time you influenced generations of budding artists?

Exactly. Now please quit your ranting and listen to “Human Nature.” Maybe the cool jazz harmonies will soothe that cynical thing you call your soul.

As embarrassing as it might sound, I cried today. Granted I tried to hold it in, because I knew my brother would call me out. It was as if some media monster had sucked the living child out of me. That shit left me breathless.

Too many of my childhood memories involved either Michael Jackson or Michael Jordan: both kings in their own respect. (Now you know I have to mention “Jam”)

Losing one of them has put a huge crack in my memory vault. And while I’ll try my best to seal it up with flashbacks of white gloves, curly locks, and silver studded socks, I’ll still be playing “Thriller” to pass the time.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Was and always will be the King of Pop.


  1. irwinallen · · Reply

    it’s really unfortunate that he had to die at a young age, but i agree with you tebs. even though he’s passed, his music still transcends time and he’s definitely definitely going to be well remembered. Love the title btw. lol

  2. anthonykrzyzak · · Reply

    nice little write-up there tebs!

  3. Great tribute to MJ! I loved him, too.

  4. miss sunshine · · Reply

    this was a good article! respect for you and for the king of pop on his birthday! your memory will live on in the spirits of your true fans:) happy b-day MJ!!

  5. This has really made me smile,because I feel just the same. We could be great friends you and me! Its gonna be hard patching the hole in my heart left by MJ’s passing but like you Ive always gotten vibes from his music and feel deeply that he is still here. In spirt if not body.

  6. SHEHARA SILVA · · Reply

    He is the icon of POP Music….MJ is FOREVER…..

  7. wow up in till now i taught nobody understood, thank you for speaking your mind, i feel that all does people saying bad things about Micheal are people with very low self worth, if they judge someone so great without knowing him them imagine the way they are mung people….Michael is and always will be the king!!! because of people like that is that we never move forward and always complain because when something or someone good let themselves show they break them down, a world like that doesn’t deserve kindness, or mercy, because when it comes it doesn’t matter they will never see it or less, appreciate it!!!!

  8. Thriller Videos are always great, i love those dancing zombies “

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