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.