Friday, June 26, 2009
never can say goodbye
Do you remember the time when Michael was a pop icon rather than tabloid fodder?
At the end he was more bogeyman than boogie-man, more monster than hero, more goat than G.O.A.T, more caricature than role model but there was a time when Michael apparently was a cool inspiration to black folks and loved by everyone worldwide. But that was a while back wasn't it?
My wife reminded me this morning that when the Thriller album came out Michael made it cool to be black in North America. He made black music commercially viable and gave it MTV appeal. I also hold him personally responsible for the horror that was the jeri curl era but in some parts of the world Michael Jackson was the first black person that anyone had ever seen ever. You see those suburban white kids imitating today's rappers? Well the original cross-over appeal artist was Michael, white glove and all. Everyone loved Michael (even Prince fans).
Without Michael there would be no Puffy, no Jay Z, no Chris Brownes, no Ushers.
And man could he dance!
Now Michael is known as much for his antics as for his music. Its all very plain to see in the nickname he was given "Wacko Jacko". For every Beat it, there is a but the dude had a zoo at Neverland story, for every Black or White there is a he walked around in a SARs mask for years rebuttal and lets not even go into the Michael and Bubbles and Michael and little children stories or the dangling small child off balcony acts, the bankruptcy rumours and the crazy marriages etc.
Dude became one of those stories you shook your head at. A walking tragedy, someone to be pitied. Poor Michael, all that talent, all that fame, still crazy as ass. What happened to that cat? Some blamed his dad, some said he never grew up, some said he was taken advantage of or was just missing some screws up top. Who knows!
What I can say is that a lot of the boo hoo hoo I miss him stories that will circulate in the coming days are a bunch of crap and highly hypocritical and come from the people who two days ago were more than likely dissing or laughing at ol boy.
Come on now, dude had become a caricature. Forget the don't speak ill of the dead credo and admit it. You know it, I know it. In fact when last did you make a Michael duz trouble lil children crack or passed around a Michael now looks like a white woman email or dissed his ever changing nose? Exactly! This is what Michael had become of late so don't try to cover it up.
It is what it is. But it just goes to show you that opinions and life can change in a matter of minutes. The same ones dissing him yesterday are now the ones showering him with praise today. Guess you cant get all your props til you're gone.
He was great, his recording legacy may stand the test of time, he was definitely a trailblazer, one of the greatest dancers and entertainers and he was the King of Pop, but like many prodigies and icons over the years Michael got old and somewhat irrelevant music wise and his eccentricities became his hallmark later in life. (Apparently the lucky ones die young. Imagine if Tupac and Biggie or Bob Marley had lived past their primes?)
Michael went from the King of Pop to King of Weird. He's gone now and some will feel guilty and realize dude regardless of his eccentricities was one of a kind and we will miss him now. But who will be remembered: 1982 Michael, cocky, vibrant, inspirational leaving us all welled up with pride or 2009 Michael peeping out from behind a mask, dodging creditors and crazy rumours, leaving us feeling sorry for him.
Rappers and comedians will have to find a new celebrity for fodder as will we.
Rest in Peace Michael may you be less troubled now than in life.
ps: For anyone interested Smoking Section has a nice DJ Jaycee mix of some the older MJ tunes from the Jackson five era available for free download here.