R.I.P to the G.O.A.T- Mr. Michael Jackson

Just an extra segway today…I had to pay tribute…

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bad-badder-the-bad-world-tour-billie-jean-michael-jackson-19013348-873-955[1]There is no one that can touch what he’s done. The legacy he’s left through music. I’m not talking about the rumors or the hateful stories that plagued and continue to plague his bright light. None of us know the full truth. But I am simply talking about talent, about drive and striving to be the best, never settling. That’s what he was about. That’s what matters. His music is what matters. His music is timeless, it bridges gaps between all generations. My mom grew up with The Jackson 5, and I grew up listening to his music in the house, knowing and loving the same. And I know my kids will know what good music is too. You can’t deny the intro to “Billie Jean,” or the feeling of needing to strut as

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The Way You Make Me Feel” starts. But behind the fancy melodies and instrumentals is always a message he was trying to tell. In songs like “Heal The World” and “Earth Song he speaks about wanting to make the world a better place. He reinvented music videos with his 14 minute mini movie “Thriller,” making music videos a place to tell the stories behind the lyrics. All of that is his legacy and that is what makes him the Greatest Of All Time. What makes him a Legend. 6 years…Wow, it never gets easier to believe. I remember when it happened I literally just graduated High School and I remember thinking it was some kind of cruel media joke. But I know his music lives on! RIP King Of Pop no one does it better. ❤ #RIPmj #MichaelJackson #KingOfPop #GOAT #BADDESTintheBizz

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* I do not take any credit for any images, gifs, or videos used.*

-<3-

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My Top 5 Favorite Michael Jackson Videos

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#5: You Rock My World

 Clocking in at over 13 minutes, another gangster related mini movie was born. And I’m ok with this. This was the first single off of Michael’s last album Invincible, while he was alive to record and release new music himself. To be quite honest this album had not been as well received as all his previous ones. But I have to say that I really enjoyed it. There are songs from that able that I adore, and that I think should be recognized more. You Rock My World, is another guy chases girl only this time Chris Tucker lends a hand brings the funny. I can count 3 jokey shout outs on Chris’ account to Michael’s previous hits….”That girl’s a pretty young thang…I don’t know I got a bad feeling about this, I think we should just beat it…this girl is dangerous.” To me this video proved that Michael still had it. Although his game could use a little work, “Hey! Come here.”  Michael just because you cat call at a girl, don’t mean she’ll come running. Just Sayin’. 😉 But props for always wanting to save a “damsel in distress.” It’s all about wanting to keep her safe. Then at the 3 minute mark…something magical happens, Michael’s silhouette takes the stage and the original song is started off as an a capella. It’s a beautiful thing to hear the shuffle of his feet as he throws out each move and the snapping of his fingers. You know another legendary dance routine is about to take you over. Brace yourself for the king.

#4: Black Or White

Oh hey Macaulay Culkin….kids and their loud music. Parents just don’t understand. The guitar in this song is unbelievable and gives me goosebumps. It don’t matter if you’re black or white. It’s simple. We are all equal. That’s the message here. “I’m not gonna spend my life bein a color.” And Having been scrutinized for his ski color change, Michael set the record straight. [disclaimer: Michael was said to have bleached his skin due to a skin condition] But never the less this video is incredible and sends a great message. I love the ending where all the faces of people of all different genders, race, color, looks, shapes, sizes, change and morph into one another! Bravo Michael. Message received.

#3: Smooth Criminal

Clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, Michael delivers again. In his typical fedora and suit,  only Michael Jackson could flip a coin from across the room into a jukebox and kick start a song. 😉  “Annie are you ok?” And we set off into yet another record making dance routine. The famous MJ lean (no hands ma!) What I love about Michael videos most is that every video follows a specific plot line. I’m a sucker for a gangster squad storyline. You are thrown into this world and you believe it. You are a part of it. And every disagreement, every fight, is fought through dance. And it’s a beautiful thing. Each video has coined us an epic and trademark dance move/ moves.

#2: The Way You Make Me Feel

“GO ON GIRL! ” This video is actually such a favorite of mine it just misses the #1 spot. If there was no Thriller this would be it. But then again no one wants to live in a world where Thriller doesn’t exist! Ok so let me break it down for you. Not only is this song probably my favorite Michael Jackson song…(that’s saying a lot!) but the storyline of this video is just SO GOOD. Basically it’s a guy chasing a girl. Girl passes him up and he screams “HEYY!!!” (my favorite part) You knock me off of my feet now baby, HOOOO!” and then the lion/tiger growl cues and the beat starts and Michael begins his strut and conquest of getting the girl. It is so so good, that I can’t take it. And the silhouetted dance break is badass.

#1: Thriller

Directed by John Landis. Greatest music video of all time. I love how it tells a story. It goes from a movie date to them basically living in their own movie. It breaks the barriers between reality and fantasy. The makeup is still kick ass and attests the stand of time. Those zombie dancers could easily be seen on the zombie phenomenon The Walking Dead. Even though effects and horror have come such a long way, and some may say this video is a mirrored cheap version of a mini horror movie. This video came out in the 80’s which means the cinematography, costume design, and makeup done in this were all cutting edge and broke the mold. If you ask me, I still get slight chills when watching this video or even just hearing the song, and when Vincent Price’s laughing cackle shrieks out at the end, and we see Michael turn around with those yellow cat like eyes. Ugh SO GOOD. Love this video! Your skin just crawls. It’s a video that makes you scared one second and want the dance the next. The dancing is the coolest routine I’ve ever seen and the song is just…well let’s put it this way…. This video is complete proof of why Michael Jackson is considered the greatest entertainer of all time. Thriller is the longest music video (clocking in at about 14 minutes long) which started the mini movie music video trend both for Michael and future artists.

[See Justin Timberlake’s What Goes Around…Comes Around]

*The thing about Michael’s videos is that there’s always a story. there’s always a build up. They start slow, hit you with a climax then resolve the issue at hand. So many videos these days are rubbish because it’s all big booty girls who are half naked grinding on a pole. There’s no storyline, no intrigue, no cinematic dreamery. Music is such an amazing outlet and how beautiful it is when you can see it being bright to life. The video for a music video should always match the message in the song.*

Random Bonus Video…because it’s just too good to leave out!

A haunted house gone wrong. Stephen King was involved in the story writing…which I never knew and that makes so much sense now that I think about it.  In this creeper Halloween special Michael lives in an old creaky creeper mansion, and when neighbors come over to complain Michael challenges those who call him a freak. I remember watching the making of this with my family. We were all gathered around the tv and were completely amazed. It was a big special and video release, just in time for Halloween. This is a legit film short. Coming in at over a half an hour. Michael reinvents his level of creativity and the barriers he will cross to achieve it. Fun Fact: Michael plays “Michael” and the overly judgmental guy in a suit and several other characters!

-<3-

Remembering Michael Jackson

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Today marks the 5th Year Anniversary of Michael Jackson’s Death. Till this day I almost still feel like michael-jackson-tell-all-bookit’s a cruel joke. And what’s even sadder is that out of the two major things that happened that day, (his death and my high school graduation) the former is what actually always comes to mind first on this day.

Michael JacksonI’ve always found it odd when they called the date someone passed away an Anniversary. Aren’t Anniversaries causes for celebration; as in a wedding anniversary, or the anniversary of a couple’s first date or first kiss, or first whatever. It’s usually a celebration of love. But when someone passes, the love or adoration or respect of their craft you once had for them doesn’t just go away. And it never will.

So I guess Anniversary is a fitting term. Because despite rumors or speculation or hearsay, I choose to believe at the root of it we are all human beings trying our best. And I’d like to think we all have good in us. So let’s not mourn that he’s gone, let’s celebrate all he’s left us with. Let’s celebrate what a true talent he was and still is.

I’ve said my piece about Michael’s passing and his 38971-michael_jackson_jpg_630x461_q85legacy many times. The world is missing out on having his true presence with us everyday. But he lives on, in music. So I wanted to remember him today, on this 5 Year Anniversary of his passing first by Rocking my MJ “Off The Wall” tee but more importantly through sharing his music hence broadcasting the impact he’s had on the world through that music.

 

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*Here are some of my favorite MJ songs/music videos/performances*

The Way You Make Me Feel (an all time favorite)

Smooth Criminal (that lean move though)

You Rock My World (“Chris your kickin’ with the wrong leg” ;))

Thriller (Cinematically Brilliant…P.S. Zombies <3)

*Michael Jackson’s music videos were always crafty in telling a story.

The 13 minute “Thriller” video paved the way for the mini movie music video trend. *

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Dirty Diana

P.Y.T.

Wanna Be Startin’ Something

Rock With You

Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

You Are Not Alone

Leave Me Alone

Human Nature

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*And last but not least Michael Jackson being a legend…as he performs Billie Jean*

Chills guys, I have chills (and it’s summer)

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Rest in Peace Michael.

*King of Pop*

*Greatest of all time.*

-<3-

“Love Never Felt So Good” Comes to Life

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So the Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake duet has been gaining a lot of attention. SO much that it’s hard to keep up with it on this blog…but never the less…you know I can’t help but try….

For your viewing pleasure…

The video directed by Rich Lee and Timberlake himself, is very well done. I am a very proud fan girl to learn that Justin had a hand in directing something like this. If this doesn’t get him more directing jobs I don’t know what will, haha. Excuse me while I dust off my film critique skills…(thanks professor Jackson). The concept was well handled; a collective tribute to and of Jackson’s most memorable moments, accompanied by the newest single to make it current. I mean how do you shoot a video for a posthumous album, and still keep true to the artist? There’s a certain weird factor to the idea of releasing a video like this…because the artist himself isn’t here with us. But I honestly think the fans wanted to see it, and I think it was done respectfully. The footage was nicely edited and infused old footage of Michael Jackson’s greatest moments into the shots of the dancers and Justin Timberlake’s performance.

The idea to include dancers is always a good idea. After all Michael was well known for his signature dance moves. It’s only natural to include the newer generation and show how Michael’s music is timeless. I love how they are all dancing on pool tables and in train turn-styles. Much like the King himself did in videos like “Beat It,” and “Bad.” And we see dance sequences from “Smooth Criminal,” “Billie Jean,” and a movie theater scene much like the one we see in Jackson’s epic hit “Thriller.” Throughout the video itself is a homage to Jackson’s hit “Black or White,” as people of different backgrounds and looks are pictured lip-syncing and dancing, as they do interchangeable closeups of each person’s face. It was beautiful to see Justin amongst the kids singing and laughing as the kids of all ages wore Xscape t-shirts. (um hey can I get one of those!) This too is a very Michael tactic, in performances like “We are the World” and “Heal the World,” Jackson often included choirs of children to sing along with him.

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There are beautiful aspects to the cinematography featured in this video. The idea of mirroring Michael and Justin is beautiful. As they try their best to accommodate the duet aspect, whilst not having Michael there to sing and dance himself. The visual they created however, is beautiful. With Jackson pictured on screen behind an off centered Timberlake. The two interchangeably in and out of focus.

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I loved how simple Justin kept his performance. He didn’t try to over do it, and respectfully didn’t try and out shine the true star of the video, Michael himself. He just swayed and grooved to the beat in his typical Justin fashion, nailing his falsetto and proving why he deserves to be on the track. The video is kept happy and light hearted. Justin threw a couple of slight Michael gestures in here and there; the pop of a collar, the flick of his jacket, the shoulder bop from side to side, the head roll and flick of the wrist finger snaps, most of which were portrayed in a Timberlake silhouette (which I adore, I have a soft spot for the cinematic view of silhouettes) with Jackson’s original portrayal on a screen behind him. But Timberlake didn’t try to imitate any of the major dance numbers, (much to my disappointment, I would have loved to see him as part of the smooth criminal number). Because news flash contrary to what the haters are saying, Justin Timberlake CAN dance. But he left it all up to the new generation of Michael Jackson fans. But I get it, I get why Justin did what he did. He was being respectful. Never the less people are gonna say what they’re gonna say. They are gonna claim he is trying to act like Michael, but that’s just ignorance. If anything the only thing he did to, is help to create a work of art that honors Michael and shows how much of an impact he’s had on Justin’s career as well as the world.

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I have to say I teared up while watching this. It was a mixture of missing Michael Jackson and seeing Justin Timberlake in the same light as the greatest of all time. It was amazing, and beautiful and I had a moment there.

I grew up listening to old Michael Jackson music, a lot of Motown was heard in my house. My mom is a Michael fan, so naturally I gravitated toward his music. I got it from my momma.  Although MJ holds a specific spot in my musical heart, Justin Timberlake consumes the rest. I literally grew up with him, listening to him, and becoming the mega fan I am today. I grew up with *NSYNC as they owned the 90’s. I’ve been to many concerts and have really witnessed first hand the rise of his success, which is something I was never able to experience with Michael Jackson. I guess in a funny way you can say Justin Timberlake is my Michael Jackson. But take that with a grain of salt, please.

I don’t neglect that Michael can never be replaced. But I do think Justin Timberlake holds the highest rank for Prince of Pop.  I guess you can say that I’m a good example of how Michael’s music bridges the gaps of generations. As I mentioned before I grew up listening to old Michael tracks, because my mom loved his music. And continued to follow his newer albums as I got older. So sure being a 90’s kid, I may not have been on the planet, when albums like “Off the wall” or “Thriller” dropped. But it doesn’t matter if you were physically around…because you know all the words and can dance along, imitating a move or two, for sure. Because no matter the decade, kids know Michael. People know Michael. And they know he is the great King of Pop.

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With that being said I’m seeing some hate comments about this video, although the true fans have many positive things to say, there’s always going to be haters. So I had to defend…

Ok I have to say this…to anyone thinking Justin is trying to be Michael Jackson, you are completely wrong. If you watched closely you’d notice Justin barely does any signature Michael Jackson moves, out of respect for Michael. Anything else is just small insinuations to pay honor to the greatest of all time. (To be honest I would have loved if Justin would have busted out a moonwalk! Michael is his idol, we all try to mirror our idols.) In fact Justin didn’t even originally want to record this track because he respects Michael so much. Michael loved JT and they have a lot of similarities musically. It’s inevitable that artists today would be influenced by Michael’s talent, there isn’t an artist out there who isn’t. Never the less Justin is his own artist, paying homage to the king doesn’t mean he’s trying to become him. Justin will have a legacy of his own…that’s why he is the prince/president of pop. Hell Michael was invested enough to want to work with him himself [see: wait for my upcoming review of Justin’s candid Michael encounters during Oprah’s “Masterclass”]. So I’m sorry haters, I just don’t agree with you. Sorry but it needed to be said. But to each their own. Just enjoy good music for good music. 🙂
And Justin, Hats off sir.
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The ending gave me chills.

*I do not take any credit for the images/edits used…although most are just video stills*

-<3-