2014 BBMAs Reaction-Review

I know what you’re thinking…

This is another Michael Jackson/Justin Timberlake post, right?

Really?

Well considering what happened this weekend you should have been expecting this…

Quick Advice: WATCH BEFORE READING!

This past weekend on Sunday, May 18th, The Billboard Music Awards aired live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. And I think it’s safe to say that Michael Jackson’s hologram performance of “Slave to the Rhythm” stole the night.

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The performance began with a swat team of dancers dressed in black armor with the King’s initials displayed on their chests, as the rolling drums and helicopter sounds greeted the audience, they anxiously awaited a performance that was said to make history.

The curtains rose and Jackson appeared on stage upon an extravagant  gold and leopard printed thrown, sitting casually with one leg draped over the side.

michael-jackson-hologram-billboardDressed in his signature style; a gold sparkly jacket, white v-neck tee shirt, a sparkly belt, red pants, red socks and gold shoes. The initials MJ displayed in the background of him as well. Details were on point all the way down to his curly locks and the white tape he used to wear on his fingertips so that it would catch your eye with the flick of his hand. Even his walk down the stairs of his thrown to the main stage, was spot on. Michael always had this presence when he walked, like it was a dance or a glide with some kind of swag and spunk to it. It was a walk you took notice of, it was as if he wasn’t asking for your attention he was demanding it.

screen_shot_20140519_at_9.37.29_am.png.CROP.promo-mediumlarge.37.29_amAs his hologram pulled out his iconic moves like the crotch grab, the shoulder roll, the pelvic thrust, the tip toe stand, the side step walk… he glided across that stage flawlessly. And you knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was only a matter of time before he broke out into a dance break and moon walked across the stage. You couldn’t call it a Michael Jackson performance without a dance break. As the song “Slave to the Rhythm” was manipulated to focus on Jackson’s vocal track and cut to allow time for Jackson’s moves to shine once again.

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shoulder rollmoonwalk

 

 

 

 

Because of all of these details Jackson appeared almost lifelike.

If not for the illuminating light surrounding him, or the occasional off lip during the vocals, it could have easily been him. It was that good. Technology man…

The entire performance was accompanied by over a dozen dancers (both real and hologram infused,) as well as fire and light beams. After his performance and dance break, Jackson returned to his starting stage with a signature pose and then returned to his thrown.

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To me it was kind of symbolic now that I think about it. As if to say he’s holding his title in life and even in death. Michael Jackson will always be the King of Pop; the greatest of all time. I could only imagine what it would have felt like to have been in that audience. As people were seen dancing in their seats and some shared cheers while others shared tears. The performance was met with a standing ovation. If it were me I would have wanted to be off my ass and dancing through his entire performance, but I guess people were just in shock!

As for me I went into watching this performance with an open mind. I expected a hologram, because what else would be history making? They’ve done so many tributes that I was just like nothing is gonna be good enough other than the king himself. And I had heard it was for “Slave to the Rhythm.” But of course I was secretly hoping it would be Justin and hologram Michael Jackson performing “Love Never Felt So Good.” But Justin being on tour wasn’t even there :/. I’m really anxious to hear what Justin thought about the hologram performance. I hope he comments on it soon! Never the less, I went into this just wanting to see what it was all about. I was just excited to see how they would pull this off.

And my reaction was kind of all over the place.

My best friend and I snuck away from her family birthday dinner to watch tv and I was like I GOTTA SEE THIS MJ PERFORMANCE! Half way through I ran upstairs to grab my mom, because she just had to see this! I was freaking out!

At first I was like wait a minute…is that really him…is that a hologram, is that just a really good impersonator? I was…and I repeat ALL OVER THE PLACE. I was entirely confused because I knew that there isn’t any footage of Michael performing that song. “Slave the Rhythm” hadn’t even ever been heard until just recently as Jackson’s 2nd posthumous album Xscape  (which holds the track) was released just a few days ago on May 13th. So I was just like HOW IS THIS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW???

I remember I just kept saying things like …

I don’t know what my life is right now….I don’t know how to feel…

And I really didn’t.

I was stuck between freaking out and being in awe of how technology has evolved. And feeling like it was a good depiction of his legendary legacy. I thought it was amazing, I thought I was gonna cry.

According to people involved; this performance has been being planned since December of last year. And the song was chosen before they even had the technology to back it and before his image was yet to be perfected.

However, unfortunately much like everything in his real life, Jackson’s hologram performance received quite the stir of controversy. Some were quick to comment on the image not being perfect…hence the lips were off here and there. But what can you expect… nothing is going to truly live up to the real Michael Jackson live and in person. I may not have ever seen him perform live, but from being exposed to his performances throughout my life, I can safely say he was in a league of his own. So this hologram performance would be the next best thing. Others harped on the fact that the hologram was dated back to Jackson’s “Dangerous” days. Which they felt didn’t make much sense because he died at the age of 50, 5 years ago in 2009.

Michael even had his very own seat that night.... (what a beautiful gesture!)

I can’t even handle this! Michael even had his very own seat that night…. (what a beautiful gesture!)

The set they portrayed in this performance is said to be based on the artwork for the “Dangerous” album. His image was created in the same light. In fact it makes total sense, being that “Slave to the Rhythm” was originally recorded back in the 90’s during the “Dangerous” sessions. If you think about it, it’s better that way. It preserves his memory, if you ask me. I mean it’s no secret that Michael himself wasn’t too happy with his own appearance, hence why he went through so many plastic surgeries. Never the less, his health wasn’t the best when he passed either. So for them to choose an image of him, from a healthier time, and remember him as his iconic self, makes total sense to me. And once you know these facts, it should make accepting it all a bit easier. I for one don’t get tired of watching it, it doesn’t get any short of amazing with every watch. So I think that says something.

There are two ways to look at this performance, either you enjoyed it and aren’t letting it get overly analyzed and blown out of proportion, and just take it as a tribute of some kind. Just take it as it is, without reading too much into it.

Or take it as an offense. To think they are dishonoring him, and not letting him Rest In Peace. Upon doing my research for this reaction review, I kept coming across articles which deemed Michael Jackson had been “resurrected from the dead in hologram form.” That to me is the worst way to put it. A hologram is NOT a resurrection. Saying that just makes it sound creepy and scary.  It also makes people mad.

Don’t get me wrong the idea of a hologram is very weird in itself. But I think what truly bugs people most about this performance is the thought that it looks so real. That they wish it was. And for that I understand. But I think that being that this performance was put together by choreographers who Michael had worked with himself and being that this performance  was fully supported and produced by the Jackson Family Estate… How can you really be mad? It’s easy to think that it’s all a game, to make money off of him, but I choose to look at it as a way to honor him. Same thing with the posthumous album. It’s all a way to give fans just a slight version of what they’ve been missing. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact music that good isn’t doing anyone any good unreleased.

“Slave to the Rhythm” is off Michael Jackson’s 2nd posthumous album entitled Xscape

Xscape debuted last week at #1 in 50 countries and is in it’s fight for no. 1 in the U.S.

Come On people let’s get it there!

Watch Access Hollywood talk to some of those involved in creating this show stopping performance.

(In a fellow clip within the Access Hollywood link under the “RELATED” Tab under the above video)

L.A. Reid promises there’s more to come for this album.

Jackie Jackson reacts to seeing his brother perform in hologram form.

Saying and I quote…

“It’s beautiful…unbelievable…I thought he was there for real, I got teary eyed watching my brother….I think he would have given it a thumbs up, he would have loved it…”

So if his own brother gave it praise…I think it’s ok for fans to feel ok loving it!

[http://www.accesshollywood.com/michael-jackson-hologram-howd-they-do-that-exclusive_video_2168937]

(same link as above)

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In other exciting news… shout out to Mr. Justin Timberlake as he rocked the awards in his own way by taking home 7 out of the 11 awards he was nominated for…including…

2014 Billboard Music Awards - Show

Justin accepts several times via satellite…

Top Artist

Best Male Artist

Top Billboard 200 Artist: “The 20/20 Experience”

Top Radio Artist

Top R&B Artist

Top Billboard 200 Album: “The 20/20 Experience”

Top R&B Album

Hell yea boy!

Congrats…very well deserved…that album deserves every single award it receives.

 

So basically two people who weren’t even there, dominated the night, haha. MJ & JT owned the 2014 BillBoard Music Awards. Hats off sirs. Nothing but love. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

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

-<3-

 

 

 

 

Michael Jackson’s Legacy Lives On

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You know it’s funny just last night I was watching Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” film on tv…and I was like “Oh I know why they’re showing this, the album drops tomorrow.” I remember going to see the movie the fall after he died and just expecting to ball my eyes out. But I didn’t. Instead I rocked my “off the wall” t-shirt, sitting aside my best friend and my mom,  and just enjoying the music. And enjoying what would have been an incredible concert. “This Is It” consisted of all the rehearsal footage of Michael planning his London shows, just days before he died. And watching it last night I couldn’t help but smile and laugh at his personality. Some may say he’s strange and many will talk about the horrible things that were said about him in the media. But I only know him for his music, for his talent. And someone who comes across so genuine, so loving, so childlike, it doesn’t make sense for me to believe the rumors. So I choose not to. Michael was a true artist, working with everyone  and giving direction fairly. Saying things to guitarists like “I want you to hit your highest note, now’s your time to shine, and we’ll be right there with you.” Uttering God Bless You’s and giving thumbs up to all those involved. You could tell he was a perfectionist with a clear vision, but he knows his music and he was always right. But he also appeared shy and in a way unaware of his greatness. In an incredible “Billie Jean” rehearsal, he finishes with “Well at least we get a feel of it.” Like… are you kidding me, that song is epic and even in rehearsal, you performing it… is always going to be epic. As his dancers and crew members cheered loudly off stage for him, Michael bashfully shrugs his shoulders. I think that kind of level of pure fame, is enough to get to anyone. I only hope that he is at true peace now, and that he sees what a master of his craft he truly was and still is. RIP Michael. ❤

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 Listen to MJ’s XScape HERE

Read the lyrics HERE

 *1. Love Never Felt So Good

Read song description Here

… (we already know how I feel about this song)

Click here to explore my in-depth love

Moving on…

*2. Chicago

The audio is on fire.

Michael’s voice has that typical Jackson rasp accompanied by the heavy breaths he so typically adds in for effect, the song has a funky r&b feel good vibe to it. Very smooth. Definitely a favorite for me on the album so far…(it’s up there with “Dirty Diana” I could easily here this on the radio as a 2014 single, it’d fit fight in.)

Basically a song about a girl who did a guy wrong. lol

*3. Loving You

FUN! Jackson 5 vibes. Smooth Young Michael voice. The composition of this song is just flawless, each instrument, each sound just adds to it’s spunk. I love that funky drum and piano collaboration at the beginning and throughout. Seems to me like could have been up there with “Rock With You.” Would have made for a cool duet with Janet Jackson, vocally it would have been beautiful.

*Three songs in and I’m already loving it*

*I’m over here groovin’ and swayin’*

4. A Place With No Name

Read song description Here

Funky Guitar (due to the use of synthesizers) and Michael’s voice…love the intro…makes for another instant favorite.

Hand claps, and Finger snaps…signature Michael.

“I been through the desert on a “Horse With No Name” “… that was my initial thought, haha (and I was totally right [see: song description!])

The chorus is a fun sing along.

The vocals overall has this raw sound, sounds like this could be the demo, but that’s what makes it so good; makes it more organic.

5. Slave To The Rhythm (recorded during the “Dangerous” sessions)

Read Song Description Here

There’s a build up in the beginning of a assortment of sounds; chains, drums, violin= slave symbolism.

A metaphorical dancer, being forced to obey a man’s needs and ignore her own.

Funky- (timbaland written all over it.)

Britney spears should duet this gem *cough cough* “Slave For You.”

I really enjoy his vocals in this song, he’s got this screech that blends with the rasp and it gives the song a sense of urgency which matches well with the urgency of the beat and of the dancer who is a slave to the rhythm

6. Do You Know Where Your Children Are

“he he” ‘s all up in this one! Wouldn’t be an MJ album without them!

Hip Hop, meets Rock and Roll, meets old school vibes all in one.

Sending a message. (It’s 10 pm, do you know where your children are?)

That’s the thing about Michael’s music, it has two genres…pop, feel good dance songs, then songs with a strong message. I think quite frankly in his heart he wanted to change the world, he wanted to make it a better place.

Well Michael you may be gone physically but your legacy lives on through your music, which continues to touch the lives of previous generations, this generation, and generations to come.

7. Blue Gangsta

Kind of eerie.

Clear cut vocals.

Ballad meets smooth R&B dance track.

Fueled by heart break.

The title is kinda badass!

This song wasn’t an instant favorite for me (although its seriously creepin’ up on me), but I can definitely see this as a single. I can see the chorus catching on and having people belt it out. It screams “Cry Me River” vibes; even though it was recorded before Timberlake’s break up anthem, haha 😀

Also there is a part in the break where he hits a note and holds it, that makes me think of  the ending to “Earth Song.”

*8. Xscape

“Scream” vibe.

Like the concept…trying to escape the media.

Love the horn section!

Is it weird that I could see Britney Spears on this track too?

 

This album is contemporary Michael. It’s still MJ and his raw talent with a bit of a 2014 spin to it. I think the producers set out to make something  that Michael would approve of. I’m interested to know what the Jackson family thinks and if they are proud. I do think that the Jackson family should have been involved with the production.

But I still think the album came out great! It’s a mixture of contemporary versions and original versions. It’s an amazing thing to hear the original versions. The songs range from feel good beats and meaningful lyrics that strive to send messages. There’s a lot of influence that could be chalked up to heart break. There’s a gentle darkness that gets masked by the upbeats beats and rhythms. But “Love Never Felt So Good” and “Loving You” breeze in and save us with their light. However, there is a variety of songs from all walks of Michael’s albums from 1983 to 1999, so it may seem like there is a slight continuity issue, in sound, in quality, or in vocals. But L.A. Reid tweeted that the producers who worked on this album sorted through 22 previously recorded songs and narrowed it down to 8.  I realize that many people have concerns about releasing music that is raw and fear that a perfectionist like Michael would frown upon it. But as L.A. Reid kindly put it, the demos were released solely for his fans who requested it. I know I was on youtube the minute Ryan Seacrest played a snippet of the “Love Never Felt So Good” demo, I was dying to just play it over and over again.  There’s just something so special about hearing the un-tampered with versions. It’s just Michael, and it’s a honor to listen to. To feel like you’re sitting across from him in the recording studio. Close your eyes, and you’ll feel it. It’s bitter sweet for Michael fans who have followed him through his career, because he isn’t here to deliver this album himself. And we have no way of knowing for sure if he would approve of it. But I think that given the simple fact that Michael even just put his voice on these tracks means something, and they should be heard, and honored. So I definitely think it’s worth a listen!

So as always, Michael Jackson, hats off sir.

And to all those involved, I think you did him proud.

“For the ultimate fan experience, XSCAPE is available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings as they existed in his archives as well as a DVD documentary featuring the producers discussing the making of XSCAPE. The duet version of “Love Never Felt So Good”, co-produced by Justin Timberlake, is also available on the Deluxe Edition.” [via michaeljackson.com]

“Love Never Felt So Good” is my top favorite, followed by “Chicago,” “Loving You” and “XScape.”

As I mentioned in my “Love Never Felt so Good” Review post, I am eager to see this thing play out and how they will work the duet. Will there be a music video? Will it ever be performed? I hear there’s this big Michael Jackson extravaganza happening at The Bill Board Awards this weekend and I am holding my breathe until I see for myself. Like I said I’m still waiting on greatness. And that greatness would include Justin Timberlake and Hologram Michael Jackson performing “Love Never Felt So Good” at the awards. But with Justin being on tour overseas…I don’t know if that will happen. However, he is on tour in Russia the 17th but his next show after isn’t until the 23rd, so it’s possible… AHHHHHHH….ok  ok let me not get my hopes up too high. I’ve learned my lesson with that bogus 30 second *NSYNC reunion. 😉 We’ll just have to wait and see on Sunday.

But there’s this.

SC20140513-192558Tune into Ellen May 14! ❤

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accompanied by this photo…um ahhhhh

 

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Um Justin, I think the cat’s out of the back…hold on wait a minute…let me go pick my jaw up off the floor ❤

Michael Jackson is set to unleash World Premiere Experience and “make history” at The 2014 Bill Board Music Awards…which airs LIVE from Vegas this Sunday May 18th on ABC at 8 pm. Yahoo will be streaming the red carpet. 🙂 Tune in!

 For more information on Xscape

visit MichaelJackson.com

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Shout out to this being my 200th post here on wordpress!

 

 -<3-