It is often said that with shining genius comes fatal flaws. However its been shown time and again that the light of genius can blind us to even the most egregious of errors.
Today, we focus on the genius of Michael Joseph Jackson, a man whose prodigious talent has cast an impenetrable shadow over present day Black Music.
Artists like Usher, Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, and Justin Timberlake have collectively dominated the charts with Jacksons moves, similar vocal and musical arrangements (mainly the talented but derivative Ne-Yo) and of course, the moves.
But why Michael Jackson? Why not Stevie or Marvin? Why not Prince? Because Michael Jackson represents our general humanity.
His is a story of nothing to something, and of family; of dreams. Most importantly, its a story of love and its evolution within us as we grow from child to adult.
We have watched him for 40 years express his love for others and for the world through the eyes of a child, and adolescent and as a man.
And as a man weve watched that love expand and evolve with his experiences. What endears him to us is that weve watched that love change him, and elevate him, subsequently imprison him, and eventually drive him crazy.
We can all identify with that. This bittersweet connection is why well always love Mike, and also why no matter how many times you moonwalk, regardless of what you sample, or how you inflect your voice, it will always pale in comparison.
There are child stars in abundance now. Their lives are scripted by PR people, taped by studios, and packaged for our childrens visual entrapment. The honesty, the transparency, the ascension, and the tragedy that is Michael Jackson is like Season One of the Real World: everything else that follows is scripted; we know whats coming.
Michael grew up surrounded by a family escaping mediocrity, restricted by religion, and suddenly thrust upon with fame and fortune, in a system that enables self destruction and the prevalence of image over reality.
In that environment he became a megastar, a humanitarian and the blueprint for two generations of youth. Besides the aforementioned R&B stars, theres no Miley Cyrus, no Raven Symone, and no Olsen Twins without Michael Jackson. Theres no Maury without Mike (The Kid Is Not My Son). Theres no Maino without Mike (Leave Me Alone>>>> Hi Haters).
Michael Jackson is living proof that we CAN dream big and that we CAN change our dreams to reality. Hes also a stark example of how we can become victims of our dreams when we cant distinguish fantasy from reality. He is the most beautiful of nightmares. Pay homage. Love his music. Listen to his love evolve with the following selections. And for Gods sake dont leave your kids with him because we just dont know.
Take a listen to the playlist for this piece by copy pasting this link to your browsers and enjoy. Peace.