Saturday, June 26, 2010

Michael Jackson, we always knew you...

I was one of the many that represented the MTV Generation. Let me straighten it out for you, when MTV had Adam Curry, and Kurt Loder had the same integrity as Tom Brokaw, was around the same time we had just heard about this weird and life-changing invention called cable. I was fortunate to have it around, since my parents always left me in front of MTV. I got to see it all, the hair-metal pop bands, the synth-pop new wavers, you name it, it was exposed to me since I was an infant. Hip-Hop was born around the same time as I was, though I would later learn that Hip-Hop was born way before me and had a good 6 years of age.

That's neither here nor there. Because there was one video, one that still stands out amongst them all for each decade, whether I had MTV or not. They were all made by one man, this man transcended time and space, with his syrupy good vocals, and his bigger than Jeebus dance moves that we all tried to imitate the next day. He's no longer with us now, as it would be one year since his passing today. That man, people, is Michael Jackson.

Ever since this man came into my life, its been pretty much one where I was fascinated more than when my parents would sit me down and explain the meaning of N.W.A's lyrics from "Straight Outta Compton," or Public Enemy's "By the Time I get to Arizona," it was still all about Mike. So allow me to give you three experiences I had with videos of Mike's.

"Rock With You"

I still remember this when I saw this video. Green lasers abound and Mike standing with a Mic, talking about dancing all night long with that special lady. Why did it trip me out? Well, he was standing alone, glitter sequined suit and signature shoe, letting all the worries get out and letting all the groove seep in. Really, Q-Tip & J-Lo could bite the steez on the green lasers, but Mike made it cool.

"Human Nature"

Without this song, we would lose essential foundations of Nas "It Ain't Hard To Tell," and SWV's "Right Here (Remix)" (you all know the remix was better, don't front.) Those synths and guitars come on in, and then after that you hear it hit, Michael just going off base and becoming one with the beat. At that moment, many things hit; bliss, comfort, contemplation. It made Mike the ethereal genius. He didn't need to let it belt out and risk going off tune, but he didn't have to with such a wise backing track as this.

"Remember The Time"

I still remember where I was when I saw this tune. Magic Johnson, Eddie Murphy and Iman do too. They were on the set shooting this Egyptian themed tale of Mike being the entertaining and cunning court jester trying to make off with Eddie's Nefertiti (Iman). Many videos were considered world premier, but few were as hyped as Mike's. You knew that once MTV mentioned it was gonna be appearing for the first time on MTV, you waited as eagerly as you did the next episode of "Lost," or the newest episode of "Family Guy;" eyes glued to the tube, and once we saw its elaborate set design, the way the song wrapped into the video, we all wanted to disappear into sand like Mike did.

Those my friends are the three moments that made me love Mike that much. He was around, which is what counted, before MTV became soulless, before Large Professor got the idea to flip the same song that Mike sung for one of rap's unsung heroes, and even before we wanted to be cool in the club. Mike was an everyman. If you choose to look past that, and just see the man during his trying time, near death and being preyed upon like a vulture, do as you wish. But there is simply nothing that stands true for us than the Mike we knew and still love to this day.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

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