As I watched and listened to old Jackson Five, and Michael Jackson videos on Youtube this morning, it dawned on me,, just how fast the last two years, since his death….have gone. From the time he could walk and talk, Michael Jackson, sang and danced his way into the stratosphere. I remember sitting in the Patterson Hall lobby, on the South Campus of The Ohio State University in 1983. The television in the lobby, was the focal point, as students of all types stopped and witnessed Michael perform his unique version of the “moonwalk” during the Motown 25th Anniversary Special. It was, as if, he was literally defying the laws of gravity with that performance. Billie Jean, and its incessant backbeat, launched Michael and his Thriller album to the top of the charts for nearly two years. There has always been a debate about “Off the Wall” versus “Thriller” in terms of which album was/is better. One thing is certain, Thriller, was simply the perfect album that came about at the perfect time. MTV started in 1981, and black artists were anything, but well represented by their video playlists. Princes’ “Little Red Corvette“, and songs from Thriller created a paradigm shift in the music world that made R&B music more palpable to music fans of other genres. White kids in the suburbs were moonwalking their way into the inner-city, wearing one glove, like their counterparts were doing all over the globe. MTV would never be the same, as shows like “YO MTV RAPS etc. gained in popularity, and certainly owed their success to Thriller.
Looking back, its sad to realize that Michael, actually decided to wear the one glove to cover up the beginning of what we now know was a REAL skin disorder(NOT a desire too be white). It was the beginning of a period of time that would have crushed a weaker mindset…much sooner. We also know that two of the individuals, who lied about the child molestation allegations, have subsequently committed suicide, due to their guilt from lying on Michael. Of course, there is an undeniable argument that Michael put himself in bad situations with his increasingly “odd” behavior. What is “odd”, too me, is how the media jumped on him…based on outright lies. Imagine, how “odd” you would be, if those around you ,REALLY believed you had done something so heinous, no matter how much you plead your innocence? Imagine, how “odd” you would be, if you liked women, but the powers that be, convinced everyone that you were scared of, and not interested in P…Y? How “odd” would you be, if your scalp was burned so badly that you could never grow your own hair back, and the pain from the incident, forced you into a life-long dependency on pain-killers? In my opinion, many, if not most people, would not have lasted anywhere as long as Michael. Despite the scrutiny, he still believed in his talent, and that one day, he would be vindicated. Perhaps, it was the “discipline” of Joe Jackson that made Michael mentally tough to deal with this world…as long as he did. More than likely, he really was a”Thriller” and a lot tougher than Joe, or ANYONE else could have ever imagined.
Daryl Robinson 03 Shining Star Music by E&W&F