More than two and a half years after his untimely death, Michael Jackson continues to entertain. Cirque du Soleil’s crowd-pleasing Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour is currently crisscrossing North America, while a recent Jackson-themed episode of Glee earned the show a 16 percent jump in ratings and its highest music sales of the season. Even Madonna’s halftime Super Bowl spectacle harkened back to a trend first initiated by Jackson.But there is another crucial part of Jackson’s legacy that deserves attention: his pioneering role as an African-American artist working in an industry still plagued by segregation, stereotypical representations, or little representation at all.
Jackson never made any qualms about his aspirations. He wanted to be the best. When his highly successful Off the Wall album (in 1981, the best-selling album ever by a black artist) was slighted at the Grammy Awards, it only fueled Jackson’s resolve to create something better. His next album, Thriller, became the best-selling album by any artist of any race in the history of the music industry. It also won a record-setting seven Grammy awards, broke down color barriers on radio and TV, and redefined the possibilities of popular music on a global scale.
Yet among critics (predominantly white), skepticism and suspicion only grew. “He will not swiftly be forgiven for having turned so many tables,” predicted James Baldwin in 1985, “for he damn sure grabbed the brass ring, and the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo has nothing on Michael.”
Baldwin proved prophetic. In addition to a flood of ridicule regarding his intelligence, race, sexuality, appearance, and behavior, even his success and ambition were used by critics as evidence that he lacked artistic seriousness. Reviewsfrequently described his work as “calculating,” “slick,” and “shallow.” Establishment rock critics such as Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus notoriously dismissed Jackson as the first major popular music phenomenon whose impact was more commercial than cultural. Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Bruce Springsteen, they claimed, challenged and re-shaped society. Jackson simply sold records and entertained.
This is just the beginning… the best is yet to come. He has said it many times… BELIEVE!
MARIE-FRANCE BORNAIS, QMI AGENCY
NEW YORK — If people knew everything that Michael experienced growing up, Jermaine Jackson thinks they would have thought about him differently.
“He hated the titles,” Jermaine said in an exclusive interview.
“They were calling him names, ‘Freaking Wacko-Jacko’ and all these kinds of things. That hurt him because here’s someone who’s taking the time, with his fame, to give a message that is so divine and so pure for the world, and for children, and for people. And all they can do is look at things that are not important, like the colour of his skin.
“It’s horrible to be accused of horrible things, false allegations of child molestation which (were) just horrible. They tried so hard to bring him down on so many other things… That’s just horrible because they knew he loved children and they tried to bring him down on the very thing that he loved, which was kids.”
Jermaine said that Michael donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity, before his tragic death in 2009 at age 50.
“He would go to any hospital, anywhere in the world, and walk down the emergency corridors, and find who needed operations and he would pay for them, and give lung transplants and all kinds of things. And liver transplants. That’s what he did. And people who couldn’t afford burials in our industry, in the music industry, he would bury them (and pay for it).”
Jermaine, 57, recalls his family’s beginnings in a poorly insulated bungalow in Gary, Ind., like it was yesterday. Michael and Jermaine had seven siblings — Jackie, Tito, Marlon, Rebbie, La Toya, Randy and Janet.
“Going back to the Gary days and writing about our childhood was very easy, because it’s something that will never go away in our minds, and the Jackson Five days were some of the most incredible days in our lives.
“It was just the beginning of us wanting to be like the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and The Supremes, and all these (artists that) we grew up wanting to be like. And we were on our way, and that’s because the Jackson Five gave us that international fame — and that gave Michael an incredible launching pad to become Michael Jackson.”
When Michael was young, all members of the musical family thought he was something special.
January 2, 2012 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Arts, Bradley Cooper, Free, Hangover, Limitless, M (New York City Subway service), michael jackson, Television | 6 Comments
Wonderful article on Michael’s humanitarianism!
Latoya recently commented not to believe what was said in the trial, that “it’s all an illusion” and to “read between the lines”. She also made sure to mention we watch the movie “The Illusionist” so we’d understand. So here is the plot for that movie:
The film, which contains both fictional and historical characters, begins in medias res as Chief Inspector Walter Uhl (Paul Giamatti) moves to arrest Herr Eisenheim (Edward Norton) during what appears to be necromancy passed off as a magic show. He then begins to recount the story of Eisenheim for Crown Prince Leopold.
Eisenheim was born the son of a cabinetmaker in Vienna, Austria-Hungary and is seen training for this same trade. One day when he was a teenager, Eisenheim (played as a young man byAaron Johnson) meets a traveling magician along a road. The magician performs several tricks for him and then, according to various accounts, both the magician and the tree he was sitting under vanish. Eisenheim becomes obsessed with magic tricks after this.
He also falls in love with Sophie, the Duchess von Teschen (Jessica Biel, played as a teenager by Eleanor Tomlinson), a noblewoman well above his social class; her parents have hired Eisenheim’s father as a cabinetmaker. Young Eisenheim makes young Sophie a unique marquetry puzzle locket, which if twisted correctly reveals a hidden photograph of Eisenheim. Although the two are forbidden to see each other, they meet in a secret hideout chamber in the woods, where Eisenheim tells of his plans to go to China to learn more magic and Sophie promises to go with him. On the day that they are going to leave, the police come looking for Sophie. The two hide in the secret room and Sophie begs Eisenheim to make them both disappear. He is unable to fulfill this request and the two are separated.
Eisenheim travels the world, perfecting his craft and returns to Vienna years later as a master illusionist. He meets Sophie at one of his performances, when she is volunteered by Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell) as a reluctant participant in an illusion, where her reflection in a mirror is “murdered”. He soon learns that Sophie is expected to marry the Crown Prince, who purportedly has a history of abuse towards women. Eisenheim and Sophie, having recognized each other, meet privately, revealing Sophie still has the locket he made for her years ago. After humiliating the Crown Prince during a private show, Eisenheim finds his hit performance shut out of Vienna. When Sophie comes to offer him help, the two consummate their relationship and realize that they are still in love. They plan to flee the Empire together; but first something must be done to stop Leopold, who Sophie reveals is planning a coup d’etat to usurp the Crown of Austria from his aging father, the Emperor Franz Joseph I, while using his engagement to her to win the Hungarian half of the Empire as well. She also knows that the Crown Prince will view her as disposable if she leaves him for another man, and that he will have both her and Eisenheim followed and killed.
Leopold finds out from Uhl, who was following the couple, that Sophie has met with Eisenheim. While drunk, Leopold confronts Sophie and accuses her of being unfaithful. She tells him that she will not marry him or have anything to do with his plan. When she attempts to leave, it appears that he murders her in the stables, with a sword cut across her neck. Unfortunately, Leopold’s royal status makes any accusations against him unthinkable, despite an existing belief among the people that Leopold has murdered a woman in the past. As Eisenheim plunges into despair and the citizens of Vienna begin to suspect Leopold of Sophie’s murder, Uhl observes Eisenheim’s actions more closely on behalf of Leopold.
Wracked with grief, Eisenheim prepares a new kind of magic show, using mysterious equipment and Chinese stagehands. Eisenheim purchases a run-down theater and opens a new performance. During his show, Eisenheim apparently summons spirits, leading many to believe that he possesses supernatural powers.
Leopold decides to attend one of Eisenheim’s shows in disguise. During this show, Eisenheim summons the spirit of Sophie, who says someone in the theater murdered her, panicking Leopold. Uhl pleads with Eisenheim to stop such performances, but Eisenheim refuses. Finally, Leopold orders Eisenheim’s arrest. We then return to the opening scene of the movie, but now we see that when Uhl tries to arrest him during the performance, Eisenheim’s body fades and disappears like his summoned spirits.
Inspector Uhl searches for Eisenheim at his house. There he finds a folio labeled “Orange Tree,” the name of one of Eisenheim’s illusions which had intrigued Uhl. Thinking he will find the solution to one of the magician’s most famous tricks, he opens it to find empty pages except for a scrap of parchment showing how to open the locket Eisenheim had given Sophie when they were young.
Uhl reveals to Leopold that he has found evidence which links the Crown Prince to Sophie’s murder: a jewel from the prince’s sword and Sophie’s locket that Eisenheim gave her when they were children. After ordering, then begging Uhl to keep silent, Leopold discovers that Uhl has already informed the Emperor and the General Staff of Leopold’s conspiracy to usurp the Austro-Hungarianthrone. As the Army arrives at his Palace to arrest him, Leopold shoots himself in despair after angrily justifying his plans to overthrow his father.
In the next scene, Uhl is shown leaving the Imperial Palace. After he takes a few steps, a boy runs up to hand him a folio labeled “Orange Tree”. This time, the “Orange Tree” folio is filled with plans detailing a geared mechanism to make the tree “grow”. Uhl demands to know where the child obtained the folio; the child reveals that Eisenheim had given it to him. Uhl then reaches down into his pocket, to discover the Duchess’ locket is missing. He realises with a jolt that he has been pick-pocketed by a disguised Eisenheim, and gives chase following him to the train station. After the chase, a montage shows Uhl putting the pieces together and discovering how Eisenheim faked Sophie’s death and framed Leopold for the murder. The shot of Uhl closes with him taking his hat off (as if it were in salute), and looking upwards, (as if about to break out in laughter) in realisation of the masterful illusion that has been so successfully planned & implemented. Eisenheim is then seen walking up to a house in the country where Sophie is waiting for him.
November 9, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Crown Prince, Edward Norton, Eleanor Tomlinson, Illusionist, Jessica Biel, Leopold, Paul Giamatti, Rufus Sewell, Vienna | Leave a comment
We CAN change the world…
And this last video, although not sung by O-Bee , DOES have interesting lyrics too. I especially like O-Bee’s “ssshhhhhh” at the end— secret…
The lyrics say it all……. RBTL (read between the lines)
Uh Now get down. Hey, let’s start it up. See my phone might leave you in a coroner. But, we aint here to kill. We are here to do what we can .I keep working and do it for my fans. Bang Bang Oh Now let me hit it ladies. Chains hang low. We here to get it baby. They aint gonna try and stop my team. We Gonna roll like bigfoot . Can’t stop, know what I mean? He’s so good, but they can’t see why. I’m in a zone 13 feet high. Wanna Start Something, but they looking sloppy
I’m all over the place boy. You can’t stop me. O-Bee keep bangin like a rifle. Can’t stop, Won’t stop. I’m being like Michael. I can do cool, and missing the action, Don’t talk. Listen to Mr. Jackson.
Yeh, Yo, attitude of a chimp, skowl of a monkey, gorilla flo, I’m crocodile dundee, I’m playing. But, never testing you fool. Run for cover homie, it’s best that you do. I never stop playing, I’m always in the game. And out they came, along with cocaine. I’m evicted. It aint hard to know
Time to step together and give them O-bee oh..you see, I’ve just started something, and stop the bull. Slow Down. We aint stoppin noooooooooo. It’s time to raise the level. Come on ya’ll. Never, I praise the devil. Hell No. East, West, North, South, feel me man. Can’t get enough so they peel a man. We right here. They can’t shake us down. We comin, we comin to break them down.”
November 3, 2011 | Categories: Interviews/articles/videos (MJ related) | Tags: Bellingham Washington, Bhati, Jackson, Janet Jackson, michael jackson, National Enquirer, Original equipment manufacturer, PRWEB | Leave a comment
“You all seen him before….but never like this” uploaded to youtube Nov 1, 2007
“Like you’ve never seen him before…”