Riddle Me List: 10 Things That Made Michael Jackson Great That You Know Of Already But It Never Hurts To Be Reminded

Friday, June 25, 2010

So it has been a year. A year since the passing of Michael Jackson. We know what happened today a year ago. We know the details, we put the music and visuals on a loop to come to grips, we know what occurred in the ugly aftermath and we know that the artistry of Michael still lives on, so there is really no need to rehash all of that. In a year's time, we saw Michael Jackson's legacy played out in rapid speed with the plethora of accolades and vintage recollections that dotted airwaves, spun at nightclubs, made it to the big screens, and flashed on TV sets. Michael Jackson has a body of work that is to be admired and it proved to be timeless and utterly flawless, and we got to see it all over again with fresh new eyes and ears. Billboard touched on the aspect of how much Michael Jackson has become even more prolific after death, and they couldn't be more apt.Yet, during his time spinning and singing on stage alive and kicking, Michael was prolific, just that now we are seeing the impact of his labor much more prevelant than before.

In a more lighthearted  gesture, instead of giving you a long-winded tribute filled with pretensions words and phrases that point and scream at you to say, "Read my blog post because I'm freaking insightful!!!", I decided to do the frugal thing and compose a list (with pics n' .gifs!) of what made Michael Jackson such a figure of our time. Some of the things I picked are a little silly, mostly obvious, and where everyone can either agree to disagree with, but in all, it's just a look back once again. We know he sang great, was a on-point songwriter, dancer and a generous person, so why not highlight that and more? So if you want to share what you like about Michael, then feel free to invade the comments :)

10. Album Power: Any idiot knows that Michael Jackson's music was what made him the enigma in pop music as most of the black wax he dropped on shelves as a solo artist shaped what we consider the musical backdrop today. Off The Wall kick started it in 1979, Thriller got R&B music out of a rut, Bad solidified things and Dangerous took a step into re-crafting the New Jack movement. Still it amazes me, that during the height of his solo success (the 1980's), he only released two albums. Two. Some artists release an album every year, and still don't accumulate so much, but Michael only had to do it twice where the albums were events that became classics, and that is to be noted.  

9. Dancing Energy: The thing that stuck out the most from the "Shamone!" and the vibrancy in his voice, was Michael moves. Of course the Moonwalk, the crotch grab, spins, snaps and slides were signature moves that we all know made him such a star, but it seems that whenever Michael did it, it was something special and done with more finesse. I mean, if I did the Moonwalk, my Mom would clap out of pity give me her signature side-eye and say, "Now you know Michael Jackson did it better..." See? Even though Michael wasn't the first to do the Moonwalk (Jeffery Daniels from Shalamar is noted for being the first to do the original form of it called 'the back slide'), but he made it extra-special. I mean, Michael had some powerhouse energy radiating through his veins to do this:


and this:


and this:


8.Attitude: He may have been soft-spoken and dedicated ballads to rats, but Michael Jackson was one bad dude. Another big fat duh!, but Michael made ghouls dance in sync, lighted up sidewalks with his steps, was a part-time werewolf, panther AND tiger, stopped gang fighting with dancing, and outsmarted Joe Peci and saved children as a 1930's gangster in a white suit and fedora, and in my book, that takes some massive bad-assery. Michael always had his game face on:

...and he always knew when to stop mess from going down just by embarrassing people with his moves and stare downs:


7. Sibling Love:  As an only child, with a whimsical imagination, there was a time I wanted 9 brothers and sisters, and lied to people saying that I did. It was extremely stupid (and borderline crazy), but I was only trying to rid of loneliness and the Jacksons made having siblings look like so much fun. Every time the Jacksons performed, they looked like they had fun together and didn't we all want to join in on that whether or not we had or liked our brothers and sisters? Being a Michael Jackson fan, you are probably a Janet fan as well (if you are not, I take pity on your soul) and they are the only brother and sister that I can think of in the music biz that really ignited together. Where one didn't cancel out the other, and did the damn thing in "Scream", their sole duet together. When Michael was seen in the background with Janet during the VMA tribute last year, it was a lump in throat moment since they seemed to really not project any sort of sibling rivarly during their short time sharing the spotlight together.



6. Walk, Walk, Fashion, Baby: Wanna know why Ne-Yo wears that fedora? Or why Justin Timberlake rocked it in 2002? Well, early baldness and their head being full of secrets may have something to do with it, but they wore it because Michael Jackson made it cool beans to wear a hat that probably your grandpa rocked back in the day. Whether it was a bedazzled military jacket, a red bomber jacket, a ripped white shirt, white socks, high-water pants and black shoes...Michael's style is just as important as the tunes he put out.

5. The A/V Monitor: People didn't care about music videos, until Michael Jackson made them into "mini-movies" and made them worth fooling with. We all can attest to being engrossed with one MJ video to the next. We marveled at how "Thriller" marked the music video movement, to how big name directors like Martin Scorsese got in on the deal to give visual appeal to "Bad" and then "Remember The Time" and "Black & White" became events during primetime. It just a shame that nowadays the music video is that quiet uncle that lives in the back room, you know, like in Soul Food. Where we acknowledge it when the time comes, but then we sorta forget it's there sometimes.

4. Glitter Jumpsuit: You know the one from the "Rock With You" video.
 Yeah, you try wearing that to Target when you pick up some Arizona Sweet Tea next time...

3. The "Smooth Criminal" lean: There is some extra special unexplainable scientific dynamic to that infamous lean in the video for "Smooth Criminal"...but really, we've all tried to do it and after failing we've all come to conclusion that Michael and his shoes are magical.

2. The glove: Gloves are awful things. Sure they keep your hands warm from the biting cold, and come in handy when you want to hold the reigns on a horse, but they are little pests. You lose them, they itch, sometimes they don't fit (then you acquit...ok, bad joke) and the fuzzy ones are in the way whenever you're doing something constructive. Michael Jackson made it cool to wear a got damn glove. Just one glove. And a white one too. Those are the worst considering those get dirty the fastest and clown's mostly wear them. Jackson just bedazzled that glove up, and bam! a fashion statement.


1. Effortless Epicness:
Whenever Michael did nothing, he was doing something. Proof is encapsulated in the 1992 opening of his Dangerous Tour. To me, this opening tells you everything you need to know about Michael Jackson.



In less than three minutes, Michael Jackson does absolutely nothing. Well, he pops up on stage, a billow of fireworks follows, he stands there for a good minute, the camera circles around him, and then he takes off his shades slowly (David Caruso so copied the art of sunglasses removal for CSI: Miami), and stands again, camera still focusing on him...and nothing. Michael Jackson is doing nothing, yet people are screaming their heads off, fainting, crying etc. In short, those three minutes showcase what Michael Jackson was and what he will always be remembered for and that is nothing short, but the King of Pop.

3 comments:

  1. I loved him for being a werido, a outkast, a ailen, and people HATED him for it when he was alive. Now the cool thing to do is love and worship him. I dont get it. I loved Aaliyah before she died and now so does the world. Confused and lost.

    Oh well, nice list!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. 死亡是悲哀的,但活得不快樂更悲哀。.................................................................                           

    ReplyDelete
  3. Michael always was & always will be THE MAN! End of story. {{{{^_^}}}}

    ReplyDelete

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