Friday, June 25, 2010

Remembering Michael Jackson: One Year Later

One year ago today, we lost the biggest icon in musical history. He was bigger than Elvis. Bigger than Jay-Z. Bigger than his own image. Michael Jackson, whether you agree with how he chose to live his life or fed into the crazy rumors, was no doubt a musical genius. The impact he made on music and fashion is timeless. His style will never be mirrored successfully, no matter how hard these newbies try. His influence can be felt and heard on so many tracks out today it isn't funny.

Michael Jackson was the first entertainer I developed a crush on. I remember being a child looking at the Thriller picture album my father had (that I inherited in his passing) thinking, 'Wow he's gorgeous!' Micheal had such an endearing quality about him that came across in every photograph. 'Thriller' was the first music video I ever saw, and it changed me forever. Michael made MOVIES, not just music videos. From 'Billie Jean' to 'Beat It', the videos from the Thriller album made me fall even deeper 'in love' with Michael.

When he was burned shooting that Pepsi commercial, you should have seen the chaos in my house. My mother & I were glued to the television, praying like he was a member of our family for his safety and well-being. That's how it was with Michael. Every person felt like they knew him personally. He gave out so much love in his music that it was hard to resist him. When he waved to the cameras as he was being out into the ambulance, I cried tears of relief to see that he wasn't too badly hurt. That's the impact he made on me even then, and I didn't know half as much about music as I do know.

My favorite MJ album is probably Dangerous because that's when I was growing into a woman and could really relate to the music. I will say, however, that Bad was a DOPE ass album too!! 'Liberian Girl' still makes me cry to this day! When MJ sang a love song, you could feel every beat of his heart in each lyric and transition. But 'Remember the Time' from the Dangerous album may be one of my all-time favorite MJ videos EVER! The fact he had icons such as Iman in it alone made it dope, but the way he turned into gold dust had my ass SWOONING! And that dance sequence at the end?! It just doesn't get much better than that for me. The whole album was full of hotness. To this day, it stands out as my fave MJ album.

I could go on and on about his many accomplishments, but that would take all day. Since my father passed earlier this year, it's given me some peace of mind to imagine him in Heaven playing the drums (which he did his whole life) in the band with greats like Michael, James Brown (my dad's musical hero), and all of the greats we've lost recently. I picture the two of them laughing and hanging out together, jamming out as my dad used to say lol. When I heard that Michael passed, I was in a state of shock. At the time, I was blogging heavy for EZ Street and he called to tell me to watch the news because they had taken MJ to the hospital. When I saw the reports, it took all I had not to totally collapse. When Jermaine announced to the world that MJ had, in fact, left us, I sobbed. I cried like I had lost a member of my family. I cried like I did at my father's funeral. I felt like, the one constant musically in my life had left, leaving me raw and devastated. Luckily, I had blogging to help me pour my emotions into. I couldn't even call my mother when I heard the news because I knew she'd be a wreck. See, she literally grew up watching MJ grow from a boy to a man, so she felt a kind of attachment to him that I just couldn't understand.

My son, Dominic, has taken the helm as the resident MJ expert in my family. He portrayed MJ in his school play, and knows all of his songs. He tries to moonwalk. If he sees someone doing an MJ move wrong, he gets in his feelings and jumps to correct them. It gives me life seeing him love MJ as much as I did at his age. He understands the legacy MJ left behind and wants to keep it going. We don't discuss the negative about MJ, because he hears that enough on tv. At the end of the day, it's all about the love. The love MJ gave us for music. The love we have for him.

Michael, we miss you. Music will never be the same without you. No one will ever be able to make us feel the way you did when you took the stage. There will never be another as great as you, no matter how hard they try. We will watch your children grow and wonder if any or all will follow in your footsteps and take to the stage. We will watch your brothers and sisters continue to live and wonder how they make it though when so many of us are still so devastated. We will keep your legacy alive by teaching our children, nieces, nephews about who you were as a humanitarian and musician. We will tell them that, no matter what the world says, that you were great. We will continue to crank your songs all the way up and attempt to moonwalk. We'll live life 'Off the Wall' and promise not to stop til we get enough. We'll 'Remember the Time' when we fell in love and tell 'Dirty Diana' and 'Billie Jean' to 'Beat It' if they disrespect your name. We 'Just Can't Stop Loving You', MJ.

Con todo mi corazon,


Cryssy said...

Great post!

Mike was and still is the best to ever do it! Entertainers need to take notes on how to perform, how to give a show, how to make one person in the crowd feel like they are the only person there.

Mike's music taught me how to party and always made me want to dance. He is missed, although he is not physically here his presence will live forever.

Toni said...

Thanks, mama! You're right, MJ's legacy lives on in all of us.

Action said...

First, gotta thank Toni for another great post! Appreciate you sharing your memories with us.

I dont think there will ever be another entertainer, icon, individual like Michael Jackson. He took the time to really focus on us, the people, the fans, and really let us into his life. I appreciate him for that and I apprecaite him for giving 200% in all he did in music and outside of it.

Mike, we'll miss you forever but I'm thankful for the legacy you've left behind.

Toni said...

Thank you, love. You're right, music will NEVER see another like MJ. His legacy lives in us all.