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For the love of Michael (PT 2)

Jun 26 0 Comments

As I watched the girls grieving I realized that because they are artists and their life is dedicated to music, Michael Jackson is a part of their DNA, but it doesn’t stop there. I am a writer by trade. I couldn’t put together a melody if you paid me and I can’t sing a note to save my life but I can honestly say Michael Jackson was an inspiration to my creativity as a writer. I don’t believe there was ever an entertainer or public figure that provided us with a tangible concept of creativity. Michael Jackson was not only music but he embodied a spirit of humanity that is even more rare than his gift. His music was full of love and life and inspired us all to be better people. I believe he was given the rare gift of being able to take his heart and put it to music, and he undoubtedly had the heart of an angel.
Undoubtedly over the years there were issues with Michael that many of us didn’t and may never fully understand. Although I believe God gifted him with a rare gift, he was human and I believe his gift brought with it a huge responsibility and in many ways overshadowed him as a man. We know the Bible says, to whom much is given much is expected. Often those rare talents are not with us long but their lives leave us with impressions that transcend generations. As it stands Michael Jackson the man was a mystery. What we do know is Michael Jackson is our definition of music. Without Michael Jackson I know pop, rock, rap, soul or even country music would be what they are today. He was a walking definition of melody, lyrics and rythmn.

So who did Michael Jackson belong to? There was the Michael Jackson of the sixties singing ballads with his brothers and introducing a generation to soul music in the footsteps of James Brown and Diana Ross. There was the Michael Jackson of the seventies that used funk and disco to broaden the boundaries of the soul music he helped to create. There is the Michael Jackson of the eighties that took pop music and made it in his own likeness. There was the Michael Jackson of the nineties that stepped outside of what we’d known before and showed us a softer side of himself. There is the Michael Jackson of today still collaborating with artists, touring and reminding us that music is pure and not contrived. He transcends labels, decades and genres, simply put he was music.

Michael Jackson did indeed belong to us all. His life was symbolic of those characteristics that make this journey on earth worth living. Michael Jackson’s life taught us to believe….to create…to inspire….but most importantly to love.

In love,
Christal Jordan-Mim

For the love of Michael (PT 1)

Jun 26 0 Comments

I remember arguing with Regina Miles over Michael Jackson. We were in second grade and she was dead set on convincing me and three other seven year old girls that Michael Jackson belonged to her. I remember digging in my backpack to find evidence of my devotion. Out of my schoolbag came books,magazines, posters and even my zippered Beat it jacket all proof of my undying devotion to Michael Jackson. She had the same items and probably a few more as did most of our classmates. She pushed her glasses back on her nose and stared me down all the while claiming Michael Jackson was “her man”. While I didn’t know what romantic love was, I did know I loved Michael Jackson. I knew this girl was tripping. I was Michael Jackson’s biggest fan. Regina and I never did agree on who Michael Jackson “belonged to” and I guess we never will.

I remember watching Motown’s 25th anniversary wide-eyed as he dazzled the audience and thinking he had to be the “coolest” man to ever walk the planet. I shared my sentiments with my mother who shook her head, claiming Michael Jackson and his brothers were around when she was younger. His genius was nothing new to her. She felt he belonged to her era. She introduced me to the¬†Jackson 5¬†and I fell in love even deeper. It didn’t seem that the little brown-skinned boy with the soulful eyes and amazing ability to translate love and relationships through music was the same man on stage with the flashy socks and tight black pants and unnerving sex appeal. Year earlier I recall riding in my Uncle’s convertible jeep while he blasted “Off the Wall.” He believed Michael Jackson belonged to his generation. Years later I sat on the sofa with my own daughter watching television and she sees a clip of Michael Jackson performing overseas. “No one can be Michael Jackson,” she says, although I believe she thinks Chris Brown is a close second. Still she believes Michael Jackson belongs to her. I just looked at her and shook my head.

After hearing he was gone Thursday afternoon I sat in my car with an up and coming female group. All three looked as if they’d loss a family member. Michael Jackson had been an inspiration to each of them. You could see it in their eyes, they’d experienced a very personal loss. Over the years I’ve interviewed various artists from all walks of music. As a freelance writer, I’ve interviewed everyone from platinum selling/ Grammy-winning singers, rappers and musicians who all share a consistent theme when speaking inspiration is Michael Jackson. I’ve interviewed producers, songwriters and even sound engineers; the consistent thread is always and will always be Michael Jackson.

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