Another post where I will veer off of the fashion/beauty talk for a second. Yes, this is a tribute to Michael Jackson post. I’d actually gone back and forth about writing a tribute post since others have eloquently written on this subject matter. However, I thought it would be quite fitting since I can say that Michael Jackson was one of my first introductions to music.
I was born shortly after the release of Thriller and the now groundbreaking Motown 25th Anniversary show where Michael showcased his moonwalk for the 1st time. Some of my earliest memories include me trying to imitate the dance at the end of the “Beat It” video–I never could get through “Thriller” until I was older.
When Bad came out, I was a little bit older and I remember my dad taping all of the music videos on his Betamax (we were old school) and him showing me how slick and smooth MJ was in “The Way You Make Me Feel” video. Once again, I was in awe of the moves from the “Smooth Criminal” video.
And when “Dangerous” came out, my dad bought two cassette tapes–one for me and one for him, because he knew we wouldn’t share. I played that tape out until it was broken. The music videos, like “Black or White” and “Remember the Time” were full scale productions and the premieres were treated as such. We’d be abuzz in class the day after the premiere about seeing the videos and how cool this move or that move was.
And I still liked his later music from his HIStory and Invincible album. Plus, his Off the Wall album and Jackson 5 songs were always mainstays in the home. I’d listen to my mom’s “Off the Wall” record and dance by myself in my room as if I were at a disco on a Friday night. Good times, indeed.
Last night, I went with a couple of friends to a small memorial at Johnson Publishing Company, the home of Ebony and Jet magazine. It was a small group, but there was singing and Johnson Publishing hung their Ebony and Jet poster-sized covers in their windows:
So I will not only bid adieu to Michael Jackson, but to a part of my childhood that I will always remember from listening to his music. From trying to pop-lock in my yard with my friends to anxiously waiting for his video premieres. I’m glad that I grew up in that generation to know what good pop music really, truly is. I can look back fondly of those memories of his music and the influence it had on me.