All Articles Tagged "Michael Jackson"
To put Hip Hop allegiances in the simplest of terms, if you’re from the East Coast, you’re a Biggie fan and if you’re from the West, Tupac is your fave. And if you’re from the Midwest, like myself you have the pleasant task of choosing.
When it came to me and my house, we were Tupac fans. I was a child of the ’90’s and I enjoyed the passion and energy of his music and more than any other rapper of that era he just seemed to be saying the right things…sometimes. In addition to warning women that the underground just “don’t stop for hoes,” and telling Biggie “That’s why I f–ked your b–ch,” he was also telling women to keep their heads up and asking men why we don’t respect them. What male rapper was talking about misogyny in the ’90’s, even if he himself often fell victim to it? Before Tupac became a part of Death Row, he was a product of the Black Panther teachings and from the time he was a young teenager, he was speaking out against White supremacy and injustice.
He was a conflicted soul to say the least. And what saddens me the most about Tupac’s short life is that if he’d had the opportunity to live and mature a little bit longer, he could have done even more great things in the world, revolutionary things.
Sadly, that’s just not how the cookie crumbled.
If you can’t tell already, I have great respect for Pac so when I hear people compare others to him, my antennas perk up.
And that’s what they did this weekend when Nick Cannon said this.
Damn right I said it! The level of talent, passion, and artistic ability that this young man possesses makes @ChrisBrownOfficial a true legend amongst legends. A lot of times we don't realize or acknowledge our treasures while we still have them with us. We wait until they are gone to appreciate their power. Think about how much everyone attacked MJ and 2Pac while they were alive… I don't think I have ever witnessed someone more gifted, who has overcome so much and still growing and learning daily. My Prayers go up for this dude everyday. @ChrisBrownOfficial #Respect #Legend #Loyalty #Love #Artist #Proud #Men
I wish I were mature enough to ignore this. I wish I could just dismiss this as the trolling it likely was and keep moving on with my day. But by golly, I just cannot. It’s too far fetched to ignore.
And I don’t say that because Pac and Michael were saints and Chris Brown isn’t. None of these men were or are perfect, just like the rest of us. But I was always good at grouping like objects and if you ask me, all three of these men, while they share some qualities as artists, are quite different from each other.
Aside from the fact that each of these men were both talented and controversial, there are really no further similarities to me.
When I think about Michael Jackson, I think about a consummate entertainer who had laser like focus and an almost unnatural work ethic. That’s what made him legendary. Of all the archival footage that I’ve watched of Michael Jackson, none of it shows him off his game. His ability to inspire, astound and entertain is unmatched. And as someone who’s followed a majority Chris Brown’s career, I can’t say the same for him.
And I root for Chris Brown. I desperately want him to win but I’m also honest enough to acknowledge that he lets too much nonsense get in the way of making his music and perfecting his art. There have literally been times on stage when Chris will stop dancing and stop singing to talk about his relationship drama. Michael would never.
Perhaps Nick was trying to say that he was more Tupac in that regard. You know, the bad boy. But nah. We’re talking legends here. One who proved himself over decades and another who was actually about challenging people and improving the community. While both Chris and Pac have some pretty hurtful and harmful songs directed against women, Pac, at least, had some content and some views and opinions to counter that. I can’t recall a time when I heard Chris speak about community uplift or sing a song about the worth of women, outside of sex or romantic affection. And that’s fine. He doesn’t have to, but that’s what makes him different, in very fundamental ways, from Tupac. Maybe Chris will get there one day but as of now, he’s just not on that level.
But he still has time.
More than anything I don’t know why we always have to compare artists and people. There will never be another Michael or Pac. And the two didn’t get together in some alternate universe to send us Chris Brown in place of their absence. He’s different and different is quite alright.
But that’s just me, perhaps I’m too in my feelings to see this clearly.
Does anyone else think that Michael Jackson + Tupac = Chris Brown?
Every day is a great day to celebrate the life and music of Michael Jackson. The King of Pop was one of, if not the greatest entertainer of all time. Michael Jackson has sold more records and won more awards than almost everyone. However, how his music makes people feel is his biggest accomplishment. We’re straying away from his most popular hits to give you these hidden gems, you’ll still light up as soon as you hear them.
#MusicMonday: Michael Jackson Feel Good Songs
With the 2015 BET Awards going down this weekend, we decided to take a look at some of the best tributes, reunions, performances, and hilarious moments from the award show over the years. What’s your favorite moment?
I’mma Let You Finish, Caitlyn, But Michael Jackson Could’ve Been The Greatest LGBT Advocate Of All Time
When the Olympian formerly known as Bruce Jenner made her big reveal as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair you could hear the Internet break. Sorry, Kimye, but news of baby number two was immediately eclipsed by CJ’s coming-out party. Folks were just too curious to finally get a glimpse of her transition, and when we did, our collective jaws dropped in shock and awe.
Of course, we live in the digital age, so it wasn’t long before a flurry of memes flooded our timelines. Some were humorous (mostly at Kris Jenner’s expense). Others were just ignorant of the many complexities of what it means to be transgender, not just as a public figure but also as a human being. But there was one meme in particular that stood out from the pile for me.
Featuring a pair of adjacent Michael Jackson photos (one dark-skinned and the other light-skinned) atop a pair of before-and-after flicks of Jenner, the caption called attention to the idea of MJ often being “insulted and judged” for his physical transformations, while CJ is being “praised and called brave” for hers.
Let’s be 100 percent clear. It’s a major error in judgement to compare vitiligo and cosmetic surgery to transgender identity because, truthfully, the reasons for both are worlds apart. One procedure can be viewed as completely elective while the other is a necessary change that most may (obviously) never understand. Still, the anonymous meme got me thinking beyond sexism, racism, classism or any other suggested ism:
Is it possible that the media’s decades-long (mis)perception of Michael Jackson is far different than any of us ever thought? Could it be that the King of Pop’s physical transformations were not about self-hate but rather a misunderstood search for self-discovery? What if Jackson was struggling with a similar inner conflict as Jenner and just didn’t know how to express it?
Of course, there are absolutely no facts or proof of that being the case, but with approximately 700,000 transgender people living in the U.S. today, who’s to say that MJ couldn’t have been one of them? At the very least, it’s something worth considering as a slight possibility, no matter how improbable. But maybe that’s just me.
Sure, Jackson spoke in a soft, effeminate voice, wore elaborate costumes and had his hair laid in immaculate doobies on the regular, but let’s be real. None of the above automatically points to him (or anyone else for that matter) being gay, transgender or other. Being eccentric is par for the course when it comes to many celebrities (think Jaden Smith, etc.). Unfortunately, so is the ridicule that often comes with being different (again, think Jaden Smith, etc.).
Over the years, we literally watched Michael change before our eyes. His complexion lightened, his facial features shifted, and his hair texture morphed from kinky to bone straight. It all reminds me of a “joke” I once heard about Michael being the greatest man in the world because he was born a poor Black boy in Gary, Indiana and grew up to become a rich White woman in Europe. They say that behind every joke is a little bit of truth, but neither transgender identity nor Michael Jackson’s assumed issues are a punchline.
Still, people continued to speculate about Jackson’s mental state and even questioned his sexuality and the sincerity of his humanitarian support of young people. With unsubstantiated descriptors like “gay,” “asexual” or even “pedophile” thrown around in the media, stand-up comedy routines and regular conversations occurring whenever the singer’s name was brought up, it’s no wonder he eventually moved his family abroad and limited his time in the public eye.
If it took Jenner—an international star in her own right albeit microscopic in comparison to Michael—65 years to publicly embrace her true identity, imagine the pressure someone like Jackson could have experienced if feeling trapped in the wrong body was at the root of his inner conflict. It’s hard enough for the average Joe/Jane to come out and truly feel free, so the burden of wanting to change genders would be tenfold for a perpetually persecuted man who was arguably the most recognizable person in the world.
Of course, this is all theoretical rhetoric on my part, and there is no reported evidence of Jackson even considering himself transgender, but a part of me still wonders: What if he was? Not for my personal conspiracy theories or some desire to publicly out someone who can no longer defend himself, but for what that could have meant for the world’s acceptance of Black LGBT rights. Can you imagine all the good MJ (transgender or not) could have done if he were to have become an international advocate for Black trans issues?
His music, which was at times politically tinged (think “They Don’t Care About Us,” “Earth Song”), could have been the soundtrack to the movement. He could have been the face of change and acceptance for people of color the world over. But that’s just wishful thinking on my part because only Jackson truly knows the reasoning behind his many physical transformations over the years. And since the singer is no longer with us in the physical form, we have no clue as to where he would have stood publicly on LGBT issues, but I’m an optimist.
In the six years since Jackson’s passing, the world has still managed to change albeit at its own pace. In recent years, trans women like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Isis King and countless others who don’t get national headlines have emerged at the forefront of the new millennium civil rights movement. While their advocacy and acceptance has helped the cause, a public figure of color the likes of Michael Jackson could have made their journeys somewhat easier. Because for all the praise Jenner receives for her brave revelation, it still leaves a large section of voices unheard.
Cox explains it best on her Tumblr page:
“Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people. We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class. I have hoped over the past few years that the incredible love I have received from the public can translate to the lives of all trans folks. Trans folks of all races, gender expressions, ability, sexual orientations, classes, immigration status, employment status, transition status, genital status etc. I hope, as I know Caitlyn does, that the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds about who all trans people are as well as shifting public policies to fully support the lives and well being of all of us. The struggle continues…”
Regardless of your views on Jenner, Jackson, or transgender issues, the message here is about how much the world needs to change and I’m starting with the man in the mirror.
What about you?
Got a $100 million handy? You could use it to by Michael Jackson beloved Neverland Ranch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The California ranch is 2,700 acres and features a train station, six-bedroom house, 50-seat movie theater, and two lakes. No one has lived on the estate since Jackson’s death in 2009.
If Neverland does sell for its asking price, it will far exceed the $19.5 million Jackson originally paid for the land in 1988. He did, of course, spruce it up more than a bit by adding such grand amenities as a zoo and small amusement park, which have since been removed, reports Billboard. Jackson dubbed his estate Neverland after the home of the fictional children’s character Peter Pan.
Jackson defaulted on a $24.5 million loan in 2008 and was bailed out by real estate company Colony Capital LLC.
There had been rumors that Neverland would turn into an attraction similar to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. But it looks like Colony Capital, which has maintained the ranch, has no plans in doing so.
The property is also infamous because Jackson was arrested on charges he molested children on the property. He was acquitted in 2005. After that, Jackson rarely stayed at the ranch.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is channeling the golden hearts of the iconic Michael Jackson and Ray Charles to dole out scholarships for high-achieving students in need, EurWeb reports.
The Michael Jackson scholarship will provide financial aid for high school seniors planning to major in social science or communication arts in a UNCF college or university. Candidates must write an essay, complete an application profile, and provide a transcript. Candidates must also have a 3.0 to 4.0 grade point average (GPA).
If selected, the student will be moonwalking with a $5,000 award.
As for the Ray Charles scholarship, UNCF partnered with the Ray Charles Foundation to make this college grant a reality. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must be African-American juniors enrolled at a UNCF college or university and demonstrate an unmet need in financial assistance.
If you don’t have a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0, you can “Hit the Road Jack” because this scholarship is for students with impressive grades.
“The mission and purpose of the foundation came from Ray Charles himself,” ScholarshipOnline wrote. “In 1996, under his direction and guidance, the foundation embarked on a pattern of generous contributions and donations to various educational institutions across the United States.”
The award amount from the Ray Charles scholarship is $4,500.
These tragic celebrity deaths include the beautiful Aaliyah, the talented Amy Winehouse, the iconic Whitney Houston and more. We will never forget the beautiful entertainment these souls bought to us over the years.
Surreal: 15 of The Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths
Don’t know if you noticed but the Oscars didn’t exactly have that much for Black people. With the exception of Common and John Legend performing and winning the Academy Award for their song “Glory,” the show was a sea of White faces. It’s the reason we didn’t live tweet the show like we usually do. Instead, we simply showed you what our faves were wearing on the carpet. So in honor of our disappointment and in anticipation for tonight’s BET Honors, we’re highlighting some of the Blackest moments from award shows in the past decade or so.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.
Thus it’s quite amazing to see how much these talented famous people with OCD have been able to achieve despite this crippling disease.
Source Ranker. All images courtesy of WENN
The Struggle: 15 Famous People With OCD
Michael Jackson is still the King of Pop! Jackson has once again topped Forbes‘ list Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. There were 13 late celebrities in all who earned a total of $363.5 million over the last 12 months, reports the magazine.
Jackson ranked No. 1 with a whopping $140 million in earnings. His second posthumous album release, Xscape, which debuted at No. 2 on the charts, put him back on top for yet another year. You may also recall, in a controversial move, Jackson “performed” (in hologram form) on stage at the Billboard Music Awards.
After Forbes looked at estimates of what each estate brought in between October 2013 and October 2014 (not deducting for taxes or things like management fees), Elvis Presley came in second place with an estimated $55 million in earnings over the 12-month period. The Presley estate got a boost after Authentic Brands Group bought the rights to everything Elvis last year for a reported $125 million. Besides this, Presley’s estate still makes millions due to the hordes of tourists who visit Graceland annually and Elvis’ extensive music library. Like Jackson, ABG plans to increase earnings with a performing hologram Elvis. ABG CEO Jamie Salter informed Ad Week that hologram Elvis will tour in the spring and may even make an appearance in Elvis’ old stomping ground of Las Vegas. Or get this — even perform with hologram Michael Jackson.
Snoopy cartoonist Charles Schulz was third with $40 million. His Peanuts characters continue to live on due to online versions of the comic strip. Then there’s the mega merchandising and the MetLife ads featuring Snoopy and the bunch. Soon there will be a 3-D movie from Fox studios, debuting November 2015.
Jackson’s longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor was fourth with $25 million in earnings. Her best-selling perfume and movies, landed her in that slot.
In fifth place is reggae singer Bob Marley with an estimated $20 million in earnings. The extensive merchandising–from mugs to messenger bags to T-shirts to a line of fruit-flavored drinks–kept Marley in the top five.