Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Special Sound Off: Michael Jackson

ADMIN NOTE: Hey, folks. For the past few weeks, my sister (Chyna) and I have been struggling for the right words to express our feelings toward the sad news of Michael's Passing. It took us a while, but we finally achieve least to the best of our ability. We decided to each write a tribute in the voice of one sister who is a part of the MJ generation and in the voice of another who isn't, yet was still affected by him. Hopefully our words will resonate. Below is my tribute to Michael Joseph Jackson. My sister should follow up with hers soon.

RIP, Mike. (1958-2009)

-- Cheekie

Upon first hearing the news of Michael Jackson's death, I was in a state of shock. My eyes scanned the headline over and over as I desperately tried to convince myself that it was all a horrible nightmare. I just never thought that I'd have to read the phrase: Michael Jackson Died. It was all so surreal. In a way, it still is.

Amongst the multitude of thoughts and emotions swimming in my head, one particular thought stood out: What MJ Meant to Me. It took me a while to put the below into words that I felt would do him justice...would do my feelings justice, and the following is the best I could do. I had to get it out in some form:

I grew up with Michael Jackson. Now, when I say that, I don't necessarily mean in the purest sense of the phrase. The possibility of my existence was barely thought of when he entered the famed world and he was already at the height of his fame when I was finally born. Still, I did grow up with him. Thing is, while MJ might not have been a part of my generation, the impact of his death was just as intense. This is what made MJ so powerful. His ability to encapsulate the very adjective that other entertainers covet: timeless. MJ was timeless.

When I hear his music, no matter how many times I've heard it before or how many years it has been since it had been recorded, it felt new to me. I would bump his CD like it just came out that day. Even my younger cousin...even, my niece would jam to his tracks and folks would wonder why we got so excited about "old" music. Or why my cousins and I obsessively practiced every choreographed move from every popular MJ music video while watching his HIStory DVD. It's because it wasn't old at all. His music had the ability to live beyond time, beyond generations, beyond age, beyond race, beyond gender, beyond anything.

I've wrote and said a lot about Michael Jackson over the years, but I think the below comment I wrote over at the Very Smart Brothas blog perfectly captures what MJ meant and still means to me:

"Crotch grabbing, crotch thrusts, biting over the lower lip, diagonal shoulder bumps, gliding across the floor, upward head thrusts, ill-fated moonwalks, tragic Smooth Criminal leans, wetting my hair so I can pull down a curl over my forehead, Thriller claps, the MJ leg-kick, fedora tilts, etc have been etch-a-sketched into my soul."

And that about sums it up. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, the image, the entertainer, the child prodigy, the humanitarian, the legend, the father, the brother, the son, the uncle, the inspiration, the dancer, the icon, the man...will live on forever...through us.

Love ya like Mike loved to walk on the moon,



K. Michel said...

Yeah, I was in class when this happened. One of my classmates got a text ...then I got a text from someone else, and the class just got out of control with separate conversations.

This is one of those events that define a generation, babe. I loved Michael Jack ...but the world wasn't that kind to him when he was alive.

Cheekie said...

I agree that it is an event that will define a generation. Well put.