RIP, Mike. (1958-2009)
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,
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,