25 Jun Kat’s Korner: Reflecting on the Legacy of MJ
Off the Wall is my all-time favorite MJ album. It reminds me of a simpler time when all I had to worry about was homework and what I wanted for breakfast. It was also the album that played at every Nigerian party my family went to that year. All of the kids would go nuts when we saw the album cover and would anxiously wait for “Rock With You”. All we needed was to hear the intro and we would launch into two-step hip swinging as the adults stepped back and gave us room. Those were good times. I loved Michael Jackson and kept on loving him as he made his way into the history books as the greatest entertainer that ever lived.
MJ was with me every step of my development and has served as a constant on my life’s soundtrack from the age of 6! The fact that he is gone is still some days, a shock. When a force such as Michael Jackson departs from this world, it leaves a hole that can never be filled. I think about his family and his children, the people who had a more intimate knowledge of the man rightly dubbed the “King of Pop”, and I feel a profound sadness for their loss. It is never easy when a loved one dies, but when someone as “larger than life” as Jackson dies, the pressure to share your grief can be debilitating. Four years ago, we lost something special. However, even in this space of despair there can still be joy. Thankfully, MJ’s departure from the physical world does not prevent him from living on. What he leaves behind in his vast collection of musical genius and greatness are memories or”MJ moments” whereby millions of people experience a shared connection around his music. For example, MJ’s appearance on the Motown 25th Anniversary special where he performed Billie Jean for the first time, or the moment when you first saw the “Thriller” video, or watching the making of the video for “Remember the Time” and that kiss with Iman! Okay, I need to calm down. Whew. My point is that there are so many moments that are part of a collective experience because of this man’s brilliance and they will never be forgotten.
As part of a crew of progressive Creatives, MJ is not designated as “old school”; he is the blueprint from which much is built. We create new memories to his music at every Main Ingredient and every AxelF. At any point of Stylus or Jahsonic set, you can get lost in an MJ groove from his Jackson 5 days or from his experimentation with New Jack Swing. MJ shows up in mixes from DC to Tokyo, at family barbecues, school dances and stays in rotations on iPods across the globe. Whether you grew up in the age of Michael Jackson or not, the King of Pop lives on because we do, and for that even on this auspicious day, I can only smile as I sing along to “Rock with You” at the top of my lungs.
Got a favorite MJ moment you want to share? Post it below. Need an MJ fix? Check out our favorite mixes and moments here and enjoy!