I had, deep inside of me, the desire to release a book about Michael Jackson for a long time. As soon as he passed away in 2009, the day I passed my last graduation exam -it was Italian- I felt the strong desire to distance myself from the horrible pop music scene at the time. In 2005, Mariah Carey had released the last great album of R’n’B and by 2007, the Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga had taken over with unbearable tunes. The end of the 2000s, which were terribly marked by the passing of Jackson, saw the perfect reflection of politics in music. As globalism was about to take over, the distinction of genres we had known from the 1950s, and the various classifications such as jazz, R’n’B, Latin, or rock had disappeared and an improbable musical bougli-bougla (understand mess) was taking place. The worst musical acts such as Fergie, Perry or Gaga would abolish the different genres to nurture a techno-ish sound which would surpass any cultural distinction. This phase was also followed by a lack of respect of this new generation for hard working musicians such as Jackson who opened the door to them. Music had significantly decreased for the worst.
Michael was not only the first black global music legend, a visionary, one of the best male dancers of all time, an amazing producer, the father and creator of music videos, a precurseur. He meant excellence. Despite his own personal issues, he always pushed the envelope and encouraged any talented black individual to work harder and leave an impact. He gave us the best music, the best lyrics and classics one could even think about. I remember, at the time of his death, how my then Spanish teacher would talk about “I feel like this is the end of an era”, upon hearing the news.
My book focused on the expression of the black bodies in his music videos. Though new black artists have used the pro-black narrative for profit -I am thinking about Beyoncé- Jackson was never acknowledged enough for the amazing work of representation he put out for Black Americans. This short book reads like a note which aims to redefine the legacy left by the body politics of his videos. I had to do it for him, to help preserve his legacy and to thank him for all the things he did for us. This is an ode to the poor black boy who was made to be ashamed of his features, to the young man who did not feel good enough and to the persecuted man who felt so misunderstood and lonely.
Out on Amazon now. You can click here if you will. or on the image if you desire.