I write about culture from a pro-Black perspective

New Michael Jackson Album? I’m Conflicted

I read over on my boy GG's blog, Sonic Clash, that a new Michael Jackson album is coming out in December.



Let me just be blunt – I don't want to hear anything he recorded after 1995*.

I mean that. Michael became so consumed with his downfall after his first case that his music after that point lost just about all its greatness (obviously there are exceptions, "Superfly Sister," "Whatever Happens," and "Butterflies" for instance) and redefinined the notion of the self-involved superstar. That new song, "Breaking News" is giving me flashbacks to "Tabloid Junkie," a song I love but have no wish to revisit. 

Do we really want to hear more of Mike's ranting about how we don't love him anymore?


*Given the fact that "Whatever Happens" is his greatest song since the Dangerous era means that any song he recorded with Teddy Riley is likely to be the exception to this rule.

Posted on November 6th, 2010 - Filed under Music
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On Traveling

My favorite thing about traveling is the quality time I get to spend with my iPod. I’m aware of how that sounds. Sure, I like new places, new people – turns out Omaha steaks really are one of the great pleasures on God, Buddha and nem’s green earth – but what really makes me excited is how new experiences color old habits.

There is a heightened awareness that I think happens when you are in new places. You pay attention, not just because you are taking things in but because you are trying to get your bearings. Customs, smells, the way Google Maps becomes your best friend – all of this requires you to be open and cognizant.

And for me, I find that that leads to hearing music I love differently.

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Posted on October 29th, 2010 - Filed under Music
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How Michael Jackson Should Do His Comeback

There is quite a bit of chatter about the kind of album that Michael Jackson should be doing.  The current producer/songwriter names rumored to be working on Mike’s comeback album range from Ne-Yo (naturally) to Akon to will.i.am.

And folks are talking about what constitutes a great Mike comeback album, some good and some eh…not so good.

So I’ve decided to put together my dream list of collaborators for Mike.

Singer Michael JacksonHow I like to think of Mike.

Full disclosure: my favorite Mike album is Dangerous, though I do think that creatively Off The Wall is his strongest (only because Dangerous is overlong and the Free Willy song and Heal The World are on there).

That said, I don’t want him to recreate either of those albums.

But I do want him to go into this album with the same mindset that created those albums.  That is: I want him to collaborate with the best songwriters of this generation to make an album that is both current and timeless.

Key words: current, timeless, songwriters.


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Posted on September 24th, 2008 - Filed under Music
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