Archive for Michael Jackson

Halo

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by blackstarr

Some entertainers hit you like a ton of bricks.  For me, one of those would be Michael Jackson – His One-ness.  I was already “up in age” when The Gloved One hit the airwaves.  Even so, I was one of those nuts who would sit idly by the radio, hoping to hear his latest single.  I sat anxiously in front of the tube after they had announced the day for the debut of his next music video.  Remember when Thriller was about to debut?  WOW!!!

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Well, this isn’t about His Strangeness – this is about someone else with whom I am super-fascinated – BEYONCE!  Ever since the demise of Destiny’s Child, I have been an avid fan of Her Wonderfulness.  I love the way that she dances, I have caught a bit of her acting (not too shabby), but, more than anything else about her, I love, love, love her singing. I’m not that naive – I am aware that the studios have devices that make her and others who may be tone-deaf sound absolutely dead on key.  No matter, at least not to me.  I love to hear the woman sing.  No – it doesn’t hurt that she is drop-dead gorgeous.  As I write this piece, my ears are filled with sound of HALO, (from “I am . . . Sasha Fierce”) playing over and over and over.  I LOVE that song!!!!!  I intended to make this a tribute to Her Sexiness, but, instead, I decided to give her song the tribute that it deserves.  Not only is the music fabulous, but the words are awesome, as well (a bit touchy-feely, I will admit).  Sorry . . . I gotta fled.  I’m headed over to MTV.com to see the video again.  I’ll leave you with some links to some of my favorite Beyonce songs.  You know you want it.  You know you love her.  You know you can’t get enough.  OK . . . maybe it just me.  Peace.

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HALO

SINGLE LADIES

IRREPLACEABLE

RING THE ALARM

copyright  ©  2009  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Posted in music, racial discrimination, social commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2008 by blackstarr

Freedom has returned, sporting his favorite persona – the angry Black man. There’s a lot on my mind, which, hopefully, I’ll get around to telling you about.  When I appear as the angry Black man, I tend to be a bit towards the left with my conspiracy theories, but, hey, it is what it is.  I can only be me.

In 1970, The Jackson Five made their debut.  Been under a rock?  They were a Black singing group consisting of five brothers, including the one and only Michael Jackson. Their first song, released in January of that year, was I Want You Back”.  It topped the charts.  Two (2) months later, their second hit was released, “ABC”.  It topped the charts.  In June of that same year, “The Love You Save” was released.  It topped the charts.  With the success that The Jackson Five had, I could do this ad infinitum, but, I won’t. The bottom line is that their music made history.  Over and over again, their music made history.  The group also had a sister named Janet who has been said to have had mild success in the music industry as well.

In 1971, The Osmonds appeared.  Right – you’ve been hiding out.  The Osmonds were a Caucasian singing group.  I should mention that there were five brothers in that group.  Wait – this sounds a bit familiar.  Anyway, their success was heralded as the next big thing since The Jackson Five.  They had a sound that was almost identical to that of The Jackson Five.  Did I mention that they also had a sister by the name of Marie, who gained some musical success, as well?

I’m just sayin’ . . .

In 1983, New Edition appeared on the scene, a Black singing group from Boston.  There were five members in the group, most notably, Bobby Brown.  Their debut album was entitled “Candy Girl”, which immediately soared to the top of the charts.  In 1984, the group released their second LP, self-titled, which produced “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man”.  The LP itself went double-platinum.  By the second half of 1985, New Edition released its third LP, “All For Love”.  It was not as successful as their second, but, it still went platinum.  The group went through various personnel changes, particularly with lead singers.  Although original lead-singer Bobby Brown had left the group, the group flourished nonetheless.  Here we are in 2008 and talks about a New Edition reunion are in the works, including the return of Bobby Brown, as well as a new album.

In 1986, New Kids On The Block made their entry into the music world with their self-titled LP.  They were a Caucasian singing group, with five members, of course.  Their sound was practically a clone of New Edition’s.  Between 1988 and 1989, New Kids On The Block had a string of hits.  By the early 90’s, they released “Step By Step” which was mildly successful, but did not do nearly as well as the group’s prior offerings.  That signaled their downfall.  Somehow, I get the feeling that the similarity between the two groups is just way out of line.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

Whitney Houston blessed us in 1985 with her self-titled debut LP.  It was not an immediate success, but as 1986 rolled around, it produced three (3) number one singles.  The album is Houston’s best, with over thirteen (13) million copies sold to date.  It became one of the best selling LP’s in the industry in the U.S. and worldwide.  It’s one thing to have a “self-titled” LP, but, one should be a bit more imaginative by the time the second LP comes along.  Not so with “Whitney”, which debuted at number one, and sold over nine (9) million copies.  The first four (4) singles all went on to the number one spot.  This brought her total of number one hits to the record-breaking number (at the time) of seven (7) straight.  As with The Jackson Five, listing her accomplishments could go on – ad infinitum, so, suffice it to say that Whitney Houston not only made great music, but great record-breakers as well.  An African-American?  Of course!

In 1990, Mariah Carey entered the scene and blessed us with a self-titled debut album which produced four (4) number one singles.  That same success earned her Grammy awards for Best Female Artist and Best Female Vocalist.  She had a sound that was so close to Whitney Houston’s sound that I often confused the two at the outset of Ms Carey’s debut.  In 1991, Mariah Carey offered up her second LP “Emotions”, the single of which soared to the top of the charts, and the LP produced two (2) other chart-toppers, as well.  Caucasian?  You betcha.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

In all fairness, I should say that the original manager for New Edition was terminated and he is the person who was responsible for the group New Kids On The Block.  As for Mariah Carey, she is of mixed heritage (Caucasian and Afro-Venezualian) but at the time of her debut, was rumored to be simply “Caucasian”.  I often wondered if her marriage to Tommy Mattola hit the skids when she finally came out and said that she was at least “partially Black”.  Hmmmmm.

One can chalk all of this up to extreme coincidence.  Not I.  One can chalk it up to the idea that if there is success with one product, emulate it and come up with another success.  I say “nay”.  One can conclude that if an African-American has some form of success, some Caucasian will find a way to take away that thunder and make it their own.  Bingo!!  That’s the theory that the angry Black man buys.

The Beatles made history by making their young, female fans pass out in droves at the sound of their music.  Michael Jackson made history by making his female fans, both young and old, pass out from just  watching him walk through airports . . . before he even opened his mouth.  I was way past . . . sorry . . . waaaaay past my teens when I sat glued to the tube,  on seat’s edge, awaiting every new music video by The Gloved One.  And I’m not even a female.  They couldn’t produce a solo artist to out-do His Michaelness, so they had to find some other way to take his thunder away.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

copyright ©  2008  freedom

freerealm@gmail.com