I was online on a Sunday, weeks ago, where one of the fans that I follow on twitter, stated that an announcement was going to be made about Michael. I had no idea it was going to be about his music. So, the next day, I came online via my Iphone, and logged on to my facebook and twitter accounts when I saw and read the announcement. I completely forgot about the announcement happening. When I read the announcement, I have to admit, I was conflicted with my feelings about it. I did not want to support anything that the Estate and Sony was releasing but at the same time, I want to hear the songs, most were leaked years ago. So, I tried to focus on the music and was seriously thinking about purchasing the album. Before I get into my decision to get the album or not, I want to get into the whole situation with the album. First, let me post the statement in regards to the album Xscape that will be released on May 13th:
"March 31, 2014 — New York, NY — On May 13, Epic Records, in conjunction with the Estate of Michael Jackson, will release XSCAPE, an album of new music by the internationally beloved music icon and King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The project features eight new tracks, which the world will be hearing for the very first time on the new album. For the ultimate fan experience,XSCAPE will also be available in a Deluxe Edition, which includes all of the sourced Michael Jackson recordings in their original form. The XSCAPE standard and Deluxe Editions are available for pre-order beginning April 1 on iTunes.com/MichaelJackson and elsewhere, and available at all retailers worldwide on May 13.XSCAPE is executive produced by Epic Records Chairman and CEO L.A. Reid, who, after an initial mining of Jackson’s archives by the Estate, was granted unlimited access to the treasures representing four decades of material on which Jackson had completed his vocals.Reid curated the final list of recordings to deliver to the producers, who retooled the production to add a fresh, contemporary sound that retains Jackson’s essence and integrity. It’s a process Reid calls “contemporizing.” The album’s lead producer, Timbaland was one of a handful of producers Reid believed had the gravitas, depth and range to creatively engage with Jackson’s work. Additional producers include global hitmakers Rodney Jerkins, Stargate, Jerome “Jroc” Harmon and John McClain.“Modern music and artistry would look and sound completely different if not for the groundbreaking contributions Michael Jackson gifted to the world,” remarked L.A. Reid. “Michael left behind some musical performances that we take great pride in presenting through the vision of music producers that he either worked directly with or expressed strong desire to work with. We are extremely proud and honored to present this music to the world.”
Seems exciting doesn't it? It is and that is the magic, if you want to call it that, of marketing and manipulation. Someone reading that, who has no idea the suffering that Michael had with Sony, would think that this news is amazing and would like to hear the so called "new songs" that Michael recorded. The person reading the statement do not even know that L.A. Reid barely worked with Michael and teamed up with Michael's brother, Jermaine, to do the horrible "Word To The Badd" song bashing him in 1991. The person reading the statement might not even know that Timbaland never worked with Michael and stated if he did work with him, he would want to work with him in person and not through a video recording. Little did that former hot and innovative producer knew, Michael was a studio rat and loved working in the studio. Timbaland would not let the rapper Drake work on a posthumous album on the late Aaliyah, but Timbaland can work on Michael's post deceased work. That makes no sense to me.
Then, there is the comment about L.A. making the album "comtemporary". I take that as an insult because Michael's work is not only classic but timeless. People still jam to "Beat It", "Remember the Time", "Billie Jean", etc. and there is plenty of videos online that shows people's love of Michael's greatest songs that are staples of the American culture and the world. So, to make Michael fit into the sound of today's music is disrespectful. Why would L.A. want Michael to sound like the performers of this day and age when nearly all of them copy from him and nearly every last one of them want to have the kind of career that Michael had? Michael was the main reason why most of today's acts have careers. L.A. really does not get Michael's impact and what he was about. He never did what was in the now; he focused on what was going to be the future. Only a person who truly worked with Michael would know that. I get angry when people want Michael to fit into what is acceptable when he was never that type of artists and person to begin with. Already reading this statement, I am very disappointed with what they are saying.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson said, “Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”XSCAPE is a long awaited collection of exciting new music that will thrill the legions of fans of one of the world’s most revered and best-selling artists, as well as attract a whole new generation discovering his artistry for the first time. In conjunction with the release of XSCAPE, Epic / Sony Music will launch an unprecedented global campaign with the One Sony sister companies, Sony Corporation, Sony Mobile Communications, and Sony Network Entertainment International drawing from all of Sony’s strengths and consumer reach."Michael has long been a treasured member of the larger Sony family," said Kazuo Hirai, President and CEO, Sony Corporation. "Starting with the release of ‘Off The Wall’ in 1979, Sony Music Entertainment has since released all of Michael’s recordings. We are thrilled and privileged to be collaborating as One Sony to celebrate Michael’s latest legacy, and bringing his fans an exclusive experience through our upcoming initiatives with our products and services."
To read the statement from the executors of his Estate, you have to shake your head. Yes, it is true that Michael was always working with the up and coming, in the right now type of producers to "sound current" but does that mean that they have to get producers that he never work with to create this Xscape album? The executors also stated that this album will attract a new generation of fans to discover Michael's work. Thriller, Invincible, Bad, Dangerous, History, Off The Wall could not gather the new generation of fans but an album of unfinished music will do that? These people cannot be serious. That is an insulting comment for these people to make. The album have songs that were leaked years ago that were not completed. How can they compare unfinished songs to songs that Michael completed that are classics?
The one part of the statement that really angered me was when they stated that they will launch a global campaign, using their sister corporations, to get the word out about this album. I remember when Invincible came out and Michael had a terrible time with Sony. It was so bad that Michael had to complain about it, rightfully so. Once he told the world the uncalled for nonsense that he was dealing with, the media and Sony went out of their way to make him look like a fool. On top of that, Sony did not go out of their way to promote Invincible, an album that Michael worked very hard on, with his blood, sweat and tears. They sabotage that album and used their media friends like Roger Friedman and Toure to name a few to bash the album. For these people to go out of their way to promote an album that has songs that were leaked years ago, makes me very angry. This is how these people work: they made sure Michael was dead so they do not have to deal with him, gather his songs, hire a "singer" to sing vocals on three songs from the Michael album, was called out on it and instead of admitting to what they did, they ignored it. They are in the process of releasing this Xscape album and they are going out of their way to promote the album knowing that Michael is not here to do anything about it. I had to chuckle in the last part of the statement when Sony stated that Michael was like "family" to them. Oh, please! Michael could not even deal with them let alone be family with these people.
As for the album cover - isn't that one of the oddest piece of "artwork" that you have ever seen? What is so appealing about the cover? What happened to using real pictures of Michael for the album cover? To see fans fawning over the album cover tells me that if poop was served to them and they called it "Michael Jackson", they will keep it knowing it smells.
The fan community, as usual, are divided with the news of that album. I think that the fan community will never truly be united because the opinions are so varied and the fans are passionate in what they believe in. I have read both sides of all of this and I think that both sides make their stance known but I can never forget what Sony did to Michael. I can never forget what happened with Invincible, an album that was crapped on by Sony, the media and the public and I can never forget what Michael stated about the record company that practically ruined his life.
Now, if Michael was alive today, there will be no way in the world that he would deal with Sony and after all of the things they did to him, why would his fans want to even deal with that record company? Have they not learn from what Michael stated in 2002 during his protest against Sony? I have no doubt that a good amount of the fans were not fans when Michael was fighting with Sony. Any fan that is in denial of Michael's suffering from the hands of Sony need to revoke their fan card right now.
I want to be excited about this album but to be honest, after the whole Michael fiasco, I simply do not trust Sony and the Estate when it comes to Michael's music. I feel that all fans should feel the same way I feel. When Michael was falsely accused of child abuse, we all came together and defended his innocence. Why is it different when it comes to his music now that he is no longer here? I have always believed that the fan community is mostly filled with markerters and the fans that support the marketers. These type of "fans" would ignore what Michael had stated about Sony and attack anyone that does not see their point of view. I feel that they do that because they do not want to admit that they are supporting a corporation that gave Michael nothing but problems.
When I read an article that details Michael's issues with Sony, I could not understand how any fan would support the corporation. This comment really got to me:
"It broke down in 2001 around the release of Invincible, when Jackson was unable to obtain the masters to his original albums, despite believing his originally contract allowed him to. Due to the fact the lawyer who represented him when making the deal also (secretly) represented Sony, clauses prevented him from laying his hands on them. This was later ruled as a conflict of interest, but nevertheless the damage was already done. What it shows is that he wanted control of his music and that the last people on earth he would like to have their hands on it would be Sony. "http://www.gigwise.com/blogs/89844/michael-jacksons-xscape-is-just-sonys-way-of-exploiting-a-dead-man
"First off, I would like to say that I love Michael Jackson and there isn't a soul on this earth who has any right to say that I don't care for him simply because my daughter attended the recent listening party on my behalf."
"I've had the pleasure of working alongside the Michael Jackson Estate for almost 5 years now and I, (more often than not) DON'T go to these functions they offer, I send people to represent me as I did 2 years ago when I sent my friend Betty to Montreal. She met John Branca as well as other staff and I think she can attest that John Branca and the Estate team are definitely looking out for Michael's legacy more than any of us realize,,, but more importantly, John Branca truly cares very much for Michael. It's not just about money, (which will go to Michael's children), Mr. Branca has sincerity in his heart for his friend and partner. The Estate cares for Michael as a person as well."Why would you tell people that you work alongside the Estate executors? So now, I have to believe that this fan is an employee of the Estate executors. This would explain why this fan would post Estate supported nonsense on her website. John Branca is lying to this fan because if he was really looking out for the best interest of Michael's legacy why haven't any of the charities that Michael supported over the years recieved any money from the Estate's business deals? If John Branca has the best interest in Michael, why does he let the media trash Michael's good name? Why should the fans do all of the dirty work that the Estate executors refuses to do? John Branca never cared about Michael Jackson. Why is this fan lying to the fan community? This woman cannot be serious. He was never his friend and he was a partner that stolen from him.
"We look at the Estate as a big corporation, but we need to remember that within that BIG corporation, there are real people with real feelings. They're not robots, they're human beings with feelings. I know from the times I've met them and the research I've done, that each person loves Michael in their own way, but make no mistake,,,, they care."What about what Michael went through? What about his feelings towards the very people that ruined his life? What about those things? Why is this fan upset because fans are putting her in her place and reminding her of what this man that she claims that she loves went through? Without Michael's death, this fan would not be dealing with the Estate executors and promoting their nonsense.
"Sony music does NOT have Tommy Mattolla any longer so they chose Sony to work with on this project. There is a NEW team at Sony and they are a positive and upbeat team. They too want to keep Michael's legacy alive just as the Estate does."
It is not about Tommy Mottola not being at Sony. No one gives a damn what that bastard states or does. It is about the fact that Michael wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with Sony. When he was working on new music back in 2008 and 2009, MICHAEL WAS NOT WITH SONY MUSIC! Sony sabotaged his Invinicble album, among other things. It is not about a new damn team with Sony, it is about the fact that Michael was not going to deal with Sony anymore. That is what the issue is. Sony will have new people working for them, that is the way of business, but it does not erase the fact that Sony singlehandly ruined Michael's relationship with them. Sony wants to keep Michael's legacy alive by releasing unfinished music and allow three songs that does not have his vocals from the Michael album still being on the shelves?! Please.
"For those who say I'm turning my back on Michael simply because I, (or my representatives) attend these Estate function's, you're wrong. I'm simply honored to help continue Michael's legacy by supporting projects that help make the world realize that though Michael may be physically gone,,, his music and love will live forever. I was there before he died, and I'm here now. MJ-Upbeat.com stood by Michael's side and supported him during his life, his struggles, his highs and his lows and we continue to support him."
Not only is this fan turning her back on Michael, she is a complete fraud. If MJupbeat.com really cared about what Michael stood for, they should not support the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony and then tell their fans to basically deal with it. This is a selfish type of behavior that needs to be rid off in this already ruined fan community.
After reading everything, I have decided that I will not buy the album. I am not interested. Michael's work that he did before he was murdered are the songs that are still being played all over the world. Songs that are unfinished, produced by money loving, lame producers (sans Rodney Jerkins), and distributed by a corrupt record company with the help of evil men are NOT Michael's legacy. Those songs will not stand the test of time nor would anyone play them many years for now.
In December, a trailer was released to the Internet and the media on a documentary that Katherine was doing on her son Michael called Remembering Michael. From a glance, it seems like a mother doing a loving tribute to her beloved son but when one looks very closely, it is much more than a "loving tribute". I have made it very clear on this blog that I respect Katherine and I might even have stated that I love the woman. I have always respected her but after this stint that she pulled, I really do not know what to think about this woman.
Let's get into why I feel the way I feel. I have always been annoyed by Michael's children being exploited in anyway. We have to deal with them on social media and there is even a website on what they do done by MJ fans that should know better. The last thing that needs to happen is their own grandmother putting them in a documentary talking about their father. Can they be children first? Can they develop as people and when they are older, they can talk about their father? I would think that would make more sense.
Another reason why I feel this way about Katherine is what she stated in the trailer. Here is the video of it:
It is tacky to ask fans to give money when the one asking is a millionaire. I do not know who advise Katherine to do this but when things started to get crazy, she issued a statement. This is what was stated:
“Mrs. Jackson’s motive for this project is to present a side of Michael Jackson no one has ever seen. She put a stop to the crowdsourcing financing plan the moment she saw Michael’s fans felt it was misguided.http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/katherine-jackson-issuing-refunds-remembering-michael-article-1.1564939
I asked him about the invalid will and why he came up with the conclusion that Michael was an asexual. According to his research, he stated that Michael was an asexual because he never heard any of his "sources" state that they actually saw Michael get into sexual relations with women. He also stated that if people believe otherwise, they are deluded or delusional (one of the two). After listening to his nonsense, I wanted to go off but I decided to listen and I realized that there are some people in this world who overthink things and when it comes to the same conclusion that they do not want, they will find ways to make it the way they want it to make it. In other words, there is proof upon proof that Michael was straight and had sexual relations with women, but Randall Sullivan does not want to admit that was the case so he sticks to what makes sense to him which is that Michael did not have sex with anyone.
This is one of the reasons why I do this blog because the ignorance and the stupidity of people is too great and there needs to be clarification. Randall Sullivan does not care about Michael, his children or his legacy. He cares about jumping into the rat race of writing a book about a murdered, black entertainer that changed the world. Michael had girlfriends/wife who had sexual relationships with him. Theresa Gonsalves wrote a book about her time with Michael and stated the two times that she had sex with Michael. Lisa Marie Presley told Howard Stern in 2003 when asked who initiated the sex, that Michael was the one who initiated the sex. Romonica Harris told me, when we were friends, that she and Michael had a sexual relationship and let's not forget what the promotional guy, who knew Michael since he was a child, had to state about Michael and women. There is so much information to prove that Michael was not gay, asexual or a pedophile. If I am deluded or delusional for believing that Michael had sexual relationships with women, then so be it. At least, I can prove it while all Randall Sullivan can prove is that he did not have anyone who claimed to know Michael state to him that Michael had sex. Randall is the one that needs to be viewed as deluded, delusional and clueless.
It is always refreshing to see Michael's children carry out his legacy in their own way. Nearly a couple of months ago, I was on twitter and I saw a tweet from a young lady who stated that Michael's children came to visit her in her hospital room. She posted the picture with the Jacksons:
At the same time, I saw a vine post that Prince posted on his twitter account showing his family members visiting the hospital as part of his community service that he does for school. It was wonderful to not only see a young man his age to do what he does but to also see that Paris tagged along with them. That brought the impression that Paris has returned to her family hopefully for good. I was doing research for this blog when I stumbled upon an article from the New York Daily News website. Yes, I know that NYDN is a tabloid but maybe there is some truth to the article and you can read the article here:
I think with her vacationing with her family made Paris realized that she is better off with her brothers and not with that "mother" of hers. There is a picture of her with her cousin TJ that was posted on facebook that seems like Paris is slowing coming back home.
Let's hope that when she completely comes back home to her family and enrolls back into Buckley that she is focus on her education and surround herself with positive people. The last thing that needs to happen is another attempt and negativity.
Speaking of TJ, he and his brothers, Taj and Taryll sort of reunited for a UK reality show called Big Reunion Series and the basis of the series is that the show wanted to reunite popular music groups from the 1990s. 3T was a very popular group in the 1990s, especially in Europe and when I was watching the special, I learned a lot of things. One of the things that I learned was that the brothers were always singing and learning their craft. The brothers became the second best selling group in Europe right behind the Spice Girls. 3T was a very big deal. When I was watching the special, Taj talked about the time when they were promoting their work and they were on a radio show. The radio dj told them that in order for their songs to be played on the radio, they have to offer their listeners giveaways to Neverland. The brothers refused to do that because they did not want to use their uncle to gain fans. They have worked too hard to used Michael to get a career of their own. I was elated to hear this because finally family members that do not need to use their relative to have a career of their own. These men need to be told "thank you" for being decent human beings.
After watching the program and their big reunion concert, I was impressed. If anyone ever wanted to know what ever happened to 3T, the special does a good job telling the viewer. It was nice to see the family together playing the game Pictionary, 3T with their girlfriends/wives, cousins, grandmother, aunts and their children and the wonderful things that they stated about Michael and their mother, Delores. Even Tito popped up to check on his sons when they were rehearsing for the concert. The concert was touching and it shows how three mature men honor their beloved uncle and mother without exposing them. They gave them the dignity and respect that they deserved and reminded the viewer that Michael was not only a music legend but a man who loved his family and who looked out for them. I am truly proud of them and Michael's children for showing people that Michael really did taught them well.
Michael the Superhero
Michael always said that children were his inspiration in his life and he wanted to make lives better for all of the children in the world. The harsh reality of life is that there are people who are ungrateful and will use the kindness of Michael and make it into something that is disgusting and vile. In June, we will see someone who Michael helped with his career and life, turn on him just for a few cash and some level of fame. At times, I have stated that I wish Michael never cared about the children of the world because of what happened to him over the years. However, when I heard that a young man name Bela Farkas became a father, I finally realized that Michael helping children was well worth it.
Bela Farkas was introduced in 2003 by Michael when he did his now classic special Private Home Movies as the boy who was in the hospital waiting on a liver transplant. When Michael and his then wife, Lisa Marie Presley, saw Bela, they wanted to do something for him. So, Michael, as you will see when you watch the video, you will know that Michael was doing everything in his power to make sure that Bela Farkas gets a new liver. When Michael got a phone call that Bela got a new liver, he was happy that he saved Bela's life.
Almost 20 years later, Bela does an interview telling his story and that he became a father of a little girl. You can read the article here:
When I think that people only believe the horrible lies about Michael because of the media, I have to remember people like his children, his family, the younger cousins that he raised, Ryan White, the children from the inner cities who played at his Neverland Ranch, the fact that he would visit the orphanages and the fact that he made sure that Bela Farkas is now 24 years old is a father. He was even told by doctors that he would not make it past 18 years old. This is why Michael was important in this world; he was a superhero, he was someone that would do anything to help people. When he was suffering and was losing faith in people, he still gave and still helped. This is Michael's true legacy. He used his amazing talents to simply help and save people's lives. Thank God for Michael Jackson.
Before I end this entry, I want to state that this blog has a tumblr account and now a Facebook account. When you have a chance, please like and follow those accounts because the updates for the blog will be posted on those sites.
Official Announcement of the Xscape Album -
Michael's Issues with Sony -
Jackie Being am Advisor for the Estate of Michael Jackson-
Katherine's Statement Regarding the Fundanything.com Campaign -
Paris Slowly Coming Back Home -
Bela Farkas Becomes a Father -
Randall Sullivan's Interview with Jordan King of BlogtalkRadio.com -
All videos are from youtube.com
Bonnie Lamrock's, Owner of MJUpbeat.com Response to the Criticism from Fans-
Jackie's Tweet from his official twitter account, @JackieJackson5 (verified).
Picture of the Jacksons visiting a young patient in the hospital from @awhisperoflovex.
Some of the pictures come from my twitter account.
The cover of the Xscape album, 3T and Michael with Bela Farkas from a google.com search.
A picture of Paris with TJ, Frances and their daughters from the Jackson-Source.com facebook page.