The Xscape album was released on May 13th of this year and for the most part, the album did very well. It sold over 1 million copies in the USA, debuted at number 2 on the top of the album charts and number one on the R&B chart. The single, "Love Never Felt So Good" (that featured Justin Timberlake) reached its highest peak on the billboard charts at number nine. I discussed my issue with the album on a blog post I did in April when news hit that the Estate of Michael Jackson along with Sony Music was going to released another posthumous album on Michael.
The promotion for the album was everywhere, more than the promotion for the Invincible album back in 2001. The promotion for the Xscape album even had Billboard magazine do a cover story on how the album came together.
If you are interested in the cover story, you can read it here -
You might think that I would continue to discuss more about the album and the success but if you have been a reader for my blog for a while, you know that I will never remotely promote anything that is released from the Estate executors. I want to rant about my disgust regarding the Hologram that was shown on the Billboard Music Awards in May of this year. I saw the performance and was horrified that they had a white performer mocking Michael's moves and calling it a "performance". That mess was the main topic on everyone's lips the very next day and most of the comments were positive. Which begged the question, do some people like a fake Michael that performs on stage and not the real one who performed on stage but had feelings, emotions and was about substance? When I was doing a google search looking for an article, I noticed how the media reacted to the Hologram performance and it disturbed me. I am going to list the links of media outlets that reported on the hologram mockery but probably did not do the same when he was vindicated in 2005.
From Billboard.com -
From Rollingstone.com -
From Theverge.com -
From Mediaite.com -
From CNN.com -
From Fuse.com -
From Usmagazine.com (Us Weekly) -
From People.com -
While it seemed like the media and public liked the creepy "performance", there were many fans, including me and a few members of his family that really did not like the performance. Michael's nephew and Randy's son, Randy Jr., went to his twitter account to state how he felt about it -
"The DNA result that allegedly proved the King of Pop fathered a 31-year-old singer named B Howard was a pathetic fake ripped straight from the Internet,TMZ reported Friday.Even the logo for the lab that allegedly produced the results was false — taken from the DNA testing lab in “Terminator Salvation,” the site said."
"There are people who say Brandon looks like a Jackson.
Yeah, whatever. [laughs] I know he's my son. And I know that I've been the father for the last 30-odd years. OK? I know that I've been the one that's supplied every emotional need, every financial need, every physical need. So the whole question is really and truly—it's like get the f**k out of here."
After Brandon Howard realized that his plan to prove that Michael was his father failed, he tried again and did certain things to get people to believe that Michael is his father. First, I want to post three blog posts done by the MJJJusticeproject.wordpress.com blog that did a excellent job detailing the foolery of that man's pathetic desperation to "prove" that Michael is his "father". Please read these blog posts:
You would think that after the facts came out that Michael was not his father, that Brandon would stop doing his nonsense. Well, no, he did not stop and with the help of a couple of Michael's family members, Brandon will never truly stop. Let's start with LaToya - I posted on a previous blog post on the family of a tweet that she did that mentioned Brandon. She stated:
Jackie made a comment on his twitter account about Brandon in relation to his music. I posted this tweet on a previous blog post. Jackie stated:
Neither sibling has ever lashed out against Brandon and his distrubing ways and their actions gives credibility to his false claims. This is one of the reasons why I stop giving a damn what Michael's siblings do. They do not defend Michael and his good name. They even leave doubt or do not bother defending him which at times can be extremely frustrating and annoying.
Luckily, Michael has other family members who actually give a damn about his good name. In October, a fan who goes by the twitter handle @Nicky_itsme, contacted Michael's niece, Brandi and asked her about Brandon's claims. This is what she stated:
Brandi made it clear that Brandon Howard is not her cousin but a long time friend of the family.
The same fan, who seems to be doing his/her own research on Brandon Howard's foolery (and I thank this person for doing this for the sake of the truth and informing the fans) saw a tweet this month where it was revealed that Brandon Howard was going to accept an award in Michael's honor because the organizers of the award could not get Jackie to recieve the award. Just read this mess:
The fan decided to alert Michael's family members about this and Austin responded. He stated:
This year, two former bodyguards of Michael's, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard, along with author Tanner Colby, did a book called Remember The Time Protecting Michael Jackson or something like that. This book was about the two and the half years those two men worked with Michael and the things that they witnessed being around Michael. I did a Q&A session with these men not to promote the book but to see what the book was going to be about. I asked for fans to submit questions to be answered by the bodyguards for the session. After I gathered the questions, all 61 one of them, I sent the questions to their publicist or Tanner Colby, whoever and I never stated in the email to change up my questions. When I got the email back with the questions and answers, I was furious because they changed everything. Instead of getting angry with them, I let it go because I did not want be negative in any of this.
At times, that is a weakness for me: not being able to express how I truly feel about something because it can result to the people being angry with me. So, instead of lashing out on them for what they did, I tried to let it go. It did not get any better when I got the book and read the whole thing. I was very angry and I have regretted even doing anything with these people. The one thing I should have done was told them that I will not publish the Q&A session because of the mere fact they changed around my questions to suit with any agenda they had in regards to their book. I did a detailed book review and I went in and I hold nothing back. After I did the review, I noticed that my session was removed from their like page for their book. Oh well. It did not bother me at all. I should have done a review instead and not get caught up in the nonsense that has been poisoning the fan community since Michael's passing: false positive information. If you are curious to read my review of the book, you can click here:
By the way, after I did my blog post on the review of the book, my laptop completely failed on me days later. I truly believe it was the grace of God to make sure that review was published before my laptop was broken. (My laptop has since been fixed.)
This year was a big year for milestones and 1984 was the year when Michael was solidified as a international legend. He swept the 1984 American Music Awards and the Grammys winning 8 awards on each show in one night. Months after his historic wins, he teamed up with his brothers to do the Victory tour that lasted from June to December of 1984. In 1994, 20 years ago on a May, Michael married Lisa Marie Presley in the Dominican Republic. The union was controversial to many people and Michael tried to make it work but two years later, Lisa Marie filed for divorce. I will discuss Lisa Marie and her fans (yes she has fans) on my next blog post.
As for what will be coming up on 2015; it will be another milestone year. "We Are The World" will turn 30 and the significance that charity single made during that time. Michael's iconic album, History Past, Present and Future will turn 20 years old. The album was his most controversial one he ever done and who can blame him? He was angry at that time in his life trying to deal with people making false claims against him, dealing with doubters and the media hounding him with their constant nonsense. Vindication day, June 13th, will mark ten years and that will be major. The trial of 2005 was one of the hardest situations that Michael ever had to go through and when he was vindicated, it was such a wonderful feeling. The five crazy, difficult and terrible months he had to endure was taking a toll on him and he had to find peace after the storm. On the day of his vindication, now that Michael is no longer here, should be celebrated for Michael fighting for his good name and the millions of fans who support him during his battle.
When it comes to Michael's family, 2015 will mark two personal milestones for one of his children. On February 13th, Prince will turn 18 and will be an adult. That following June, Prince will graduate from Buckley with honors and will be going to college. This will be a bittersweet moment for him because he is transitioning from childhood to adulthood and will be graduating from school. However, his father will not be here to physically watch his son reach these major milestones in his young life.
When it comes to Michael's professional career, iconic director Spike Lee announced that he will be doing another documentary on Michael to celebrate the 35 anniversary of the Off The Wall album. Here is proof that Spike Lee is working on the project:
That seems exciting but I cannot help but wonder who will Spike Lee put in this documentary. When I watch the television version of the Bad 25 documentary, I liked the film but I had a lot of issues with it as well. Even though I do recommend all fans to watch the documentary there were people that I felt should not be in the film. So, I am going to state to you all who I feel should and should not be in the Off the Wall documentary and why.
Do not Include:
Nelson George - After Michael was vindicated in 2005, Nelson did an article that was so evil and vile towards Michael that if he would to apologize for doing the article, I would never accept it. If you never read the article, please don't. You will be furious. This man should not be in ANY documentary or special on Michael. He is clueless and ignorant towards Michael and what he stood for.
Joe Vogel - Anyone that claims to be a MJ fan/historian and blocks fans on social media all because they disagreed with them should not participate in a special on Michael. If you cannot accept his fans, then do not talk about Michael. Michael loved and respected his fans no matter what they did.
Celebrities that were not born when the album was released - If they did not live through the era, they should not talk about it. You can't talk about what you did not experienced. For example, in the Bad 25 documentary, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber were on there to talk about the Bad album when they did not experience that era. That is like me talking about one of Elvis' albums as if I was there and I experienced the era even though I was born in 1983.
John Branca - For what, though?
Cynthia Horner - she was one of the founders of the iconic teen magazine, Right On! and was personal friends with Michael. Michael even invited her to the Bad tour in the late 1980s. This woman knew Michael since he was a kid and would have a better idea of Michael's mindset during the time he did the Off The Wall album.
A representive from Ebony magazine - This was missing in the Bad 25 documentary. Ebony is a big part of Michael's legacy when it came to documenting and archiving his legacy. It was laughable not to include one on the Bad 25 documentary considering the fact that he was featured on the magazine various times throughout that era. Ebony magazine always had a great relationship with Michael and was one of the few media outlets that respected him.
Family- No matter how we feel about some members of his family, they have every right to be included in the documentary. During the Off The Wall era, Michael was on tour with his brothers that was known as the Triumph tour. His siblings, parents, cousins and a few nieces and nephews were around Michael and knew how he was feeling during that time.
Chris Cadman and Adrian Grant - They should have replaced Joe Vogel in the Bad 25 documentary. I hope they are included in the Off The Wall documentary. These men are the true historians in Michael's work and career and are the best people to talk about Michael.
Fans - The fans made Michael and they should be in the documentary. It would be cool if fans who experienced the Off the Wall era were included.
Questlove - He knows what he is talking about. He studied Michael's work very well.
Girlfriends - You never know. Their input might be interesting.
Finally, I cannot end this blog post without discussing the topics that have made news for most of the year: Michael Brown, Ferguson, Eric Garner, Race in America, #Blacklivesmatter. I used to believe that we live in a post racial society and that we can accept all races. However, after the various things that I have witnessed, heard and read over the years, I do not think that we ever truly lived in a society where one is judged by their actions and not their race. I think the murders of unarmed black males really was the tipping point in this illusion known as Post Racial America. It had me thinking about what Michael went through and how he managed to be viewed as an entertainer regardless of his race.
Michael probably thought that he was being accepted by all races of people as an entertainer and not a black entertainer. He was never about supporting any kind of racism because he simply hated it. As he became a bigger star, he started to have a rare type of power in the music business that no other black entertainer had before him. Once he acquired the Beatles Catalog, now known as Sony ATV Catalog, was when Michael started to experience the kind of racism he thought - we all thought - no longer existed.
The songs that he had done to combat racism: "Why You Wanna Trip On Me", "Black or White" and "They Don't Care About Us" were songs that he did as a protest to how he was being treated in the media and in the music business. Then, came the false child abuse allegations that Michael had to fight through the remaining of his career, followed by the harsh criticism he received when he married white women, the skin changing and his children's paternity being in question.
The media's coverage of the murders of these unarmed black men were not fair. Michael Brown was about to start a new chapter in his life as a college student. He made one mistake of taking some sort of cigarettes from a store and police was called on him. When the officer reach Michael Brown, he shot him six times. There was no time for Michael to think or react, he was going to be dead. Eric Garner was selling loosies outside of a business and when the police was called to end Mr. Garner side business, they decided to manhandle him. When the police got Eric Garner on the ground, he told the police that he could not breathe. Then he died and all hell broke loose. His death was ruled a homicide and went to a grand jury. When there was an indictment on both cases, the indictment freed the officers for killing these men.
This complete injustice prompted a writer by the name of D.B. Anderson from the Baltimore Sun newspaper to write an opinion piece on the lack of celebrities not doing enough to get the #BlackLivesMatter movement out there and how when Michael was alive, he sang about the injustices in the world. You can read the incredible article here -
Around the time of the injustices that were occurring, Sony Pictures became victims of a major computer hacking attack. This was in retaliation from Sony's refusal to not release the movie The Interview to movie theaters across the world. In the process of the hacking scandal, emails were being released that bashed various movie stars. The emails that really caught my eye were the ones that were aim at comedian/actor Kevin Hart, iconic actor Denzel Washington and President Barack Obama. You can read about the timeline of the events of the hacking attack by clicking on the link here -
If Sony Pictures big wigs can belittle black superstars over lame reasons and even assumed that the President would only like black movies because he is black, what did they state about Michael? These emails confirmed what Michael was talking about when he had his public feud with Sony Music. I wonder, with all of the emails that revealed these people's true views about certain celebrities, particularity the black celebrities, if living in post racial America was an illusion? Will we ever truly live in a time where people are judge because of their character and not the color of their skin?
I had really did a lot of thinking about this and reading information about the injustices of the treatment of black people in this country. Many people out there feel that blacks should start to progress and stop depending on the government for their wants and needs. In that aspect, I agree with blacks needing to progress but we must remember that there are white people who need to progress as well. There are black people who have progressed beyond imagination. Michael was one of those people who practically was the definition of progression. He stepped out of his comfort zone and told the world about his pain and suffering. He did not just studied the greats from R&B based Motown but classical, rock and standard music as well. Michael's idols were not only James Brown, Jackie Wilson and Sammy Davis Jr., but Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire as well. Michael befriend black icons such as Diana Ross, Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder but befriended Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando and Gregory Peck. Michael never saw the race of the people he came encounter with. He saw the human being. He understood what it is like to be a black person in America but probably never thought that after all of the records he broke, the barriers he shredded and the ability to do what no other black entertainer before him has done, that he would be treated like a typical black, American male. In an article that billboard.com did on Michael to celebrate 30 years since 1984, they decided to focus on the negative and not the huge impact that he has made. They could not let him be great and ignore the hardships that he had. If one is supposed to believe that they live in a post racial society, then why can the media and some members of the public accept that the greatest entertainer of all time is a black man?
As I end this blog post, I want to thank you all for reading my blogs and getting it out there. More will come in 2015.
I also want to dedicate this blog post to the victims of injustice and their families.
"Bring Michael Jackson Back: The Inside Story of 'Xscape'", Billboard.com and Billboard magazine, Joe Levy, May 5th, 2014,
"Random Thoughts Part 11", Michael and the Truth, Belinda O., April 18th, 2014,
"Michael Jackson Paternity Claim for Brandon Howard Shown False", New York Daily News, Ginger Adams Otis, March 7th, 2014,
"Exclusive: Miki Howard Denies Having A Son with Michael Jackson Says 'I'm Brandon Howard's Father", essence.com, Yolanda Sangweni, March 14, 2014,
The Blog MJJJusticeProject Investigations on Brandon Howard's Fraudlant Ways
March 7th, 2014 -
March 14, 2014 -
March 19, 2014 -
"Remember the Time Protecting Michael Jackson: Book Review", Michael and the Truth, Belinda O., July 22, 2014,
"Update on the 'Off The Wall' Documentary by Spike Lee", mjvibe.com, December 12, 2014,
"Messenger King: Michael Jackson and the Politics of #BlackLivesMatter", Baltimore Sun, D.B. Anderson, December 9, 2014
"Sony Hack: A Timeline", deadline.com, David Robb, December 22nd, 2014,
Images of the video being sold at the Gottahaverockandroll.com auction -
Information of the auction house -
Tweets about their disgust towards the Hologram performance came from Randy Jr @randjacksonjr and Janet @JanetJackson (verified) accounts.
LaToya (@LaToyaJackson) and Jackie Jackson's (@JackieJackson5) tweets on Brandon Howard from their verified accounts.
Tweets from MJ fan @Nicky_itsme to @AustinBrown (verified) and @BJackson82 and their responses from their twitter accounts.
Frank Casico's denial about the auction house items from his twitter account.
Trailer for Joe Jackson's documentary called "Making Michael" came from vimeo.com.
Video of Michael's photoshoot with the Casico brothers and Brett Barnes came from the auction house gottahaverockandroll youtube account.
The photoshoot Michael did with Sage Galesi came from Sage Galesi personal youtube account.
The tribute to Michael using the song "Loving You" was done by dancingmachin3 and was posted on their personal youtube account.
Screen capture of one of the items that are being sold at the auction house from the website of the auction house.
Picture of Michael Jr. and Paris came from twitter.com
Picture of Paris with her brother Blanket and cousins Donte and Royal from google.com search that was originally from Donte's instagram account.
Picture of Michael came from my personal harddrive.
Picture of the cover of Billboard magazine came from billboard.com
Picture of Alejandra with her children, Michael Jr. with actress Anna Paquin and LaToya with Brandon Howard are from a google.com search.