An edited version -- to account for television commercial breaks -- of Spike Lee’s Bad 25 was on last night, celebrating 25 years of Michael Jackson’s seminal album. I was 14 and we came home from school every day to watch the video countdown and it felt like the ones who were rising at the time were actually inventing music, as opposed to just playing it, which is what the previous generation said of their predecessors...but ...do they still say it now? Who would that apply to now?
This is the headline of the current issue of Maclean’s featuring Justin Bieber:
I want to be the next Michael Jackson
The archival footage Spike Lee was able to access for Bad 25 is incredible. If possible, I’d watch those raw tapes for hours. In the section about Smooth Criminal, Lee illustrates MJ’s brilliance by highlighting his knowledge of art, that he was a scholar of great art, and wanted to honour great art, the artists who informed his style, the artists from which he created his own -- Mavis Staples, Buster Keaton, Fred Astaire, Soul Train -- and the random sh-t that gave him inspiration, like a CPR doll. The “are you OK Annie?” part was hilarious, non? (It turns out Kanye West actually does have a sense of humour beyond his girlfriend.)
My point is that MJ studied -- various art forms, various interpretations -- and in doing so he was able to extract something new. I’m just... not sure how much studying Justin Bieber does, you know?
That Maclean’s article, by the way, is worth the read. I winced at the part about his grandparents (the breakfast and how they moved) and was predictably intrigued about what he’s teasing in February -- “Scooter Braun, his 31-year-old manager, says: ‘Think of the wildest thing you can think of and think: more.’” Am so curious to know what happens in 5 years and where JB will be. Click here for the Maclean’s piece.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,