Michael Jackson throne cover artwork GK TBW SITH

Today marks the 64th Birthday of one of the most influential and successful artist in the world, Michael Joseph Jackson. The Real King of Pop.

His global impact is undeniable and can’t be competed with. Matter of fact, you can’t help but to admire the meticulous way the man moved as a business entity. The achievements are blueprints, showing the culturally attuned how to structure your own world in the music business. 

With that, let’s take a quick moment and give thanks.

Close ya eyes, look upward into ya 3rd eye and wish the real King of Pop a Happy Birthday. 

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson

I appreciate and thank you for the energy instilled in the music you created. We embrace your commitment to quality and keeping the art of performance on 100. I support your devotion to our culture and heritage. I cherish your respect for the arts and dance of our culture. Your legacy is eternal and will never be tarnished by foolishness.

The Term “The King of Pop”

Recently there was the sensationalized and highly touted article that dropped in the latest issue of Rolling Stone UK. They actually had the gall to claim Harry Styles as the new king of vanilla pop… (hmm emoji).

Now before we get to the real shit, let’s discuss the recent disrespectful bullshit thats been circulating in the news and blogs.

I found this quite interesting for a few reasons, which I’ll get into shortly. 

Now before I go down this lil rabbit hole, I’m gonna look into a few factors and cross reference them with what I know about the term King of Pop

Peep this shit:

Michael Jackson King of Pop excerpt by Larry Stessel Epic Records

In like 1991, he hit MTV up requesting that VJ’s refer to him as The King of Pop. They had to do it like twice a week and had to note when they did it, in case MJ requested a clip of the segment.

How gangsta is that shit? We can learn a few things from this, but the most important is him showing us to control our own narratives when it comes to our business properties, talent and art. He hired his own PR and made this very strategic move to control his narrative and legacy. Come on, the dude Larry Stessel was on that weird shit like Elvis is the only one that can use King. Mike was like oh yea Larry, checkmate bitch… (insert any MJ adlib here).

Young Michael Jackson sitting on throne

So how does all this relate to the wack assessment by Rolling Stone article? Well, I feel they are subliminally yet overtly marginalizing his legacy for the sake of Magazine sales and pushing the lily white movement. The write up wasn’t by chance, we’re talking about a media brand that is supposed to understand levels to the game. 

They should know better right? Or perhaps they do and this was another badge of systemic racism that they proudly wear… hmm.

In 2022, the pop genre to me the Disney versions of rnb, soul and hip hop music. Oh yea, of course you can throw in there all African, Caribbean and Latin sounds to name a few more. They watch, ingest and regurgitate a watered down version for general consumption. Years ago pop was more talent based and slowly morphed to accommodate the evolving lackluster artist that fit the vanilla mold. 

If the pop genre of today didn’t exist, where would white artist stand outside of country? Hey, that’s just my opinion. 

Ok, so back to the bullshit.

What’s Really Going on Here?

Michael Jackson Rolling Stone cover

See interesting Subliminals

Harry Styles Rolling Stone cover

Peep him holding the birthday cake… coincidental or sub? The Rolling Stone team that handled the shoot concept actually thought this was a good idea, to have him with a cake.Now while I didn’t check to see what the cake was actually for, but you feel where I’m going. There are no coincidences on this level, everything is pre-approved and planned.

That got me here wondering where do I start, I mean so many questions are flying through my mind. Hmmm, you know what? I wanna know who wrote the article. After, I wanna compare basic stats of MJ when he was deemed the King of Pop and also compare general popularity metrics. Not gonna go deep with the analytics, this is already feeling like it gonna be lengthy. Hope you enjoy reading.

What Rolling Stone did to Cause Beef

The Rolling Stone article was written by Brittany Spanos .

Peep the image of previous articles by Spanos. 

Brittany Spanos Rolling Stone past articles

Right here, the spidey senses are tingling… lol.

It’s still mad early, lets go a lil further. Mentally I’m getting an image of what she looks like. I mean the name says it all right? I’m writing in real time, discovering as I go.

So a quick google search and wait the fuck up… 

Brittany Spanos Senior Editor Rolling Stone

Wow, Brittany is a sista. Not what I was expecting. I mean I almost had an idea of how and why this played out the way it did and now the direction changes slightly with this revelation. I need to know just a lil more about sis, fortunately a YouTube link pops up with an interview. 

Senior Editor Brittany Spanos breaks down the State of Pop Music is the title of the video.

Hmm, serendipity at its best. I only planned on seeing one video, this was the only vid that popped up, and it relates to this same topic. Oh snap, she’s more than a staff writer, but the Senior Editor at Rolling Stone.

Hmmm… what can I deduce from all this, won’t really know till I watch the video. To be fair, I went into this with an open mind, sorta lol. At least open to what I would learn, like she’s in Brooklyn and not the UK.

Ok, I’m thinking she must stay in Williamsburg or Bushwick. Could she be Brooklyn bred with an opinion like that? If she loves music like that, she had to have gone to a Spinna Wonder-full party and if not, then yikes! Hmm, just thoughts.

And the videos start as I ponder these revelations. 

Hearing her voice I wouldn’t particularly think she really know what’s going on from the native Brooklynite perspective. What do I mean by that, you might ask. Am I trying to pigeon hole her opinions based off of geographic and vocal stereotypes? 

Yes, cause thats what we do in in Brooklyn lol. Nah fa real tho, I’m completely wrong by those thoughts. But shit, is she in WillyBurg? As I digress, the video continues.

Rolling Stone Senior Editor Discusses Pop Music in 2022

It opens with the interviewer asking about Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa’s song, ‘Thank You Now’ vs ‘Don’t Start Now’ and which she prefers. “Into You” is a classic, Brittany says, then goes into her opinion of “Don’t Start Now”.

Now I’m completely out of my element here. I don’t know any of the albums and songs by Ariana or Dua Lipa, which has me thinking this is definitely a generational thing. I’m gaining more footing in the understanding of why the King of Pop is being used, but still too early. Plus I haven’t gotten to Harry yet.  

Next Brittany is asked what to define the genre of POP in 2022.

Spanos responds: “I mean PoP always meant popular, more than anything its sort of a radio designation.  Umm and it’s great that pop music itself is so… I don’t know like, all of the idea of what genre has blurred so much and changed so much. And kind of, I don’t know, pop today is gonna be different than it was 20 years ago, but that’s just because new genres have popped up, new artists have come up. And so I think that’s what makes Pop so amazing because it’s just really what’s fun and what everyone is listening to”.

I’m thinking, why did she deflect the question with that answer? I wasn’t expecting a senior editor to be so generic when defining a genre. But hold up, we got something there.

Brittany said, “It’s more of a radio designation” and “it’s what’s fun and what everyone is listening to”. Those statements are of key importance. I’m taking that as the pop genre not having the brand strength that it once had, and is merely categorical. Unlike past standards that had more stringent requirements like popularity, sales, social impact/influence, talent and performance value. Got me wondering now, if its blurred and what everyone listens to, can a rap/afrobeat/rnb/dancehall artist be pop if that’s what everyone is listening to? 

Next question that’s asked is basically asking if Rap is popular, why aren’t they considered Pop since the genres are blurred? 

Spanos responds: “Yea I mean I think so. It’s weird that a lot of our biggest rappers aren’t considered Pop stars to people cause they are. Like they’re great performers and it’s… I mean at the end of the day, a lot of genre designations are pretty racist like they’re pretty coated in the idea of like this is black music and this is white music and like this is, you know, just for people who understand Spanish and non of that means, like, what makes Bad Bunny less of a Pop star than Taylor Swift. They both released multiple albums last year like, you know and I listen to all of them and still do, so yea I think Pop is really what’s popular and rap music is popular and its setting in the trends of what other pop stars are doing.” 

Hmmm, this says a lot. I’m also hearing a lot in her voice and body language. I’m glad to hear her admitting that the genre designation are pretty racist. I also peeped how she caught herself while comparing Bad Bunny to Taylor Swift accomplishments. Would have love for her to go on, but I sensed that she didn’t want that smoke. God forbid you say Latin trap and reggaeton is just as, if not more pop than Taylor Swift. 

I’m learning more and its only 3:42 sec into the vid. Not planning on watching the whole thing, just some insight into the mind and musical sensibility of the writer that hailed Harry Styles the king of pop. Matter of fact, I seen enough and have a foundation of why the writer wrote used MJ’s iconic phrase. 

Listening to Harry Styles for the 1st Time

Now its time to hear Harry, cause I dont know. Never heard anything from him, so let me hear what he sounding like by peeping the latest album Harry’s House.

Let’s go…

  1. Music for a Sushi Restauranthmm, ok got a chill lil vibe. It’s real happy and shit. Like it would be the last song of a Disney movie, and all the characters come together for a final send off.
  2. Late Night Talkingok, more feel good shit. He definitely capturing the heart of every white person on earth. 
  3. Grapejuice the perfect song for a happy ghost that wants to be alive again… dont know where that came from, but I see a ghost wanting to be real so bad and by the end of the song he materializes.
  4. As It Wasgiving me A-Ha’s “Take On Me” vibes… this ninja is definitely in the hearts of straight edged music lovers in. I swear I want beer and a campfire right now.
  5. DaylightTrying to connect but cant.
  6. Little FreakIt sounds like a tik Tok greatest hit where the world unites… wait aint this about a chick? I dont know, I’m zoning out to this Netflix joint… so not resonating right now. 
  7. MatildaDrunk white woman anthem
  8. CinemaNot bad… 
  9. DaydreamingI actually like this joint and wanna remix it. 
  10. Keep Drivingok, I’m good next 
  11. SatelliteI see whats going on here…
  12. Boyfriendshmmm
  13. Love of My LifeI like this song, wanna remix it as well.

So this is a lights stay on album for everyone that’s not me. I’m almost positive rainbows will pop out in the distance when playing. Was the quickest and most brief I’ve ever been with a review, lol.

Harry Styles pig photoshoot Gucci

I Didn’t Relate to the Energy of It

I don’t mind the songs if they were playing randomly in the car of someone that I didnt know.  But I didn’t relate to the energy of it. The frequency was different, shit was ‘mid’. I completely understand production thats minimal, but this was bare for most of the album. I prefer is orchestration that is not as straightforward. Like its all quantized on 1/8 with no delay. It’s completely predictable and that doesn’t move me. 

I heard essences of The Weekend type vibes minus all the soul in Harry’s style. Wait a minute… brain explosion. The Weeknds tonations are straight from Michael Jackson, could this be some subliminal message to The Weeknd, but instead of choosing him, let’s go to his idol and redirect the narrative on some “stay in your place boy or he’s the new king type shit? I don’t know, mind is thinking about a lot right now. 

Are there any Areas where Harry Styles’s Metrics Match MJ’s?

Now, let’s compare that last Harry Styles album to an MJ album with a (gulp), dare I say similar vibe? I think not, there are no similar vibes. Alrighty then, I’ll compare based off tempo’s then sales. I can’t help but feel a ways even doing that. Tempo is so closely tied to rhythm and well his rhythm does the Carlton dance fa real fa real. Aight, whatever the thoughts are taking deeper down the rabbit hole. I’ll focus on basic sales for the moment, even though that’s so not fair.

Harry’s House sales, 500,000 first week. Michael Jackson’s highest first week sales, 7 million for BAD.

Next is Thriller which is the best-selling album of all time worldwide with 47 million copies. Are you shitting me? No album, even today moves like that, like not even a quarter of it. And that was with no social media my guy. He’s BAD as fuck!

Let me check Harry’s other album achievements right quick. Wait a minute, his first album Harry Styles was out in 2017 selling just under 2 million. And his second in 2019 sold approx 3.7 million, wtf is this insolence? That’s roughly 6 million sales for 2 albums. Let’s add his new album sales to the older joints. Lemme be generous and maybe Harry’s House does 10 million (less likely to happen anytime soon), that’s only 16 million in sales.

Now let’s take just one MJ album, mother fucking Dangerous. MJ was 33 when that joint dropped selling roughly 32 million globally.  Where is the comparison my people? Can’t be sales, victory for Mike in this category but we already knew that.

Harry has 3 number one’s so far, while Dangerous was number 1 globally, except for Canada. Hmmm, that’s odd, why Canada fronted? Somebody get Drizzy on the line, I need answers.

Older Michael Jackson sitting on throne in socks

Fastest-Selling Album in the UK in 2022

NME did an article that said, Harry’s House is the fastest-selling album in the UK in 2022. While that may seem impressive to those that never knew, I’m still at MJ hitting 7 Mil in a week globally attaining number one in every country that performed metrics.  Are we reaching just a lil here Rolling Stone UK? Cmon now… really?  You really trying that hard to throw off this new generation on what great is? He can’t fuck with MJ. 

Michael Jackson Super Bowl Halftime 1993

Simon Cowell and the X-Factor Marketing Machine

His inability to refute the claim and not pay proper homage, shows the industry play and positioning of their musical pawn. Wait a minute, I remember seeing him on an episode of X-Factor years ago. I believe there were kids in a boy band and they didn’t sound good or something. So after they performed they lost and then another boy band went on and they were ‘mid’.

Simon Cowell ended up having an idea to merge members that he felt would work well and boom One Direction was formed. His whole career was manufactured and molded by Simon and his music company, which explains the machine’s push.

And that brings me back to The Rolling Stones article.

The Imaginary Soundclash

Damn, Brittany… i’m mad but i’m not mad, do you sis. I’m sitting back in my chair envisioning how would that versus play out.  In reality it would never, but for the sake of imagining, here we go.

A sound clash is set and a few later thousands show up at a stadium. Harry arrives with flowers in his hair and Mick Jagger vibes. Everyone learns that Michael isn’t showing up but he communicates via satellite. He’s MJ after all.

I’m imagining Michael saying, “ok Harry, let’s play. But you gotta bet your whole catalog. If you win, you get the masters to the songs played and royalties. If I win, I own ya whole shit. U game bitch” (MJ giggle).

Harry agrees, but is clearly nervous as he pushes on starting his set. For the next few hours he plays his entire catalog. I see a stadium full of 15 and under fans rooting for Harry. That shit is packed and they doing bland Tik Tok dances to go with every song. Shit is straight wypipo lit. Nothing gets bigger than this moment… That is until it’s MJ’s turn. 

The gloved one hops on the big screen saying, “I’m gonna pick and play 4 songs from my first album as a solo artist that will obliterate your musical existence. I’m being generous with choosing these as songs in this non discussion. Fuck wit this Harry.”

Most Watched Sound Clash Ever

MJ begins to set it off with “She’s Out of My Life”, followed by “I Can’t Help It”, followed by “Off The Wall”. The entire world feels the moment, everyone is repping MJ in solidarity globally. His energy transcends social media and the new generation. Parents and family across the planet resonate and vibe with him. Not one stadium, but rather the world in unison. It’s the most watched sound clash ever and no one wants this experience to end. 

Then the whispers start throughout the stadium. They think Michael forgot to play his last song, the crowd starts chanting “Michael, Michael...” along with everyone watching globally.

Lights flicker and shine on various parts of the stadium, eventually focusing on the screen. A bass comes in, repeating just one bar. It’s getting louder and louder, making the everyone erupt with claps and screams as Michael starts performing “Dont Stop Till You Get Enough” on screen.

People are going wild at the satellite performance on the big screen. When suddenly the camera pans out and you see MJ is in the classic black white outfit with the bow from the original video, holy shit!

Michael Jackson Off The Wall outfit leaning on wall

The world is really bugging now, even the kids at the stadium for Harry are doing the phone light thing they do at events. The camera pans out more, and you can see that MJ is performing on top of the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt like a G. Shit is getting real at this point.

Suddenly, the song stops midway as an explosion occurs, MJ disappears. Everyone watching as it show him on screen teleporting to various locations in the world, outfit still on. He’s on top of the Eiffel Tower, on top of the Burj Khalifa, Merdeka 118, at Victoria Falls, it’s ridiculous.

Then smoke bombs go off at the stadium, freaking everyone out. There’s a hush as it sounds like there is technical difficulties. The crowd waits for the smoke to clear and boo-yah, MJ is standing there at the damn stadium. Somehow he has a full set, band, performers yet no one saw them setting it up.

Everyone goes nuts as he stands there literally for like 10minutes looking around. He finishes the song doing a super extended version, even has Stevie appearing doing a solo on the keys. When all is done, more smoke and fireworks go off as MJ along with everyone disappears without a trace. Even his set design was gone… the end.

Back to Reality

How is Harry gonna grasp that scenario and pressure? Sure I made the whole thing up, but is it far fetched? This non debate is like comparing broccoli to sea moss, like WTF. The incense folks are laughing, but tis true. One is manufactured having nothing to offer nutritionally, while the other is all natural and highly alkalined with too many benefits to name.  

So back to the article by Rolling Stone. 

If MJ was in front of Brittany, do you think she could muster those words out in front of him or would you see the quickest ass kiss and adulation?

Michael Jackson crowned King Ivory Coast Royal Swani line

Now while I didn’t read the whole article, I felt the body of understanding this debacle is there. Didn’t read to be shady, rather I didn’t give a fuck. Plus I didn’t feel the overall energy projected after that statement and article dropped. 

Yes, while I understand on an innate level the musicality of Harry, I also understand the musicality of MJ which is far superior on every accord. Album sales, presence, years in the industry, years of training, years of performing, years of being one of the supreme artist who are so powerful, one is able to achieve success by imitating even the slightest of gestures, let alone vocal pattern. Levels my boy.

Elizabethen Michael Jackson painting by David Nordahl - The Real King of Pop

Final Conclusion – The Real King of Pop

This is a nondiscussion muthafuckers. It has no real relevance except being clickbait and distorting the narrative.

I’m appalled at the idea of Rolling Stones being so blatantly disrespectful to an artist that they hailed to the highest of acclaim when shit was popping and he was around. I’m appalled by Brittany, yet understand. She gets her role and plays it accordingly. 

The frustration and confusion can be felt for a moment in that video interview about pop music that I mentioned earlier, which also captures her resolution of thought. It was like she was thinking here’s what the organization that pays me thinks and I have to obey.

But here’s food for thought. Is what Brittany did sucka shit, when one needs to survive career-wise? Or maybe in her world she really thinks that’s the case. If that’s so, I know her music collection sucks lol. Either way these questions are there to make you think and challenge what you see posted or what you take as an accredited source providing you with information. 

By business and economics standards, which the music industry functions, there is no comparison of the two artists. Any label would pick MJ’s iconic stature over Harry’s and Simon would straight play Harry and all his other artists combined to have Michael on his label.

We’ll never truly know what type of respect Brittany Spanos or Harry would pay to the never-late great Michael Jackson if he were here today. Rolling Stones did a great job with the generic clickbait, but it’s consistent with their idea of the generic view of the pop genre being just a radio designation for ummm, wypipo.

That rabbit hole got a lil deep… lets’s zone back into normality.

Rest in Love and Harmony MJ

I was asked to deliver 150 words and this is what I submitted lol, typical. Not mad, the King of Pop deserved it. Rest in Love and Harmony MJ, we know who the real king is. You were self-made, not manufactured.

The 13 Grammy Awards, the Grammy Legend Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award; 6 Brit Awards were light work. So many other achievements can be talked about, but that’s for another day.

And that’s The Brooklyn Word!

Michael Jackson crown by Bush and Tompkins - The Real King of Pop

Written By Gibril Kuyateh @thebrooklynword

Michael Jackson Rolling Stones covers - The Real King of Pop