Whether or not you’re big into MJ is kind of irrelevant.
Any self-respecting music fan can’t deny the talent, skill, and perfectionism of the man who changed music forever. Besides, there’s rarely anything that comes out of the music or entertainment industry these days that doesn’t make a nod toward Michael – so, chances are, if you like any music that has been created within the last thirty years, you have him to thank for it – at least in part. Because he changed everything.
His death affected me profoundly in a way that no artist’s or celebrity’s has or probably ever will again. When I listen to “Stranger In Moscow” – not a big hit of his, though I think it should’ve been – I get a vivid and emotional glimpse not only of his own life, but of his commonality with his fans, with everyone. Here was a man who was troubled, perhaps more than we’ll ever know, and unfortunately it’s that kind of life that often drives genius.
The music video is, in my opinion, a must-view with the song since Michael was, after all, deeply involved in every aspect of his work. Maybe you can’t relate to being a “Stranger In Moscow”, but you’ve been a stranger somewhere, “living lonely”. You can replace the “Kremlin’s shadow” and “Stalin’s tomb” with anything really. You can see yourself within any of the characters in the video – we’ve all been at that place in our lives, at one point or another, where you drop the umbrella and just walk into the rain. Maybe you’re hoping it washes away whatever you’re feeling. I think Michael wanted to wash away the entire world-the world that constantly loved and hated Michael, fiercely and incessantly, for his entire life. For Michael, “abandoned in my fame”, he hoped he could escape like all the other normal people, hoping they would just “take my name and just let me be”.
It’s a sad thing, no? But there’s an uplifting moment, I think, towards the end when everyone is standing out in the rain. The black and white washes over them and suddenly they find an escape, a moment where nothing really matters. Michael probably had precious few of those moments, certainly fewer than most of us have had. Despite the fame and fortune, I think he’s a prime example of the cliché “money can’t buy happiness”. He was one of us, he was a human being and he was the King of Pop, all at once. I think you’ve achieved true musical and artistic perfection when you achieve that balance, that place where people can see you for you, and you for your talent. I only hope his time with his kids and family and the love of his fans brought him some peace before we lost him.
Rest In peace, Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009).
- Today in Michaelin’ History (themjzonedotorg.wordpress.com)
- New Michael Jackson Album! Well, Sort Of… (kluv.radio.com)
- Christina Aguilera, Jamie Foxx and More Rock Michael Jackson Forever Tribute Concert (eonline.com)
- PHOTOS: Michael Jackson Tribute Concert (997now.radio.com)
- Beyonce, Ne-Yo Honor Michael Jackson at Tribute Concert (theboombox.com)
- Smokey Robinson: ‘I Feel Sorry, In A Way,’ For Conrad Murray (omg.yahoo.com)
- Sneak Peek: America’s Next Top Model All-Stars – Michael Jackson Photo Shoot (livelyindepthmusicent.com)
- Michael Jackson’s Final Words Were … (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- La Toya Jackson on Tribute Concert: A Great Day For Michael (thehollywoodgossip.com)
- Jennifer Hudson Had a “Major” Reason for Bailing on Michael Jackson Tribute (eonline.com)