For me, there's never not been Michael Jackson in my life. He may not have released anything in nearly a decade, but there are few artists that are as constant a presence in my life as Mike. The catalogue is deep and dope, y'all.
The notion that Michael Jackson is no longer with us is a concept I have not been able to process yet. I doubt that I will ever be able to process it. I still have deep sadness and anger that Tupac is no longer with us, so I know this will be hard. And like with 'Pac, I never got to see Mike live. As much as I love his music, because I have not seen him perform live I know that I've only glimpsed a fraction of his artistry.
My earliest memories of Michael Jackson are from the Jacksons' Can You Feel It video and the song Human Nature. I'm told I had strong reactions to Thriller, Billie Jean and Torture too, but my memories are most vivid of Can You Feel It and Human Nature, especially the latter. I so loved it that I had the poster of him in the yellow vest from the single cover on my wall. It remains my favorite Michael Jackson song.
If it is possible to love to a fault, Mike did it. This could translate into fantastic music (from the great Jacksons Trilogy — Destiny, Triumph, and Victory — to Off The Wall and Dangerous) and it could translate into overreaching, but gloriously messy music (Bad and Invincible).
Writing about him is hard. And for as many words as I've read about Mike and how people feel about him, I think he defies language. So rather than try to capture how I feel, I will let my favorite Mike songs speak:
Off The Wall
Leave Me Alone