The Change in Michael's Message and Image After 'Thriller'

83magic

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Michael was already showing his vocal range before the mid to late '80's.

you had the soaring falsetto of 'don't stop til you get enough'.

the urgency of 'say say say' and 'billie jean'.

the tenderness of 'human nature' and 'she's out of my life'.

of course, the aggression of 'beat it'.

that's just to name a few at the top of my head.

the only difference is that he took that aggression from 'beat it', multiplied it by 10, until it cancelled out almost everything else! :( it didn't add to anything.

'beat it' was crucial and genuine in its message; fighting to prove how tough you are is foolish. keep your dignity and walk away with your head held high. don't be a macho man. it tackled toxic masculinity before it was even a trending topic! Michael was the only man in that video that didn't follow the crowd. yet he ended up being the coolest one there by being himself. he united the feuding gangs through dance. this is key in what made him a role model for young people. the song was used in the president's wife's stop drink driving campaign. parents actually wanted their children to look up to him.

all of that changed with the next album..

despite the previous good that Michael did, he was criticised by some in the media and his 'peers' for being too soft. he admitted that he didn't like his 'goody-goody' image (though one could argue that it wasn't an image in the first place). which is why he changed it to become the very thing that he spoke out against; he started grabbing himself, he stalked and harassed women ('the way you make me feel'), violence was now the solution to solving problems ('smooth criminal'/'moonwalker'). he gave in to the ways of the world instead of standing strong in his convictions. people could see through the act though - which was why it wasn't taken seriously.

another reason why things became murky was because Michael began planting stories about himself in the tabloids (oxygen chamber/elephant bones). by cultivating such a reputation for himself, he consequently pushed his music and art into the background. despite complaining about the reaction he sought out in the first place, he continued such antics until a year before his death. it's a shame because he didn't need a persona, especially one that was so beneath him. he was already an interesting artist and person.
 

DuranDuran

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message

violence was now the solution to solving problems ('smooth criminal'/'moonwalker').
I think you're reading a bit much into this. It's entertainment and Mike was never really just a message singer. Mike has said that one of his favorite movies is The Godfather which is a movie about the mafia. Smooth Criminal's video is based on Girl Hunt Ballet from the movie The Band Wagon. Girl Hunt is a parody of then popular noir movies which often had violence in them.

he stalked and harassed women ('the way you make me feel')
Girlfriend is about telling the woman he's having an affair with that he might tell the girl's boyfriend about "what they're doing". The Girl Is Mine is about 2 guys fighting over the same woman, who both are apparently dating.
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

he stalked and harassed women ('the way you make me feel')

No he didn't. If you watch the short film again, you can see Tatiana laughing and smiling when she's been chased around by him.

The image quality isn't the best here
images
 

83magic

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Re: message

I think you're reading a bit much into this. It's entertainment and Mike was never really just a message singer. Mike has said that one of his favorite movies is The Godfather which is a movie about the mafia. Smooth Criminal's video is based on Girl Hunt Ballet from the movie The Band Wagon. Girl Hunt is a parody of then popular noir movies which often had violence in them.


Girlfriend is about telling the woman he's having an affair with that he might tell the girl's boyfriend about "what they're doing". The Girl Is Mine is about 2 guys fighting over the same woman, who both are apparently dating.

'moonwalker' was rated pg, and was marketed towards children (the 'speed demon' segment in particular). yet it featured; drugs, guns and shooting, child abduction and abuse... it's the same as the 'black or white' promos using bart simpson and mac culkin to draw in children, whilst the panther segment had vandalism and excessive self grabbing. you can't have it both ways. you can't boast of being family friendly when you pull stunts like that. as evidenced by the 'dangerous short films' video compilation, he seemed to enjoy the controversy from that..

Michael's message was always non violent and clean before then. these roots were established with the songs he and his brothers sang on the gamble & huff productions. the first short film that he had creative control over was 'can you feel it'. one that matched the lyrical concept of unity. there was a reason he was asked to do the e.t. children's story book (the grammy he said he was most proud of), and was due to play peter pan in '83. even though 'thriller' was a horror, no one actually got hurt. yet that was rated 15! (they should have swapped ratings with 'moonwalker') all the way up to 'captain eo', he transformed the witch and her guards with the power of music. i think the shift began when he disassociated himself from the Jehovah's witnesses. which I think was a mistake for many reasons..

I don't understand the comparison between 'girlfriend', 'the girl is mine', and 'the way you make me feel'. those McCartney collaborations didn't have any visuals, and Michael didn't even write one of them. even so, Michael's character is already in a relationship the women. he's wasn't chasing them. if anything, the woman was the one being dishonest in 'the girl is mine', by declaring her love for different men behind their backs. I agree that 'girlfriend' was immoral - which is one of the reasons I dislike it, but again, Michael didn't write it.
 

83magic

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

No he didn't. If you watch the short film again, you can see Tatiana laughing and smiling when she's been chased around by him.

The image quality isn't the best here
images

what about her expression when she's cornered in the alley way on the first chorus? Michael made lewd gestures with his body, and placed his hands on her. it was completely inappropriate. he wasn't being the gentleman that he was known for. what's worse were his gang associates (the crips) who helped him literally close in on her. she tries her best to evade them, but she's at a complete disadvantage. how would she fight them all off by herself in those heels and tight dress? what other choice did she have but to play along every now and then? if she didn't stop after he shouted at her, it could have escalated into something dangerous.. she rolled her eyes. she placed her hands on her hips. she walked away. her signals were obvious; she wasn't interested. Michael saw this and couldn't care less. it only became somewhat equal when she met up with the other women. he stalked her until she gave in. compare this interaction with Michael and ola in 'thriller'. that was playful. this was predatory and creepy. again, it was all a ploy to project a false macho image.
 

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Re: message

'moonwalker' was rated pg, and was marketed towards children (the 'speed demon' segment in particular). yet it featured; drugs, guns and shooting, child abduction and abuse... it's the same as the 'black or white' promos using bart simpson and mac culkin to draw in children, whilst the panther segment had vandalism and excessive self grabbing. you can't have it both ways. you can't boast of being family friendly when you pull stunts like that. as evidenced by the 'dangerous short films' video compilation, he seemed to enjoy the controversy from that..
Have you even watched The Simpsons or Macaulay Culkin movies? The Simpsons have Itchy & Scratchy. Sideshow Bob is always trying to kill or torture Bart and there's all of the things that happen to Homer. There's also the biker gang leader Snake, the bullies at the school, the Springfield Mafia, and there's even Duff Man the spokesman for the beer Homer drinks at Moe's Bar. The Home Alone movies are basically live action Looney Tunes or Tom And Jerry. Although technically those old cartoon shorts weren't made for children, they were shown before movies for adults. But when they were later shown on TV, they were marketed towards kids and so were the 3 Stooges. Macaulay was also in a movie called The Good Son and he's not "good" at all.
 

DuranDuran

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Re: message

there was a reason he was asked to do the e.t. children's story book (the grammy he said he was most proud of), and was due to play peter pan in '83.
What was that? Because Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Ice Cube, Robin Williams, and others have done children's TV and movies. All of them were known for adult entertainment, especially Pryor, and his personal life wasn't clean either. Robin Williams was Peter Pan in Hook.
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

'beat it' was crucial and genuine in its message; fighting to prove how tough you are is foolish. keep your dignity and walk away with your head held high. don't be a macho man. it tackled toxic masculinity before it was even a trending topic! Michael was the only man in that video that didn't follow the crowd. yet he ended up being the coolest one there by being himself. he united the feuding gangs through dance. this is key in what made him a role model for young people. the song was used in the president's wife's stop drink driving campaign. parents actually wanted their children to look up to him.

all of that changed with the next album..

despite the previous good that Michael did, he was criticised by some in the media and his 'peers' for being too soft. he admitted that he didn't like his 'goody-goody' image (though one could argue that it wasn't an image in the first place). which is why he changed it to become the very thing that he spoke out against; he started grabbing himself, he stalked and harassed women ('the way you make me feel'), violence was now the solution to solving problems ('smooth criminal'/'moonwalker'). he gave in to the ways of the world instead of standing strong in his convictions. people could see through the act though - which was why it wasn't taken seriously.

Oh my goodness you're right. i never realize that to now.


another reason why things became murky was because Michael began planting stories about himself in the tabloids (oxygen chamber/elephant bones). by cultivating such a reputation for himself, he consequently pushed his music and art into the background. despite complaining about the reaction he sought out in the first place, he continued such antics until a year before his death. it's a shame because he didn't need a persona, especially one that was so beneath him. he was already an interesting artist and person.

You are so right. that's why i'm not really a fan of his media songs and the dangerous and history eras. he's depressed in those eras. even though i'm not a fan of those songs he is right about them. so i guess you can say those songs are just him speaking out how the media is and still is saying fake lies about him.
 
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NatureCriminal7896

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Re: message

I think you're reading a bit much into this. It's entertainment and Mike was never really just a message singer. Mike has said that one of his favorite movies is The Godfather which is a movie about the mafia. Smooth Criminal's video is based on Girl Hunt Ballet from the movie The Band Wagon. Girl Hunt is a parody of then popular noir movies which often had violence in them.

Exactly.

fbc8985860c63d13167d82d2b2e3da98.jpg
 

NatureCriminal7896

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Re: message

Have you even watched The Simpsons or Macaulay Culkin movies? The Simpsons have Itchy & Scratchy. Sideshow Bob is always trying to kill or torture Bart and there's all of the things that happen to Homer. There's also the biker gang leader Snake, the bullies at the school, the Springfield Mafia, and there's even Duff Man the spokesman for the beer Homer drinks at Moe's Bar. The Home Alone movies are basically live action Looney Tunes or Tom And Jerry. Although technically those old cartoon shorts weren't made for children, they were shown before movies for adults. But when they were later shown on TV, they were marketed towards kids and so were the 3 Stooges. Macaulay was also in a movie called The Good Son and he's not "good" at all.

To be honest with you The Simpsons not exactly for kids. i'm not sure how it was back in the day but The Simpsons are really for teens and adults. i know there are kids who do watch the simpsons. so i guess the simpsons would be more of an family show???? the simpsons not so bad but there are somethings in the show that is teens and adult topics.

your right. some old cartoons were made for adults BUT as time when on they made them for kids and adults to enjoy. i also feel kids were much smarter back then because i wouldn't run off a cliff like Wile E. Coyote on looney toons.
 

83magic

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the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

I was advised to start this new topic, as my comments in a previous thread about studio vocals were steering things in a different direction.

I ask the moderator(s) to move my comments, and any other appropriate ones, here. I look forward to continuing a lively, insightful, and engaging discussion 2morrow. I must get some sleep first! :D
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

You got a point. people change up their vocals and image because doing the samething all the time can be repeated and boring. that's why Michael changed his image all though out his life because not only he was smart man and had other ideas but he knew it would get boring and repeated if he kept doing the samething all the time. for example. BAD. the reason alot changed during that era is because one he went solo. he was doing things REALLY on his own now and we see somewhat a "new" Michael. he an "bad boy" tough "criminal" image. which is one of my favorite eras next to Thriller. it's something about this era i love. i mean he doing alot. not only that his clothes styles gets even better. it's like he turned punky emo like he in a "street gang" he's an "gangster" etc. only thing that was difficult in this era was that his skin was really changing and he couldn't help it also fake news lies which was getting kind of bad no pun intended (LOL!) during this time after the Thriller era. not only that but also shows Michael tougher side like shows he's not a "softy" like people claims. read up somewhere Michael could actually beat someone up if he wanted to. but we all know he was too kind and gentleman to fight anyone. though, there are some people out there who really needed it and still needs it.



Also Michael wanted his music and image to live on forever. if he kept doing the samething all the time he wouldn't be were he is now. i might don't like the Dangerous and HIStory eras. but it's great he changed up image. if he wasn't so depressed during these eras with his music. i probably would of like these eras more. but he was an true perfectionist. and i don't think we will ever see anything like him ever again.

bless him. :cry:

You guys do realize Michael were only acting right? i think we take stuff like this too seriously....

In the way you make me feel video, Michael actually had sexual feelings for Tatiana. that's why though whole video he doing a lot of sexual suggestive gestures in front of her. i don't think Tatiana felt bad about it. she liked him. Remember this is the BAD era. his image is suppose be "bad boy" "criminal" "gangster" "street gang" image.

You know looking back at smooth criminal and i just realize this why the heck Michael is taking the kids to a nightclub late at night? LOL! i know it's imagination but that still hilarious. :laughing:

Michael started it grabbing himself was because he wanted to try and be grown up alittle. he also started wearing tight clothing because remember, he was Prince rival. in reality, Michael use to grab his belt instead of himself but one day he was like hey, i'm gonna start grabbing myself now so i be more grown up alittle. in the orpah interview in 1993 he said he did it because everytime he dances he just did it. it's like he had to touch there. i don't know, after all he was a guy.

Michael claimed he didn't dirty dance but it feels like an fib. i mean if he did he was an adult but i don't think it would of been right to be dancing like that in front of children.
 
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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

I think when he disassociated himself from the Jehovah's Witnesses he was able to express himself better. That's when the crotch grabs and shirt rips started and I think that came from a genuine place in him. It's common for serious dancers to be able to express some things through the dance better than they can at other times. And again common for performers to be able to magnify certain elements of themselves while on the stage. I think that's why people dance and perform, because they enjoy becoming that, but it is still part of them, it's not fake or some sort of ploy. MJ wasn't a technically trained dancer but he put his soul into it and got lost in his experience which is why he was so captivating to watch and many people's favourite (certainly mine).

Sorry Anna, I wasn't sure if we are to start posting in the new thread straight away or if that would mess up the order of the posts!
 
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NatureCriminal7896

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

Maybe "sexy" dancing is more accurate and he might have admitted to that lol

lol! you probably right. Michael always use his words differently. either way i don't think it was right to dances like that in front of children though.
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

It's common for serious dancers to be able to express some things through the dance better than they can at other times. And again common for performers to be able to magnify certain elements of themselves while on the stage.

You know what your right! maybe Michael wasn't sexually dancing half of the time. i think we all miss the fact when he is dancing. most people dance is because their telling a story and Michael was an entertainer! :D yeah. it all makes sense now. :kickass:
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

Michael was born to dance. it was his gift and he said it also.
 

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There is nothing predatory or creepy in ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ music video.

That is just another false theory that has been perpetuated for so many years.

I will explain:

Tatiana Thumbtzen accidentally fell down to the ground right after exiting the car, she then stood up and continued to walk again but she was laughing because of her misfortune.

The scene where she fell down was cut off from the official version of the music video, but the director kept the following scene with her laughing.

The director decided to keep the following scene with her laughing because, like Michael Jackson, wanted to show to viewers that there is nothing predatory or creepy in that video.

Also, look how that video ends: at the end Tatiana Thumbtzen eventually hugs him, meaning that it was all part of a playful game all along.

Michael Jackson decided to make that perfectly clear (that there is nothing predatory or creepy in the video’s message) by also putting the moment of the hug on the official cover of that single.
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

You know even though Michael image changed over the years his message never did. love one another. peace on earth. heal the world. save the children. this never changed and that shows in his songs man in the mirror, the earth song, heal the world and many more.
 

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Re: message

even though 'thriller' was a horror, no one actually got hurt. yet that was rated 15!

I didn't know thriller was rated 15 during the time. looking back at it it wasn't all that horror. yes there are parts in the video that was spooky and creepy. but rated 15 is alittle too much. i watched thriller as an child and i didn't get any nightmares from it. maybe an real small child would be scared by it.
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

Okay, I've moved over everything and done a bit of cleaning. Try and stay on topic for this one, fam. ;)


Sorry Anna, I wasn't sure if we are to start posting in the new thread straight away or if that would mess up the order of the posts!

All posts in the thread remain ordered by time of publishing after being moved, so it's all good. Thanks. :)
 

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

There not really wrong with the Moonwalker though i do feel what made this movie PG-13 was Mr. Big trying to take katie and give her drugs. that part is actually cut out in the new releases of the movie. i felt this movie wasn't bad. but it still need to be rated PG though. due to drugs,guns,and killing. either way not a bad movie at all. if you think that bad like i said early in this post watch looney tunes and tom & jerry now that's 5 times worst then this movie.:laughing: it's all pretend and not mean to be taken seriously. :)

though that drug part in the moonwalker was an somewhat seriously thing because there are people out then and now who want kids to do drugs etc. so that was very serious thing. especially during that time. it was a real big deal. it's still a deal now not mistaking.

at the end of one of the moonwalker games it does say something about drugs. i think says say no to drugs or something like that. so i wouldn't say the moonwalker is an bad movie. just telling kids that drugs are bad and say no to them. great message!
 

83magic

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

Michael demonstrated more maturity and security in his individuality in 'beat it', than in 'bad' or 'the way you make me feel'. in a way, he was the 'adult' who had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to stop these 'kids' from fighting. the way he strutted into the hallway of his apartment building showed confidence. he didn't want or need to seek approval from any group.

unlike 'bad' where he's caught between two worlds, and ends up being a strange mixture of good and evil.

or 'the way you make me feel', where his antics seem to done with the intention of impressing the gang than charming the lady. a lady who clearly was never interested in him in the first place. she initially ignored him when he approached her, causing the gang to laugh at him. unable to take the rejection and embarrassment, he yells at her, stopping her dead in her tracks. it's a controlling tactic - especially considering that she doesn't have a voice at all. again, what would happen if she continued walking? would he have gotten louder? closer? more aggressive? she's visibly shaken. then, and later when caught in a dead end. other than that, she looks annoyed. she was trying to go about her business. he uses the environment them to his advantage in order to trap her. she constantly pushes him away. he constantly follows her because he has no boundaries. I interpret her laughter to be out of astonishment instead of joy. she tries to accommodate him a little every now and then so he would satisfied and leave her alone! right until the end she tries to escape through a locked door. then there's the dance.. are we to believe she fell in love with him after that? it was lewd - with nothing romantic about it at all. the fact that it was done with the gang made it impersonal, and highlighted the fact that she was outnumbered. that hug didn't match the tone of the rest of the chase. they were supposed to kiss, but Michael didn't want that in reality. when it was re-enacted onstage, Michael was kissed and the lady was fired. further proving that this was an act.

'thriller' had a mutual courtship between the two leads (even though they were already an item). she actually had dialogue too! when Michael playfully teases and dances around her, she smiles at him. he smiles at her. he places his arm around her. she strokes his chin. the two of them look as though they're in bliss as they walk hand in hand. *this* is romantic chemistry! no one is being forced into anything. they both enjoy spending time together. Michael liked the fact that she thought she was safe with him.

I doubt that she'd feel safe with Michael's behaviour in 'the way you make me feel'. however, that, along with the 'bad' campaign in general, about him trying to be 'one of the guys'. he already told us he wasn't like them in 'thriller', and we believed him. he already told us he was a lover not a fighter, and we believed him. in fact, 'beat it' foretold the future in a way with the line 'but you wanna be bad!'. same with 'that's what you get for being polite'; 'he wants to be so bad all the time getting in, things he can't get out'. the term is used as a negative in both instances.

Michael had been dancing for the first half of his life without grabbing himself. I find it hard to believe it was a necessity. the foundation for what he did later on was already laid down. it would have been fine if he was an 'adult' artist like his contemporaries , but he always maintained that he was safe for all ages - especially children. I know some people who got in trouble at school for dancing like Michael because they grabbed themselves. they didn't know any better. they were just coping their hero. parents had every right to be upset with the panther segment in 'black or white'. it made its debut without any trigger warnings to precede it. what does grabbing yourself have to do with protesting racial injustice? according to director john landis, Michael wanted to have a scene where he unzipped his pants!

as far as the violence goes, I think tone counts for a lot. the examples given of the variety show and even 'home alone', were more cartoonish and slapstick in comparison to the intense and realistic 'moonwalker'. again, what about the drugs? when they used to air the movie on the bbc, the scene where mr big tries to inject katie is edited out. it wasn't suitable for pre watershed viewing.

steven speilberg said that if e.t didn't come to Elliot's house, he would have came to Michael's. he described him as a fawn in a burning forest. the last of the living innocents. this was in the early 80's. the redesign of the jacksons' family home hayvenhurst, was a predecessor to neverland. he was already known as peter pan, and he embraced the term wholeheartedly. which is why he was due to play the role in the movie in '83 as suggested by friend jane fonda. he wouldn't even have to act. just like the scarecrow in 'the wiz'. the character was changed after Michael eventually declined and the role went to robin Williams a decade later.

once Michael changed his image to become edgy, peter pan was no longer a natural fit. no matter how long he tried to hold on to it. it ceased seeming genuine. I think being a Jehovah's witness kept Michael humble. it shaped his morals, and kept him focused on what was important. I agree with latoya, and what some others in this thread have said, that him doing certain things after he left was an act of rebellion. one that he would pay the price for..
 

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Re: Has Michael ever disappointed you in terms of his studio vocals?

You know what your right! maybe Michael wasn't sexually dancing half of the time. i think we all miss the fact when he is dancing. most people dance is because their telling a story and Michael was an entertainer! :D yeah. it all makes sense now. :kickass:

The thing is this was his story, rather than joining someone else's production or whatever. It's hard to articulate what I mean but I can only say that although he may have partly chosen moves for the audience, I feel they were also moves that he wanted to perform himself and he enjoyed that. Take the Panther Dance for example, that was apparently quite loosely choreographed but look at what he was channelling. When he was dancing I think it was genuine in that moment even if he then snapped out of it when the music or dancing stopped. Both can be true: Michael can be a genuinely perfect gentleman off the stage but he can also express another part of himself through a dance. This is just how I see it. We should also bear in mind that sometimes people interpret an artists' work differently than the artist intended so there is probably an element of that.
 

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

him doing certain things after he left was an act of rebellion.

That can happen when people are under too much control and have parts of them supressed because of it.
 

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

The thing is this was his story, rather than joining someone else's production or whatever. It's hard to articulate what I mean but I can only say that although he may have partly chosen moves for the audience, I feel they were also moves that he wanted to perform himself and he enjoyed that. Take the Panther Dance for example, that was apparently quite loosely choreographed but look at what he was channelling. When he was dancing I think it was genuine in that moment even if he then snapped out of it when the music or dancing stopped. *Both can be true: Michael can be a genuinely perfect gentleman off the stage but he can also express another part of himself through a dance.* This is just how I see it. We should also bear in mind that sometimes people interpret an artists' work differently than the artist intended so there is probably an element of that.

Exactly. That is all that needs to be said.
 

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

The other thing, in terms of being a role model... I think it's unfair to expect that of him at the expense of being an artist. Most artists find it therapeutic to engage in their art. That Panther dance seems to be to be the piece of work where he was most free. By all accounts he never expressed himself or behaved that way elsewhere so it was a healthy outlet. I don't think artistic expression should be stifled, both for the artists sake but also because it can lose the magic that is created from genuine art.
 

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

unlike 'bad' where he's caught between two worlds, and ends up being a strange mixture of good and evil.
Beat It was fiction. Also notice that Mike wears a red jacket, which could represent the Bloods. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to try to stop a fight wearing the color of a gang that might be a rival of the 2 gangs in the video. The Bad video was based on the life of a real person who was killed. So it would have to follow the story of Edmund Perry, who had the peer pressure when he returned to his hood home from his prep school.


Michael had been dancing for the first half of his life without grabbing himself. I find it hard to believe it was a necessity. the foundation for what he did later on was already laid down. it would have been fine if he was an 'adult' artist like his contemporaries , but he always maintained that he was safe for all ages - especially children.
Dance styles change. Mike went through the first half of his life without Moonwalking. He might have seen The Time, who did the crotch grabbing around 1982. Janet was a big fan of the group. She later found big success working with 2 members of The Time (Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis). Janet said in an interview once that she was embarrassed when she went to one of their concerts with her mother. Not because of the show but that her mother had to be there. I assume that this was probably a Prince concert, since The Time opened for him and most likely it was when Prince was wearing bikini underwear and stockings onstage pre-1999.
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Most likely it was rappers who popularized crotch grabbing to the mainstream audience. Hip hop was starting to get some mainstream popularity around 1985 or 1986 with Run DMC & The Fat Boys. The Breakin' movie was a big hit and a sequel was made. Mike was incorporating breaking & popping moves into his dance style in the 1980s. Breakdancing and grafitti art is a part of hip hop. Originally Run DMC was supposed to participate on a song on the Bad album, but it didn't work out. Around the same time Mike's Bad song came out, LL Cool J also had a song called Bad and some radio stations would mix the songs together. New Jack Swing first started at this time too and it was R&B singing mixed with more street hip hop & Go-Go beats.
 

83magic

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Re: the change in michael's message and image after 'thriller'

unlike the moonwalk or the robot, grabbing oneself is not a dance step that requires years of practice to master. it's about context too; what was he trying to express in regards to racism by doing that? I seriously doubt that this had been building up inside him since was a young man, or that he was supressed by his religion. rather, he was influenced by what others were doing at the time, and more importantly, it was in response to the criticism that he was too clean cut. it wasn't genuine, which is why he was singled out for it. the public expected that kind of behaviour from those other artists. not Michael.

he marketed himself a role model for the youth. no one made him do that. he (privately, and sometimes publicly) criticised other acts who were raunchy or used profanity. as the president said in '84, he was proof of what one could accomplish with a clean lifestyle. he compromised his values for popularity. it was a step backwards. before he created trends, now he was following them. he never would have commissioned paintings of himself in Jesus' place at the last supper (!) had he remained a witness. or paraded around in military jackets flanked by soldiers. he certainly wouldn't have erected a statue of himself to float down thames. he became larger than life and no one could tell him anything. there was a domineering and sinister energy that seeped into his music and the way he presented himself. what he represented before all of that was something positive and unique.

Michael wore blue in 'the way you make me feel' which featured the crips. should that be looked at as an endorsement? the 'beat it' video may have been fictional, but at least the song was solutions based and represented Michael's true stance on violence (he spoke about this in his autobiography). it had more of an impact as well.

wasn't 'bad' supposed to be about a young man who got shot by a plain clothes police officer? I didn't see any reference of that in the film..
 
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