Old School Video of The Week: Portrait -“Here We Go Again!”

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Portrait

The year was 1992, when the group Portrait released their single, “Here We Go Again!” off their debut album, entitled Portrait. The New Jack Swing era was still alive, and Portrait represented the sound from a west-coast point of view. Portrait is coming out of Los Angeles, California inherited what other groups with the New Jack Swing sound contribute, with this danceable single.

Portrait would go on to release a total of 5 albums including a greatest hits package, but the single “Here We Go” would be the track, that would continue to be on my 90’s playlist.

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?

 


Portrait - Here We Go Again by klmbaby

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Old School Video of the Week: The Winans feat. Teddy Riley – “It’s Time”

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I usually do not post old school videos of the week on a Monday, but what better way to kick off some positivity for the New Year with this gem. The Winans featuring Teddy Riley “It’s Time”, this song is where gospel meets New Jack Swing. “It’s Time” is off the Winan’s 1990 album entitled Return. If this song does not motivate you in some way as we all start a new chapter in our lives then I do not know what to tell you. Enjoy, be cool for the New Year and share. 😉

 

 

 

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?


The Winans - It's Time by jamz_flava

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Remembering Michael Jackson: August 28, 1958 – June 25, 2009

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Two years are gone in a flash since I received that stunning text message from a friend that Michael Jackson was no longer with us. His untimely death shocked the world, and to be honest we are still feeling the rippling effects of his absence. It saddened me and made me a little angry after the cause of his death was eventually revealed. When it is all said and done, you will always remember where you were when you heard the tragic news. Michael was a genius; that can never be disputed. In all honesty he can never be duplicated. He had the full package, the choreography, the writing ability, the artistic vision, the fashion, his work ethic as a perfectionist, marketing ability, business savoy on how to control his publishing rights, and last but not least his extraordinary singing voice. I am blessed I caught Michael at a time where he  single handily changed the very dynamics on how we view music videos, choreography, stage presence, and just great pop and R&B  music.

The first Michael Jackson record I remember hearing was the Jackson 5’s Christmas album, and the single “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause”, that my big brother was playing on his 8 track. That was always on heavy rotation in my household when I was younger. That was just a little tease of Michael; I still didn’t appreciate his music yet because I was just way too young. Off The Wall which debuted in 1979 was the first album in history to have 4 top hits in the U.S. Again, I was not at the level to grasp the importance and the brilliance of this crafty produce album by Quincy Jones, and the writing ability of Michael until later on in my life.

Thriller was the album that I will always identify him with, which was released in 1982. The handsome image of Michael on the album cover with the Superman style jherri curl danging from his forehead, the immaculate white suit, and his laid back pose will forever be embedded in mind. “The Girl Is Mine” was the first single released, which was a rather poor choice. To make up for it they released the critically acclaimed “Billie Jean” and the video of Michael in his leather suit pushed this album into record numbers. This is where Michael’s skills on how to market one-self took shape. With his live performance of “Billie Jean” at Motown’s 25 year anniversary special, this was the performance that would place him at a plateau that we will never see in our lifetime. His introduction of the famous moon walk had everyone talking, and he is the reason behind why live performances are just as important for your album sales. The “Beat It” video premiere shortly thereafter and Michael really showcased his choreography. The concept behind his dancers, who were replicating tough gangsters, has not been on film since the movie Westside Story, and that is where Michael got the concept. Looking back, how Michael could top this, until “Thriller” the greatest video ever made was aired. Watching a zombie like Michael dancing with other ghouls and goblins took the entertainment world by storm.

In 1984 Michael was in a freak accident that set his hair on fire during the filming of his now famous Pepsi commercial. Some will say this incident was one of the defining moments where Michael became obsessed with plastic surgery. That became clear when he came into the spotlight and did not look like the caramel complexion young man we were used too, nor did he have the same nose, when he released Bad in 1987.  Bad sold over 30 million copies, gathered over 7 top hit singles; this also the last album that Quincy Jones and Michael collaborated on. Some will say this album wasn’t nearly as good as Thriller, but again critically acclaimed songs like “Man in the Mirror” “The Way You Make Me Feel”, and the epic “Smooth Criminal” video will always give Michael fans an opportunity to debate, and compare his other body of work for years to come.

Now that Quincy was gone from his camp as his main producer, Michael embarked on a new sound and embraced the New Jack Swing era. He teamed up with Teddy Riley to debut the album Dangerous in 1991. The sound was different and what I noticed was that he embraced hip hop which included the song “Jam” featuring Heavy D. What also made this album probably more critically acclaimed than his previous was that once again Michael knew how to market himself with music videos alone. Michael was the first artist to use morphing special effects in the “Black and White” video. The release of the “In the Closet” video showed a more sexy side to Michael. With his tank top and his hair in a pony tail he had more of a sexier image than we were accustomed too. He also had great chemistry with Naomi Campbell in the video. The release of “Remember the Time” focused more on what he is best known for when it comes to videos is his choreography and the stage design was epic. Michael just knew how to get you to not just focus on his music, but you were eagerly awaiting a new music video after each single was released. Every time I listen to a song by Michael the video always pops up in my head if it applies. If that was his intentions, then he was way ahead of the game as a marketing genius.

In 1995, HiStory was released as a double CD and a greatest hits album, and sold over 20 million albums at the time. It would go down as the best selling double CD album by a solo artist. The numbers have totally eclipsed at the time of this writing as many of his albums have increased in album sales since his death. One of my favorites was “Scream” because he finally teamed up with his talented sister Janet and I couldn’t wait for the video; it did not disappoint. The brother and sister team lit up the screen with the visual effects, and choreography to die for. This album also had its share of controversy with the single “They Don’t Care About Us”, which was viewed as anti-Semitic lyrics to some. Spike Lee had a part in video as its director. Another highlight of the album was with his collaboration with the late Biggie Smalls on “This Time Around”. Last but least the single that really can be attached to how Michael was feeling toward the end of his life was the underrated “Stranger in Moscow”, which is probably the best song off the entire album. The video also captures his loneliness, and musical critics have actually stated this may have been one of the best song ever performed by Michael. Once again, that is up for debate, but I’m not disputing their opinion, I actually agree with it. Overall this album was taking aim at the press, specifically after he was treated so harshly during the previous sex abuse allegations. During this period he married for the 2nd time, which produced 2 children.

In 2001 Invincible was released with production from Rodney Jerkins, and Teddy Riley again taking the reins. I call this the forgotten album, because it did not sell like a typical Michael album at the time. It sold 13 million albums at the time, which could be deemed as failures as far as a Michael Jackson album are concerned. We also have to take into heavy consideration that this was the start of many people including his label that turned his back on him, and did not provide him with the promotion that his albums are accustomed to receiving. Invincible only released two singles which were “You Rock My World”, and “Butterflies”. He had many forgotten songs like my favorite entitled “Unbreakable” featuring Biggie Smalls. Biggie was the only rapper that has ever been featured twice in any of Michael’s body of work. It also did not help as far as sales are concerned because he was in a heavy contract dispute with his label at the time.

Michael faded from obscurity for a while and emerged in 2009 to announce the This Is It tour as a final curtain call before he retired.  Unfortunately Michel never got the chance, because he passed away a short time later. I always question the people Michael had surround himself with, who I deemed as enablers and “yes men”. Those type of people who would dance to the beat of his drum, even if some of the things he requested would be detrimental to him. With greedy enablers money plays a part and your conscious takes a step back. In the case of Dr. Conrad Murry the doctor who administered Michael drugs, who is now charged with his death appears to not have much of concision at all. I can say this much, regardless of the outcome of his trial, he will always be identified as the man who killed the King of Pop, I hope that money was worth it. I still feel that he did the unthinkable, and tried to cover his tracks by getting rid of evidence instead of calling 911 right away. If that’s the case he is more of a douche bag than I imagine.

Many of today’s artist are heavily influence by Michael you can see it in their musical style and their live performances. They would be lying if they didn’t admit to some degree that a little piece of Michael was in their work. Just look at Justin Timberlake solo debut performance of “Like I Love You”  in 2002 at the MTV awards. Timberlake dance moves, Fedora hat, leather pants and swag screamed Michael. We can say the same thing about Ne-Yo’s who just confiscated Michael’s style when it comes to his ballads. Last but not least Beyonce’s stage presence and overall work ethic is a part of Michael as well.  A little bit of Michael is in us to some degree. Even if you’re not in the music industry, Michael probably has some influence on you regardless because he did for me. What we should remember about Michael is that he was sent to us in order to contribute to change, whether it is in the music industry, as a philanthropist, or just taking the talent that you have been blessed with and utilize it for the good. I will remember Michael as being part of an extended family, like a big brother because a lot of our generation in their 30’s and older watch him grow up. Besides, anyone talks bad about Mike to me would be taken to task, that’s the equivalent of talking about my own flesh and blood. He will always be the greatest entertainer of all-time as far as I’m concerned, and no one will come close. Rest in Peace Michael.

-Ms Scripter

Just blogging and mourning for-the-masses, ya dig?

 

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