Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’: Has the thrill held up?

Music icon Michael Jackson set new heights with the release of his seminal album, “Thriller,” in 1982, and it sets new heights 30 years after its release and lasting success.

The impact of “Thriller” didn’t rely on ‘80s excess, MTV, and pop radio alone, as its music and success is felt by many today.

According to a Rolling Stone report, “Thriller” has been an extremely influential album. … Perhaps its biggest accomplishment has been its influence on other black musicians.

In today’s music world, several artists and producers attempt to embark on their own “Thriller” moment. However, times have changed in the music world.

F.Y.E. music store worker, Eric Burgess stated that Michael Jackson’s influence spanned not only nationwide, but globally as well.

“His biggest influence was probably the videos he made,” Burgess says. “He was an entertainer first. … He wasn’t just popular here in the states, he was a worldwide superstar. You can go anywhere in the world, he’s a huge star. You can’t say that about anybody else.”

The other factor behind “Thriller” was its producer Quincy Jones, who worked with Jackson on other albums such as, “Off The Wall” and “Bad.”

“I also think Quincy Jones was also a mastermind because he was the one who produced that album, he came up with a lot of the ideas for it musically,” Burgess says. “So I think a lot of people think it was only Michael Jackson, but I think Quincy Jones had a major impact on the album as well.”

As it is known as the ‘biggest selling album in music history,’ there are some who have never brought or listened to a copy of “Thriller.” Roosevelt University student Angelina Bauer stated that even though she never heard the album, she understood the impact of the artist himself.

“He’s called the King of Pop for a reason, he’s inspired a lot of people,” she says. “I think it’s admirable how much he’s inspired people. … I think it’s sad how he went down.”


Up-and-coming artist unveils new sound and flavor with ‘Rebels’

From Joshua Jackson’s upcoming project, “Rebels.” COPYRIGHT © 2012 BMI. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

It’s not every day that one comes across a young artist who pays homage to the past, while looking at the present. In a time where artists and producers are typically manufactured for fame, there is a lack of uninhibited talent circulating in the music industry today.

However, newcomer Joshua Jackson is bound to dominate the music world, with the release of his upcoming mixtape, “Rebels.”

“I feel that it is time for the world to understand me as an artist,” he says. “Music is my passion and life.”

The 17-year-old Louisianan has aspirations to share his music with the world and spark a change in the way people hear music. He says that his new mixtape, “Rebels,” which he plans to release in November, will be an experimental and funky project that revisits 1970s and 1980s old-school funk and R&B styles.

“I am inspired strongly by Prince, Stevie Wonder, [the band] America … just to name a few,” he says. “One of the first songs that made me want to do what I’m doing is ‘The Bird’ by The Time. When I figured out [Prince] produced and wrote it, I knew what time it was.”

Jackson also says that he is strictly going the independent route for this upcoming mixtape, as well as future releases. Hugely distrustful of mainstream practices, he says that he is aware of his own methods of distributing and sharing music.

“I’m just not keen on what happens in the mainstream today,” he says. “I plan on releasing my music my own way and places like YouTube and Bandcamp has allowed me to do that.”

Check out more of Joshua Jackson’s music at:


Musician FunkKid preps new music for November, talks music aspirations

Photo courtesy: http://www.reverbnation.com/funkkidmusic

Above, is an edited interview I conducted with producer and musician David Ford (commonly known as “FunkKid.” During this interview, he discusses his music career, musical influences, life, and the challenges of being an independent artist.

It is known that there is a lack of authenticity in the musical landscape today. Artists and producers are typically manufactured and image-driven for popularity and fame. However, there is a newcomer who plans to blow away the competition with his distinctive style and unique skills.

David Ford, commonly known as “FunkKid,” is on a mission to bring back quality music on the radio and in the ears of many around the world with his upcoming album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat).”

“My main goal is to make music that people can feel in their soul … feel in their hearts,” David Ford says. “I just don’t want to make a beat someone can dance to. I want people to feel something.”

Ford considers his upcoming album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat)” to be a true labor of love. With its unique fusion of hip-hop beats, smooth soul, jazz, and electro, the album will be a culmination of Ford’s masterful musicianship and production styles. He also says that this upcoming album emulates music he grew up to admire, with his own originality to match.

“My main influences for doing music are Prince, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Dr. Dre,” he says. “I was influenced by a lot of different people for this project, so there are going to be a lot of sounds on this project.”

The 24-year-old producer was born in Virginia, but his family moved to Washington, D.C., when he was younger. Ford grew up with a heavy musical influence, ranging from Motown to jazz music. He cites his grandfather as one of his biggest influences as a child, as he introduced him to music through his diverse record collection.

“My grandfather was a jazz musician … he was a drummer,” he says. “My grandfather raised me on Motown. In the household that I grew up in, it was hard for me not to get into music because there was always vinyl laying around.”

Ford has also undergone challenges to distribute his music to the masses. As a producer, he has experienced difficulties in being able to gain exposure and become known as a serious musician. With the booming impact of social network sites, such as Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook, Ford says that he found a way to challenge expectancies that people had toward his music and exceeded them all.

“I have had a hard time trying to get my music out there, as far as the online thing,” he says. “The thing is you have to stick with it, you have to be original … you have to be who you are. All I know is I’m going to throw my stuff out there, and do my best to promote it.”

In addition to being a producer, Ford says that he plans to expand his production talents onto other aspiring artists, and possibly start his own distribution company. With his new album, “BlacksandBeats(Baba Loves Kat),” being released via Bandcamp in November, there is one thing for certain: the “FunkKid” has no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Check out FunkKid’s music at these sites:

Long-Overdue: Music Talk #3

Hello folks!

It has been nearly three months and long overdue…the BrandoSoul Podcast is back with an all new Music Talk segment. We are about to get into a plethora of recent Prince/music-related news. We also have some new creative people on board: David Ford and Chri$topher Ryan. As well as no other than Jesse Jenkins! Let’s gear up the guns…

So listen, enjoy, comment, and share!

– Updates on new Michael Jackson “Bad 25” package
– Prince vs. Questlove: What’s the deal?
– Remasters conversation
– YouTube and music responsibility
– What’s coming up for the Purple Yoda himself: Prince!

Listen or download here: http://archive.org/details/BrandosoulPodcastMusicTalk3

Also, check out Chri$topher’s fantastic, funkycalisoulfuldope and fresh music here.

And let’s not forget to mention the thought-provoking excellence from Jesse Jenkins! 



The Legacy and Longing of Michael Jackson (R.I.P. 1958-Forever)

Whew! Those three years have passed by so swiftly. I can still feel the shakes and anxiety I experienced when getting that call from my mother, informing me that Mike was hospitalized and turning on CBS to see the drama unfold. We had just lost Farrah Fawcett that same day and something was in the air. I knew it. Just something that I will never forget. It was as if someone was playing a sick joke or I was in some kind of weird nightmare. When it was confirmed that he died, I was just mortified, shocked, paranoid and frightened. Seeing the hundreds of people cluttered at the UCLA Medical Center is an image that will never escape my conciousness. My mind went blank at that moment and that whole rest of the day. I couldn’t eat, watch any special or news broadcast involving his sudden death, or listen to music. That day was just…a wild circus! Seeing the helicopter taking off with his body to arrive at the coroner’s officers was just sickening and sad. All this didn’t hit me until the night of June 26th, when watching the “Gone Too Soon” and “Liberian Girl” videos and just thinking about how much this man was really L-O-V-E-D.

Outside of all of the drama and controversy that has surrounded his untimely death and its aftermath, it is important that Michael’s music and impact is prevelant in the culture we live in today. Nonetheless, we must also utilize Michael as the true example of a complex genius as well as multi-faceted man, who lived life on his terms without a care. Sure, there were perplexing moments in his life that caused him to be mythologized, maligned and unfairly scrutinized, but Michael was deep. Deep not only in his many talents, but his character as well. His soul, giving spirit and courage was abundant and it all derived from the spirit and hope of his own upbringing. The hardwork and commitment of the Jackson Family fueled a whole new movement in American culture and Michael, along with his parents and siblings, did their best to show the world how there is indeed light at the end of any tunnel. 

The hidden links in Michael’s enduring musical legacy lies tales and messages of desire, struggle, justice, joys and sorrows. These stories must’ve been among the culmination of Michael’s own personal life, as it was filled with a myriad of pride and devastation. Amazingly, these songs are the only real stories that have accurately told the truth on the many dimensions of Michael Joseph Jackson. His defining voice and remarkable talents as a performer, songwriter, producer, musician and dancer were filled with careful skill and unmatchable virtuoso, which echoed the best of other icons such as Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Charles “Cholly” Atkins before him. The fiery and perfection of Michael’s talent was towering, but his sweeping career, which lasted four decades, proved that there was something more. Vision and dedication was among the many reasons as to why it all stood strong.

The legacy of Michael Joseph Jackson is simply this: endurance, pride and willingness. If one takes the time to listen to his entire catalog, from the earliest Steeltown recordings to the last full-length of his career, Invincible, there lies the journey of a legend. We will miss Michael! I salute you as a man and living testimony of what a human being should be. Furthermore, thank you for everything!

Podcast: Music Talk #2

*Note: This episode was recorded on June 2nd, 2012. Michael Jackson’s commemorative Bad 25 single, “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You/Don’t Be Messin’ ‘Round” is available exclusively at Walmart. Pick it up NOW! 

Hello folks!

We are back with a long-awaited episode of Music Talk #2! Here I’m joined by good friend and co-host, Jesse Jenkins. We are getting into alot of stuff on this one…so let’s get the engines running! Enjoy, comment, share and follow. Thanks!

– Prince’s Australian Tour
– Michael Jackson’s Bad 25 Release (How Will It Hold Up?)
– Prince Remasters (Will It Ever Happen?)
– Possible New Prince Project/Protege Projects
– What Are We Listening To?

Link to Podcast: http://archive.org/details/MusicTalk2

Classic Albums: Michael Jackson’s Bad 25th Anniversary Special

Hello People!

We’re back with a new BrandoSoul podcast! In this particular podcast, we will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s 1987 landmark, Bad. We will be offering in-depth insights about the classic album and era that catapulted Michael Jackson into iconic status. I am joined with special co-host, Jesse Jenkins and new guest, Henry Cooper. All MJ fans and music lovers have to get into this epic special. This is one for the HIStory books! Please enjoy, comment, and follow BrandoSoul!

Part 1: http://archive.org/details/MichaelJacksonsBad25thAnniversarySpecialpartOne
Part 2: http://archive.org/details/MichaelJacksonsBad25thAnniversarySpecialpartTwo

Please check out Jesse on:
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/JesteRants/videos/http://www.youtube.com/user/DemonstrativeRanD
Prince.org: http://prince.org/profile/EyeJester7

Please check out Henry Cooper on:
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3MQVJ1JNGHDSP/ref=cm_aya_bb_pdp

To Buy Michael Jackson’s Bad album, check out:

Vinyl: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Michael-Jackson/dp/B00005LR40/ref=sr_1_6?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1335056408&sr=1-6

Original CD: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Michael-Jackson/dp/B00000269M/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1335056495&sr=1-1

2001 Special Edition Reissue: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Spec-Michael-Jackson/dp/B00005QGAX/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1335056528&sr=1-2