20TH CENTURY POP CULTURE

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20TH CENTURY POP CULTURE

We talk about humanities, how humanity has continued developing over the past and how every aspect continues changing the way we live today. Music is one of the most significant changes during early history and is part of our daily lives today. It is difficult for humankind and music to live without each other. Michael Jackson had a very extraordinary impact on 20th century pop culture. People argue that his impact was simply because all his work revolved around love, the pride of African Americans and more of uplifting people. In most of his songs, he always told society that it is possible to do better as a human family. Michael Jackson had many impacts in various fields such as music, racial harmony, dance, and fashion.

Apart from the influence that Michael Jackson had in 20th-century music, he had a lot of impact on the race. Before Michael Jackson, no black Artist music had ever been played on MTV. The directors believed that this music was not “rock” enough. The “Thriller” album later became the top-selling album of all time[footnoteRef:1]. This music played a huge role in breaking the color barrier. The idea of racial harmony was one of his biggest goals. He, for instance, collaborated with other artists such as Paul Mc Cartney, which made his blackness start fading away literally. He, therefore, played a massive role in helping bridge the gap between the black and the whites. One of his songs said that “If you are thinking about my baby, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.”[footnoteRef:2] [1: Michael Jackson’s Unparalleled Influence] [2: “The Michael Jackson Pill: Equality, Race, and Culture.”]

He helped in addressing this issue through different songs. His song “Black and White” is an excellent example of some of the songs that he did to address the issue of racism. Racism was in effect during this period. The song was, therefore, very influential to the public and society. He stressed to his watchers that their skin color or ethnicity did not matter because all people are the same at the end of the day. He stated his concerns regarding the Ku Klux Klan but said that he was not afraid of them. Therefore, this song was used by the artist to help uncover the brutality and racism witnessed in many parts of America. In the 20th, the whites and blacks were not Seeing Eye to eye. The blacks were seen as inferior, and they were killed. Musicians would therefore use their music to protest racism. At the end of this song, Michael Jackson busted the windows, symbolically meaning that he wanted to wipe out all that was not fit and discriminates against human rights. The panther at the end of the video symbolically highlighted the organization “The Black Panthers.” “Michael wanted to speak and show what others should have said long before this film. He was just brave enough to do it and not care”[footnoteRef:3]. Equality has been a recurring issue for a long time since early slavery. Not a lot of people have been able to address it as much as this artist did. [3: “Michael Jackson: Rewind: The Life and Legacy of Pop Music’s King”]

This artist used his music to talk about African discrimination, gender inequality, among other factors affecting society. What we hear in music is very critical. This is because artists use this as a vehicle for airing the various issues that affect the community. For instance, the police brutality towards African Americans affects many people in the United States. This type of music is a very critical vehicle that has broadly traveled around the world. The most important thing that requires to be kept in this type o music is the message that most music bears.

When it comes to dance, his dancing style was very different and creative, which made him stand out from all the other pop singers. His style of fashion was also very different. This influenced a lot of his fans and people who watched his videos. A lot of people will remember the famous bedazzled white glove and the red jacket. This was among the many outfits that we can remember him with. His outfits made him stand out even today. The glove had a lot of meaning that many people are still willing to pay vast amounts of money for it.

In 1983, he performed the moonwalk dance during his “Billie Jean” performance. Even though he was not the initial inventor of this dancing style, it is up to date associated with him. There is no person up to date who has ever done the moonwalk style better than Michael Jackson did[footnoteRef:4]. Many artists continue mimicking this dance style as Michael Jackson made the dance style look very easy that a lot of people found themselves trying it. This dancing style became very exceptional among the youths. Michael Jackson being a talented choreographer choreographed this step by himself. Similarly, the dance steps for his track “beat it” gained a lot of fame, and they were incredible. [4: The Labors of Michael Jackson: Virtuosity, Deindustrialization, and Dancing Work.”]

Apart from addressing the various issues affecting the community, we can say that Michael Jackson transformed the music industry with his songs, music videos, and albums. Initially, African American music was generally marketed to the black audience. Thriller was, however, exceptional as it was marketed to every person who changed how the African Americans were promoting their music. This music had a positive racial impact as the African Americans started featuring more prominently on MTV.

Like many other artists, Michael Jackson lived a very successful life. However, his successful life was overshadowed by numerous controversies and other professional and personal setbacks. This is an indication that not all fame can be equivalent to the happiness of an individual. He might not have lived a delighted life, as evident from his childhood trauma and crumbling marriages. However, this is for sure. “Michael Jackson was certainly one of the most influential figures in the history of pop music and will always continue to be a legend in every sense of the word”[footnoteRef:5] [5: “Race equality in Michael Jackson’s selected song lyrics.”]

Michaels Jackson was named the king of pop during his music industry because he influenced pop culture in various ways such as through dance, music, fashion, breaking the color barrier among many others. Michael Jackson addressed the various issues that affected society and pleaded with people to live harmoniously through his pop music. His music has a very significant impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

HAMERA, JUDITH. “The Labors of Michael Jackson: Virtuosity, Deindustrialization, and Dancing Work.” PMLA 127, no. 4 (2012): 751–65. http://www.jstor.org/stable/23489084.

This article gives an account of some of the great works by this artist. One of them is his great influence in the dance sector. This journal illustrates some of MJ’s greatest dance moves that continue to reign up to date. The moonwalk is a good example.

Culp, Jerome McCristal. “The Michael Jackson Pill: Equality, Race, and Culture.” Michigan Law Review 92, no. 8 (1994): 2613–44. The Michael Jackson Pill: Equality, Race, and Culture on JSTOR

This article has very well highlighted some of the ways that Michael Jackson helped in fighting racial discrimination through his songs. Racism was in effect during this period. Some of his songs were, therefore, very influential to the public and society in helping address this issue. This article illustrates how His song “Black and White” helped address the issue of racism

Easlea, Daryl, and Ndugu Chancler. “Michael Jackson: Rewind: The Life and Legacy of Pop Music’s King”. Race Point Publishing, 2016. Retrieved from: https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=NUo-DQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=michael+jackson+thriller+ended+racism+&ots=Z0f2zx2iW7&sig=wdsaK3WrRV4TF9Gwt91fXEQ9ZSQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

This book has very well given an account of how Michael Jackson helped in developing the pop culture. The 1970s and the 1990’s was a period when music was developing and there were a lot of personalities that developed during this period of time. The authors describe Michael Jackson as a consummate professional who knew what he wanted. This book has helped me in understanding the influence of this artist in the 20th century pop culture.

Supartika, Ati. “Race equality in Michael Jackson’s selected song lyrics.” PhD diss., UIN Sunan Gunung Djati Bandung, 2018. retrieved from: 4_BAB 1.pdf (uinsgd.ac.id)

This article has very well highlighted some of the ways that Michael Jackson helped in fighting racial discrimination through his songs. Racism was in effect during this period. Some of his songs were, therefore, very influential to the public and society in helping address this issue. This article illustrates how His song “Black and White” helped address the issue of racism

Stevens, Hampton. “Michael Jackson’s Unparalleled Influence.” The Atlantic 24 (2010). Retrieved from: Michael Jackson’s Unparalleled Influence – The Atlantic

This journal article gives an account of the great influence that Michael Jackson had in the 20th century. According to the article, musicians in the 20th century had a lot of influence than the other artists. this journal helps in illustrating some of his major achievements in changing the music industry through his videos such as “Thriller”, Billie Jean” and Beat It”.

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