Thoughts on music, artistry and Michael Jackson's legacy.

When I first heard the shocking and devastating news of Michael Jackson's death, it was during the afternoon when there were still conflicting stories as to whether he was in a coma or had actually passed. With the loss of the biggest icon of many of our generations, there were many reflections that came to mind, prominently to me is how his death marked the beginning of an ending of a genuine musical era.

I wanted to wait a few days after most of the media, fans and social site frenzy had died down before posting a commentary. This also gave me time to reflect on an honest reaction as to what I was truly thinking about his passing. Often times the general public reacts in a shocking manner at the loss of most celebrities because they are public figures and are a part of pop culture's daily routines of speculation and awe. Similarly to how people react when a public commercial enterprise gets removed, it almost feels as if a cultural fragment is being removed as well. My reflections stem beyond just Michael Jackson as the famous man and more so what he represented in music, entertainment and artistry.

Like many others I genuinely feel that music today is less of an artistic and talent expression and more of a product of commercial enterprise. Though I will not specify specific artists because I do think each musician, singer or performer speaks to their demographic differently, I genuinely believe that for most of the newer artists today, if they were to pass, quit music, or slowly fade away, there are many others that could take their place. Where as with legends such as Michael Jackson can never be replaced. He expressed an artistic integrity which consistently broke ground and paved the innovative ways for future artists to grow upon. He created and exemplified what musicianship was about.

In getting older what saddens me is that in losing legendary artists, I see fewer and fewer great talents grow, that are more than just a by product of record label manufacturing. I wonder if there will ever be icons like Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra and a list of many other stars who's musical talent still stretches to touch generations of today. Jazz is my soul and Rock is my true love and I fear that Rock will never again have the magic, power, and mind blowing integrity that it has with bands such as Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Metallica and etc. once they are gone.

Kanye West recently made a comparison which has left me angry and appalled for months now, he stated that Lil Wayne is the JimiHendrix of today, among comparing other artists. Dumb founded my only response was "are you kidding me." I do not doubt that Lil Wayne has a talent that extends and appeals to great demographic, but Jimi Hendrix was a musical genius who had a stage presence and ground breaking guitar techniques that rivals no other to this day. The next fitting question is "Does Lil Wayne even play a musical instrument?"

These thoughts are not to question the talent or value of any artist as that is up to the fans and public to do, my thoughts are simply an expression of fear and anguish as to what will happen in the future of music, and appreciating the legends we still have and the ones that have passed.

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