How do you become a music icon? Rule the pop world as Michael Jackson did and be able to reinvent yourself. Find out more in these lyrics from the King of Pop.
What a character Michael Jackson was, right? Dealing with controversy throughout his career and life, yet always managing to get out of it and continue doing what he loved, or rather, pretty much the only thing he knew how to do (which he did it quite well). Not only did he change the music industry by popularizing genres and sounds that weren't that famous, he also set the foundations of the pop genre that musicians still follow. The fashion, the style, the visuals of his videos, the merging of sounds, the dancing, the commercialization of his image, all in all, the conscious creation of an icon that still prevails.
Throughout his almost two hundred songs, he shared his biography, milestones, and emotions, making him such an appealing character many could relate to. He was very vocal about several social issues and used his music as a platform to show his views. And even when he was no saint and had a lot of personal issues, he was undeniably a legend who knew how to reinterpret, reinvent, and rewrite himself through his lyrics. Here are just some lyrics from 20 of his songs that shed light into the world he created for himself.
“This Time Around” - HIStory: Past, Present, and Future, Book I (1995)
This time around I changed up my flow
Got rid of the rots got pits by the door
A real set of peoples to watch my back
Stay away from strangers so I won't slack.
“Off the Wall” - Off the Wall (1979)
Do what you want to do
There ain't no rules it's up to you (ain't no rules it's all up to you)
It's time to come alive
And party on right through the night (all right).
“Human Nature” - Thriller (1982)
Get me out, into the nighttime
Four walls won't hold me tonight
If this town is just an apple
Then let me take a bite.
“Black or White” - Dangerous (1991)
And I told about equality and it's true
Either you're wrong or you're right
But, if you're thinkin' about my baby
It don't matter if you're black or white.
“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” - Thriller (1982)
Lift your head up high and scream out to the world
"I know I am someone," and let the truth unfurl
No one can hurt you now because you know what's true
Yes, I believe in me, so do believe in you.
“Rock with You” - Off the Wall (1979)
Let that rhythm get into you
Don't try to fight it
There ain't nothin' that you can do
Relax your mind
Lay back and groove with mine
You got to feel that heat
And we can ride the boogie
Share that beat of love
“Give in to Me” - Dangerous (1991)
You won't be laughing girl when I'm not around
I'll be okay
And I'd, I'd never find
Better, a peace of mind, no.
“Scream” - HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995)
Peek in the shadow, come into the light
You tell me I'm wrong, then you better prove your right!
You're selling out souls but I care about mine
I've got to get stronger, and I won't give up the fight!
“She’s Out of My Life” - Off the Wall (1979)
So I've learned that love's not possession
And I've learned that love won't wait
Now I've learned that love needs expression
But I learned too late.
“Who Is It” - Dangerous (1991)
And it doesn't seem to matter
And it doesn't seem right
‘Cause the will has brought no fortune
Still I cry alone at night
Don't you judge of my composure
‘Cause I'm lying to myself.
“Unbreakable” - Invincible (2001)
You can't believe it, you can't conceive it
And you can't touch me, cause I'm untouchable
And I know you hate it, and you can't take it
You'll never break me, cause I'm unbreakable.
“Jam” - Dangerous (1991)
Confusions contradict the self, do we know right from wrong?
I just want you to recognize me in the temple
You can't hurt me, I've found peace within myself
Go with it, go with it.
“You Rock My World” - Invincible (2001)
In time I knew that love would bring
This happiness to me
I tried to keep my sanity
I waited patiently
Girl, you know it seems
My life is so complete.
“Ben” - Ben (1972)
Most people would turn you away
I do not listen to a word they say
They do not see you as I do
I wish they would try to.
“The Lady in My Life” - Thriller (1982)
Don’t need no fortune or fame
I just want you close to me (There’s no mystery)
No time for castles in space
Or living in make believe (Don’t you just see)
I’d trade it all for just a rainy day
As long as I know you’ll be there, girl
“Blood on the Dance Floor” - Blood on the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997)
To escape the world I've got to enjoy that simple dance
And it seemed that everything was on my side.
“Another Part of Me” - Bad (1989)
We're taking over
We have the truth
This is the mission
To see it through
Don't point your finger
This is our planet
You're one of us.
“She’s Out of my Life” - Off the Wall (1979)
So, I've learned that love's not possession
And I've learned that love won't wait
Now, I've learned that love needs expression
But, I've learned too late.
“Smile” - HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995)
Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
You'll get by
If you smile
With your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll find that life is still worthwhile.
“Man in the Mirror” - Bad (1989)
I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
As you can see, though he explored a variety of rhythms and subjects, he was always focused on exploring what it is to move on from our troubles and carry on. Perhaps what pushed him to stick with his career despite the problems and controversies was his resiliency, which always moved him to fight and keep going no matter how hard things got.
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