I’ve got a tradition where, on my Friday morning commute to work, I run through a playlist of some of my favourite club bangers at a volume that makes my car’s windows vibrate and senior citizens cringe.
Look, there are a number of tracks that really get me going. J Kwon’s ‘Tipsy’ is right up there. LL Cool J’s ‘Headsprung’ makes me fool dance. I’ve got mad love for ‘Mo money, mo problems’, a song I’m able to rap along to from start to finish, which is attributable to me being a 90s kid from the Cape Flats. There’s room for some more recent offerings as well, like Kendrick Lamar’s ‘King Kunta’ and Fetty Wap’s ‘679’. The latter speaks to my rachet alter ego. I’m trying to control him.
However, the jams that rocks hardest and compete for the most play time are Beyoncé’s ‘Get me bodied’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘P.Y.T’ . They are my favourite pop artists of all time. Their music will live on forever.
I’m not obsessive about MJ in the manner so many of his disciples are, but I do have a great appreciation for the musical genius he was. He was a pioneer on a myriad of fronts and now stands as the greatest pop musician of all time. He will, however, have to share that status with Beyoncé.
She is as good as MJ was in his prime. Yes, I said it. I shocked myself by making that assertion in our cover story. When I was a teenager watching the ‘History’ tour on repeat, I would’ve laughed if someone said that future me would one day acknowledge that MJ would share his kingdom with another. Back then and until Beyoncé’s emergence, my view was that we’d never see MJ’s genius matched. Certainly not in my lifetime.
I was wrong. And how glad I am to be wrong. Beyoncé is a gift from music’s gods. Watching her on stage is like seeing MJ perform again. Their signature moves may differ but they are the same in the most critical areas – artistry, talent and a rare, undefinable and unique gift most call ‘x-factor’, yet that seems an inadequate description.
MJ was pop music’s king and Beyoncé is the second coming of the king.