News: RAP ON THRILLER: "He Kinda Opened Doors For Us" -Juvenile

Monday, Dec 7, 2009 10:45AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

In light of the recent Thriller anniversary, SOHH spoke with rappers to get their take on Michael Jackson's history-making album and the performer's lasting legacy.

For Hot Boys' Juvenile, the late singer influenced the growth of black culture.

"You gotta know where the music industry was at when Michael Jackson came out with that album," Juvie told SOHH. "Nobody had an identity, R&B didn't have an identity, we didn't have a major, black star out there in any level who was willing to take those extra chances, to dress the way he wanted to, to dance and to do all the things he wanted to do on camera that he felt comfortable with. So he kinda opened the doors for us as far as expressing ourselves and as far as dress, you got people like OutKast dressing however they want on they videos and I don't think any of that would have been possible if it wasn't for cats like that." (SOHH)

According to DJ Webstar, Jackson's music was universal and attracted people of all ages.

"I was young but, it don't matter how old you are man," Webstar told SOHH, "I'm 22 years old, but you can be 22 years old but I got a little cousin five years-old that wasn't even around when Michael Jackson was still out and he knows Michael Jackson records, he's doing the dances to records and Thriller from the video so, Michael Jackson was the greatest entertainer of all time, wasn't that the all-time leading selling album of all time? I can't say anything about it. It just hurts when you lose somebody that inspired and meant so much to me as a musician." (SOHH)

Warren G cited Jackson as one of the greatest performers within the music industry.

"Man, Thriller, that was like incredible for hip-hop because I mean, this guy was just dancing and doing hip-hop moves and just showing he world that hip-hop is a great thing, it's not just about rapping stuff," Warren told SOHH. "We dance and do the up-rocks, we danced so he took parts of hip-hop and added that to the Thriller and the choreographer that did it was incredible for incorporating that hip-hop feel to it. But Thriller, that's a G.O.A.T. That's the G.O.A.T. right there, the greatest of all time and man, we gonna miss Michael J. I had a chance to work with him so he was a cool cat." (SOHH)

Rap veteran Rakim also felt MJ helped represent what an ideal entertainer should be.

"I grew up off Mike, man, being a young music lover," Rakim told SOHH. "The Thriller album, man, was like a prototype of what an entertainer is supposed to bring to the table. And we all know Mike was a real -- a big entertainer. So he always did it big. But the way he put it together and the vision that he had and the way he brought it to the videos, to me, it was like a prototype to how an entertainer could really bring a project to the table. Mike had a big impact on my life, you know what I mean? Coming up when I was small, there was no rap, it was just R&B. My family was musically orientated, I love music man and Mike was like, he was a teenager's star. He was a young kid star...The kid's had Michael Jackson. We had the Mike Jackson cartoons, I feel like he [was for] the kids, grown-ups loved his music too but we related to him." (SOHH)

Check out Juvenile speaking with SOHH about Michael Jackson's Thriller below:

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