News: RAP ON THRILLER: "Michael Jackson Inspired The Whole Nation" -AZ

Friday, Dec 11, 2009 10:40AM

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.

New York rapper AZ saw Jackson as one of the music industry's leading trend setters.

"I mean, man, Mike is one of the originators," AZ told SOHH. "From The Jackson 5, he inspired the whole nation to wanna follow suit. You know what I mean? So I definitely love Mike for that and for being one of the representations for black minority music so you already know that's an all-time classic. So I mean, everybody went and picked the video game up, look at the whole music industry and music videos, and he helped us all get to the next level." (SOHH)

No Limit Records founder Master P said Jackson helped mold his rap career.

"The thing about Michael Jackson, man, he was the greatest of all-time," P told SOHH. "He had a big impact on my life. I was able to get my record deal because of looking at the deal he had -- he had a 22 percent record deal which was the highest deal at the time. Most people had 7, 8 even 12 percent but that was unheard of...That's how I got my deal and I really have to give my whole career to Michael Jackson, to understand the game. And also a lot of the things he did, he wanted to give back and help the kids...Michael Jackson was a person that always wanted to help people." (SOHH)

For Lil Scrappy, Jackson's non-stop work ethic inspired him to continue working harder.

"Let me tell you about Michael Jackson, when I was little, I used to dance cuz," Scrappy told SOHH. "Michael Jackson started me off. [laughs] I used to crank it up off of Michael Jackson. But just to look at his history and work ethic, that really enthuses me about Mike. That's how it helped me in my career, just to be like, wow, to even do things up to 50 [years-old]. It's a grind, it's a hustle. It's a grustle, the whole game is a grustle, you feel me? And he let you know, that man had to do that junk since he was a baby and I started when I was like 16, 17. That means I got some time." (SOHH)

Rick Ross also spoke with SOHH about the iconic album.

"You know, I named Trilla after Thriller," Ross told SOHH. "I feel like one of the best things about Michael Jackson is he crossed color lines. I think that was big for a black musician, to really open up the doors. You know, when you're making music, you're making music for the masses, not just one specific person or people or genre, you really making music to move people. But I think that's what Michael Jackson did and the greatest performer ever, man." (SOHH)

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