Jermaine Jackson ‘Not Happy’ With New MJ Album

Let’s file this under #AintNobodyAskedYou section, Mr. JackSUN!

Black America Web

Fans may be happy to have new music from Michael Jackson, but the King of Pop’s brother Jermaine is anything but.

In a recent interview, the singer, who is gearing up for a reunion tour with his brothers, expressed his unhappiness with Michael’s latest posthumous album “Xscape” as well as his excitement with going on the road with his brothers and entering a new phase with his bottled water business.

TR: What most excites you about this tour?

Jermaine Jackson: What excites me about the tour is that we have the chance to play the music—the feel-good music—and see the people react to it. It’s a great feeling, and it makes us want to give more. It’s also healing for us because of the passing of my brother.

TR: What motivated you to become involved with Vitá Water and use part of its proceeds to provide clean water?


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#ThrowbackThursday #TBT – Top 30 Things You Should Know About This Blogger

So I realized something about this amazing blog and equally extraordinary audience – if you are new to my blog, you probably don’t a great deal about me. And I further realized that my life has been a testimony to chapters of extraordinarily interesting and fascinating life experiences (yes, I just got a little wordy but it’s for a point). Here is an ironic list numbering 30 items that offer some more insight into who I am as a person, more than just an educator.

#30:I love Christmas music during the holidays!

#29:I love Eggnog! No one in my fam likes it but I get it every year! Then I know it’s Xmas!
#28:I have a special reverence for The Nutcracker – I was a toy soldier and rat (not in the same production) in my dance school’s production when I was a kid. Yes, I was a ballet dancer and I still miss it!

#27: When I got into DC, a strange feeling comes over. I feel this sense of pride and awe being in the region where major decisions in our country are made. And I am THAT CLOSE to meeting the Obamas! Hey, it could happen!

#26: I am so proud of my younger brother! He is my rock (even if he doesn’t know it and gets on my nerves sometimes)!

#25: I hate the smell of chitterlings! When I was younger, my parents would love to cook it on the stove and the entire house had its disgusting smell. To this day, I will never eat a bite of it!

#24: I learned how to type so fast from the Mavis Beacon computer program. When I graduated from middle school, my dad put me on this schedule to work on the program every day, almost all summer. To this day, I rarely have to look down at the keys (really just for the numbers because I don’t use them as much as letters).

#23: I used to be really jealous of my brother when we were little. When he was a toddler and my mom was filming him with the video camera, when she wasn’t looking, I would knock him down softly. LOL! But eventually, I got over it.

Me and My Bro

#22: In middle school, I used to like this boy but he wouldn’t be honest if he liked me or some other girl. He called me up at home and I got so tired of his crap that I played the chorus in Janet Jackson’s song “If” and hung up the phone. Look it up, kiddies. Boy, did I have some guts as a kid!

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#21: My cousin let me ride with him on his motorcycle when I was a teenager. We went REALLY fast! It was so much fun but my mom was so afraid for me. I couldn’t stop laughing!

#20: My mother has an obsession for all things Ralph Lauren, especially when she was pregnant with me. She named me after her favorite designer and perfume.

#19: I am the oldest sibling in my immediate family. My younger brother was my roommate.

#18: Initially, I attended college in hopes of being a doctor. I took an internship in HS with an orthopedic surgeon and fell in love with the practice. But once I started taking the required math and science courses (and started failing those classes even with all help in the world), I quickly switched to English.

#17: I worked in the Human Resources Department in the University Library when I was a sophomore at UF. I learned a great deal about the inner workings of payroll (like library staff gets really agitated when their checks aren’t correct).

#16: No, I have never been married (and I have no kids) but I would like to be someday.

#15: For a school trip in HS, I went to Europe. The class and I went to Italy (Venice and Verona), Germany and Switzerland. Talk about a great Spring Break!

#14: I am a chronic bibliophile. I’ve read Think Like A Man, Act Like A Lady by Steve Harvey, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, My Story by Marilyn Monroe, and so much more. Currently, I am reading the memoir The Legs Are The First To Go by the fabulous Diahann Carroll and I plan on getting the Wendy Williams book collection (last year’s Ask Wendy, Hold Me In Contempt). I also Grimm’s Fairy Tales (you got to know the classics, right?), a lot of Oscar Wilde, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, and W.E.B. DuBois on my E-reader application on my laptop!

#13: I love Spoken Word Poetry. I have two locations in Miami that I used to when work wasn’t too hectic. I have yet to find a new place in the DMV area. Any suggestions?

#12: If I had to choose a TV character that was the most like me, I would say either Brenda Lee Johnson from TNT’s The Closer or Kate Reed from USA’s Fairly Legal. Their mix of strength and vulnerability is something I can DEFINITELY identify with.

#11: I met Hill Harper at Yale where he held a luncheon for young people for his book Letters to a Young Brother. He is incredibly nice and well-spoken. My HS students were trying to hook me up with him. How embarrassing (but he did call me “exquisite”)! Not bad for a HS teacher!

#10: I am a closet romantic. I hate to say it but it’s true. I love listening to my fave love songs (mostly from MJJ) to go to sleep to.

#9: I buy at least two new fashion/celebrity gossip magazines every other Friday. I am also a loyal follower of The Young, Black, and Fabulous celebrity blog since 2003 and Wendy Williams since 2005. A lady has to stay current on ALL kinds of news!

#8: I secretly want to be a DJ. I actually tried it out at a friend’s party and I was terrible (but I loved every minute of it!). I have this secret talent of creating the most amazing mixed tapes/playlists for every mood. My iPad and smartphone are full of them. I have been experimenting with the iPad app DJay and already made some mixes with my iTunes music. And I even got to try it out in real life at Scratch DJ Academy in Miami. Thanks, Jamie and Amaris!

#7: My parents raised my brother and me to appreciate the rich history of African-American music and film. We listened to all the Motown greats (The Temptations, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Jackson 5/The Jacksons), Sam Cooke, James Brown, 70’s and 80’s Soul/R&B singers (Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Emotions, The Pointer Sisters, Phyllis Hyman, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Freddie Jackson, The Commodores, Lionel Ritchie, Donny Hathaway), and 90’s R&B (Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Janet Jackson, Anita Baker, Vanessa Williams, Tevin Campbell, Boyz II Men, Usher, TLC, En Vogue). I tend to gravitate to those greats and compare everyone else on the music scene to them – sorry, new artists!

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#6: I was not popular in HS. I was/still am really tall (almost as tall as the teacher), a tomboy (I played volleyball and preferred jeans and Chapstick to dresses and lipstick to wear to class), was a novice writer (I wrote a vampire novel for fun and it became a Freshman sensation) and liked to listening to SKA and rock music (long live, No Doubt, Prince, and Lenny Kravitz!).

#5: After not having an “exit strategy” for graduating college, my parents moved me to CT in hopes that I would go to grad school at Yale. Yale didn’t work out (I worked full-time in a bookstore and in retail for a year instead) but Columbia eventually did. Not bad for a runner-up.

#4: I lived in NYC for two years. While at Columbia, I stayed in Harlem with my great uncle. It was wonderful and I miss it terribly.

#3: I saw the musical The Color Purple two times: once on my own dime in NYC and once when my parents came to NYC. As far as the rest of my family goes, I have become an adopted New Yorker.

#2: As a result of #4, I am a huge fan of Sex and the City. Yes, I have seen the entire set of the series and yes, I own the movie (and I have seen it multiple times). Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed with its sequel – Carrie, you married the love of your life! Work stuff out TOGETHER! You don’t need to go OUTSIDE your marriage to feel complete in your marriage! I’m just sayin’.

#1: I have fallen love in with New Orleans three years ago at a conference and hopefully, I will be able to spend my summer there for the Essence Festival that can beef up my resume.











#FlashbackFriday This Is It – Really?! The Mythology and Genius of Michael Jackson














I’ve always wanted to be able to tell stories, you know, stories that came from my soul.  I’d like to sit by a fire and tell people stories—make them see pictures, make them cry and laugh,take them anywhere emotionally with something as deceptively simple as words.

– Michael J. Jackson from his autobiography Moonwalk

As I was organizing my albums (you remember those, right?) and DVDs (which are becoming more of entertainment for travel on my laptop than for routine use at home and office) this weekend, I began to go through my collection of music and music videos of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. This made me reflect on my musical education I had received from these Gary, Indiana natives that revolutionized the landscape of popular music forever.

While I was not present on Earth to have seen the Jackson 5 in their heyday in the 70s, my parents did in their youth and made it a practice to play the group’s music at home for my brother and me in heavy rotation when we were little. Listening to such trademark classics as “Rockin’ Robin, ” “The Love You Save,” “I’ll Be There,” “Sugar Daddy,” “Ben,” “ABC,” and “Dancing Machine” showcased catchy pop hooks, insightful lyrics, colorful harmonies and of course, the vocal delivery of the youngest Jackson who would grow up to be the King of Pop.

Even as a kid, Michael Jackson carried this kind of knowledge of storytelling in the songs that he sang with the Jackson 5. What did a 12-year-old know about heart-breaking regret in losing the woman he loved, wondering “Who’s Loving You” now? What did a child know about being conflicted in ending a relationship in “Never Can Say Goodbye”? What did a preteen know about being a “Sugar Daddy”? He was wise beyond his years, a quality I can definitely identify with.

This knowledge made the music come alive with feeling and authentic emotion, making the listener feel like little Michael was singing right to him/her. No wonder the female fans went crazy at the concerts, chasing the guys everywhere they went!

It’s important for artists always to maintain control of their lives and work. There’s been a big problem in the past with artists being taken advantage of. I’ve learned that a person can prevent that from happening by standing up for what he or she believes is right, without concern for the consequences.

– Michael J. Jackson in Moonwalk

But just as Diana Ross and Lionel Richie could not have become the meteoric superstars that they are without The Supremes and The Commodores, Michael Jackson was groomed to be a star through Motown’s Jackson 5.

As I listen to the later music of the Jackson 5 who was transitioning to being the Jacksons on Epic Records where the brothers had more creative control over their music, Michael’s vocal arrangement became more advanced in songs like “Can You Feel It” “Get It Together,” “Blame It On The Boogie,” “Enjoy Yourself” “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” and “Dancing Machine.”

There you can begin to hear the signature ad-libs and vocal styling that made Michael famous on the albums Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad and beyond.

In his solo albums, you can hear his determined individuality in the arrangements he created, the producing mentorship from the SELFLESS musical genius Quincy Jones, the instrumentals he demanded, and the self-created vocal percussion he added to the tracks. He wasn’t the little kid being told what to do and sing; he was the polished and professional man who made his own decisions on the music he made. You have to admire that internal fortitude!

Michael Jackson set the bar in music, musical entertainment, choreography, musical film, the power of God, love, and true philanthropy for every musical artist and human being for generations to come.

I know that I have to carry the banners of God’s love and philanthropy that Mr. Jackson so eloquently addressed in songs like “Heal The World,” “On The Line,” “One More Chance,” “Another Part of Me,” “This Is It,” “We Are Here To Change The World,” “Fall Again,” “Man In The Mirror,” “We Are The World,” and “Earth Song.” I have been truly blessed to have my life enriched by his works and influence.

To me, every time I hear one of his songs, I am reminded that his spirit is resides there and in the world I live. I also remember having the blessed opportunities to see him perform that magic live on the Victory Tour (I was three so I watch the show for archives on YouTube) and Bad Tour a few years ago.

Love lasts forever.