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Thread started 03/17/18 1:11pm

HAPPYPERSON

Black and White: how Dangerous kicked off Michael Jackson's race paradox

As the King of Pop’s skin got lighter his music became more politicised, and 1991’s overlooked album encapsulated this radical moment in music

Joseph Vogel

Sat 17 Mar 2018 06.00 EDTLast modified on Sat 17 Mar 2018 12.07 EDT

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All the king’s men... Michael Jackson on the set of Black or White. Photograph: Sam Emerson/Polaris/Eyevine

https://www.theguardian.c...CMP=twt_gu

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Reply #1 posted 03/17/18 4:21pm

lool

What 1991 overlooked album? 'Dangerous'? 7,000,000 copies in the US alone!? GIRL, BYE!!! lol
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Reply #2 posted 03/17/18 7:13pm

Goddess4Real

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Thanks, interesting article thumbs up!

Keep Calm & Listen To Prince
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Reply #3 posted 03/17/18 7:37pm

728huey

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lool said:

What 1991 overlooked album? 'Dangerous'? 7,000,000 copies in the US alone!? GIRL, BYE!!! lol


It seems overlooked because of the success of Thriller and also because of Nirvana, 2Pac, and the whole grunge and gangsta rap scene which immediately followed its release. Michael Jackson was considered a pop artist trying to appeal to everybody while most of the grunge and gangsta rap artists clearly stated they were only appealing to a core group of fans, and those who didn't like them could f#%& off. Even Janet was considered to be more relevant during the 1990's than Michael was, even though Michael was still successful through the decade, as well as Prince and Madonna, though they had to share the spotlight with other artists.

typing
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Reply #4 posted 03/17/18 7:57pm

thedoorkeeper

After reading the article I felt the author meant overlooked as in underappreciated - that Dangerous is a better album then it is given credit for.
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Reply #5 posted 03/17/18 8:19pm

lool

Mike put the pop crown on himself. That was his choosing. Whatever "street cred" or relevancy he lacked in the age of hip-hop and grunge was what it was. Less successful than 'Thriller'? OK. Less cultural impact than the 'Thriller' era? Fine. But to say 'Dangerous' was "overlooked"... talk to the hand He was still all over the radio and video channels and the public and media and press were just as unhealthily obsessed with everything he did (and didn't do) as they ever were. And again...7x platinum in the US alone.
[Edited 3/19/18 11:21am]
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Reply #6 posted 03/17/18 8:38pm

purple05

728huey said:

lool said:

What 1991 overlooked album? 'Dangerous'? 7,000,000 copies in the US alone!? GIRL, BYE!!! lol


It seems overlooked because of the success of Thriller and also because of Nirvana, 2Pac, and the whole grunge and gangsta rap scene which immediately followed its release. Michael Jackson was considered a pop artist trying to appeal to everybody while most of the grunge and gangsta rap artists clearly stated they were only appealing to a core group of fans, and those who didn't like them could f#%& off. Even Janet was considered to be more relevant during the 1990's than Michael was, even though Michael was still successful through the decade, as well as Prince and Madonna, though they had to share the spotlight with other artists.

typing

It seems like the 90s were anti 80s and Prince, MJ and Madge suffered in the press but still did well worldwide
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Reply #7 posted 03/17/18 9:52pm

alphastreet

He was massive in Canada during Dangerous, so all this talk is foreign to me when I look at feedback on forums about the US audience.

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Reply #8 posted 03/18/18 7:18am

deebee

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"Some five years before Remember the Time's daring nugget of powerful representationalist activo-tainment had been crafted, Susanna Hoffs had made a similarly trenchant afrocentric statement when she enjoined the Western masses to 'Walk Like an Egyptian'. The neo-Garveyite lyric cleverly reverses the colonialist civilised-uncivilised paradigm, insisting that the Western pop listener rise to her feet in mimetic imitation of, and thus deference to, her Kemetic master. That Hoffs's group's name paid tribute to accessories enjoyed by the dusky ladies of the sub-Saharan regions made the statement all the more weighty, and came very close to getting Jesse Jackson elected in '88."

Hey, this is easy! Can I have a column in the Guardian now?


[Edited 3/18/18 7:34am]

"Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
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Reply #9 posted 03/18/18 9:01am

Cloudbuster

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Reply #10 posted 03/18/18 11:25am

RJOrion

good article...i always thought this was Michael Jackson's greatest album, and Teddy Riley's greatest music outside of Guy's 2nd LP, "The Future"...
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Reply #11 posted 03/18/18 10:20pm

Free2BMe

Cloudbuster said:



Great article.
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Reply #12 posted 03/18/18 10:34pm

purplethunder3
121

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Uh, Dangerous was not overlooked...

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #13 posted 03/20/18 8:41am

Doalwa

Damn, Mike just couldn’t win. He sold a gazillion copies of the Dangerous album and people call it an overlooked album?

Da Hell?
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Reply #14 posted 03/20/18 9:41am

Cinny

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The article isn't talking about the commercial success but the racial politics of Dangerous which go underappreciated. It is important to note he proudly proclaimed his blackness in his interview with Oprah Winfrey and chose a producer in Teddy Riley, as opposed to white people in the same role.

Michael Jackson was very inspired by Rhythm Nation 1814, but no one thinks of Dangerous the same way, politically speaking. But I remember the stir from the 'panther' portion of "Black Or White".

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Reply #15 posted 03/20/18 3:59pm

DonRants

Cinny said:

The article isn't talking about the commercial success but the racial politics of Dangerous which go underappreciated. It is important to note he proudly proclaimed his blackness in his interview with Oprah Winfrey and chose a producer in Teddy Riley, as opposed to white people in the same role.

Michael Jackson was very inspired by Rhythm Nation 1814, but no one thinks of Dangerous the same way, politically speaking. But I remember the stir from the 'panther' portion of "Black Or White".

I always thought Dangerous took the sounds of Rhytmn Nation heavier(Teddy Riley tracks) while making the politics lighter.
To All the Haters on the Internet
No more Candy 4 U
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Reply #16 posted 03/21/18 7:21am

thedoorkeeper

Well Dangerous was over shadowed by the allegations of MJ canoodling with little boys.
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Reply #17 posted 03/21/18 7:24am

purplethunder3
121

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thedoorkeeper said:

Well Dangerous was over shadowed by the allegations of MJ canoodling with little boys.

rolleyes

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #18 posted 03/21/18 7:25am

RJOrion

thedoorkeeper said:

Well Dangerous was over shadowed by the allegations of MJ canoodling with little boys.



thats exactly what happened
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Reply #19 posted 03/21/18 2:39pm

thedoorkeeper

Thanks 2 this thread I've been listening 2 Dangerous anew. Mostly struck by the differences in the production styles. Love the Teddy Riley songs. Haven't really formed an opinion of the non-Teddy Riley songs except do not like Heal The World. I'm amazed how little I listened to it when it first came out. Only really listened to maybe 4 tracks off the CD & ignored the rest. I was missing out on some good shit. Its really nice rediscovering it.
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Reply #20 posted 03/21/18 3:13pm

cindymay

I don't think Dangerous was overlooked. It was a huge album at the time even in the midst of the allegations against him. I always thought Michael wanted to create his own Rhythm Nation with this album.

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Reply #21 posted 03/21/18 3:37pm

purplethunder3
121

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cindymay said:

I don't think Dangerous was overlooked. It was a huge album at the time even in the midst of the allegations against him. I always thought Michael wanted to create his own Rhythm Nation with this album.

Quite frankly, I heard the Dangerous album everywhere back then...and wasn't aware of any allegations. Not that I was really paying attention to news items back then. Too busy with real life...

"If you're living, you've got nothing left to prove..."
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Reply #22 posted 03/21/18 8:35pm

lool

For those who weren't alive or of age at the time or don't remember or just want to rewrite history, the album and first single were released in November 1991. After almost 2 years of heavy promotion which included 8 singles that all went Top Ten (if not #1) somewhere in the world, the abuse allegations were made public in August 1993. #notoverlooked

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Reply #23 posted 03/26/18 3:38pm

214

A great album, to me better than Bad.

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Reply #24 posted 03/26/18 4:32pm

ThatWhiteDude

214 said:

A great album, to me better than Bad.

Definitely!

"Like books and BLACK LIVES, Albums still MATTER."
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Reply #25 posted 03/26/18 5:24pm

ReddBlitz

Dangerous, for me, comes in a close second behind OTW. It pretty much musically had that fresh vibe as like did the first time Quincy Jones and MJ first collaborated.
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Reply #26 posted 03/26/18 8:34pm

214

ThatWhiteDude said:

214 said:

A great album, to me better than Bad.

Definitely!

Although it coud have been a much better album had it included Someone Put, Do You Know and Monkey Business.

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Reply #27 posted 03/26/18 10:56pm

LightOfArt

His greatest album nod

It's a flawless spin. I never skip a track on it. And I love the duality of the album. 1st side being NJS and the second side more classic MJ then bring it full circle with the the title track at the end.

Also it's probably his most diverse album with elements of NJW, Pop, Rock, RNB, HipHop, Gospel and Classical and still manages to sound cohesive. And it's also his greatest album artwork.

I can rave about this album forever. It's probably my favorite record by anyone

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Reply #28 posted 03/27/18 2:39pm

214

I didn't like that much the article, it's good but there's not much about the album itself, more like the context surrounding it.

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Reply #29 posted 03/28/18 11:19am

Cinny

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RJOrion said:

thedoorkeeper said:
Well Dangerous was over shadowed by the allegations of MJ canoodling with little boys.
thats exactly what happened


It definitely overlapped with the end of the Dangerous era and not a downtime. I think it turned people off of heaping praise on it even during decade-end best-of lists.

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