Friday, June 25, 2010

Why does there have to be a next King of Pop?

In case you've been under a rock you know that Micheal Jackson aka The King of Pop passed away a year ago today. I saw an article on CNN a few days ago talking about how the legacy he left behind still lives on in current artists in the form of how he influenced them (I wish I had kept the link but I can't find it again).

Well a short time after that while at work I went to the building across the street and was talking to one of the tellers and we were talking about Usher and he said how people are saying that he could one day be the next Micheal Jackson. I find that hard to believe.

Now don't get me wrong I think Usher has done some cool stuff (I especially like the West Side Story/Clockwork Orange/You Got Served vibe of My Way and the beat he used on You Don't Have To Call was the hotness) but just don't think he can take the throne. And I have one simple reason for this.

While Usher is hot (and not bad looking) most of what he is doing was heavily influenced by Jackson. Unless Usher can truly innovate in the realm of pop music in such a way that he can take it to an entirely new level, hell not just a new level but create a new game like Micheal did, I don't think he will be worthy of the title.

When Michael went solo and really broke out in the 80s he brought something to pop music that just was not there before. His dance moves. His sound. And Thriller. Say what you want about the man outside of music but there aren't many who have brought so much to the genre of pop.

To compare we aren't just talking about how Jay-Z dominated the rap game for a long time here. We are talking like something like what Elvis and Chuck Berry did for the early days of rock. We're talking something like how Aerosmith and Run DMC did the first major rock/rap collaboration. We aren't talking about driving over established ground in a nice car I'm talking breaking new ground here.

In order for Usher to really become the next King of Pop he will have to bring something new, major, big, and most importantly long lasting to the game.

The trick is that even if Michael had not come before him this would still be difficult simply because of the fact that others have come before him. Its hard to innovate when you are in an arena that has been occupied with so many people. However if he manages to pull it off this fact will make him even greater for being able to bring something new after all this time.

But when you get down to it if Usher were to do it should he just be called The New King of Pop? That really sounds like he is just living in Jackson's shadow. And while that might be an great shadow to live under who wants to be under a shadow when they could be in the light?