Michael Jackson was a worldwide phenomenon, and like so many others, up-and-coming MC Drake, who signed with Lil Wayne’s Young Money label last week, was enthralled with the King of Pop as a youngster.
“[Seeing] Michael Jackson, for me, was one of the first times that I really [felt] the power of an entertainer,” he said. “I remember having ‘Moonwalker’ — I remember having that on [VHS] cassette and I remember how religiously I used to watch it. I used to feel like, as a kid, it was the most amazing place for me to escape to, because it was this world that Michael created. He was the first artist that I ever experienced that really … you’d get lost in Michael Jackson, in his music, the imagery. Now that I’m older I can look back and be like, ‘Wow.’ You know, he was one of the most consistent entertainers of all time. For me, I remember just how much I used to watch that movie and study it.”
Drake said he knew every move and loved the animation in the film. The multi-talented performer also took time to reflect on what the Jackson death means to the world.
“It’s a big loss,” he said. “I think he gave a lot to the world, though, so everyone is going to be sad about it. But I think Mike did something that will never be done again, so you can’t be that sad about it, you go to celebrate him.”
In the wake of Jackson’s death, some media outlets said that the King of Pop lost some of his black fans over the years, due to his frequent plastic surgery, among other reasons. Like the Reverend Al Sharpton, Drake disagreed with those claims.
“I think you either appreciate Michael Jackson or you don’t,” Drake said. “I don’t think it matters about him changing himself. I don’t think black people have resentment towards him for what he did to himself. Those were all personal decisions, you know. And nobody knows what that man was going through to make him want to look like that or change himself. I know there’s things about me that I want to change, just because they make me self-conscious. That’s why I get up and I’m pressed to go to the gym because I look at the TV and I see all these dudes with their shirts off, and it makes me self-conscious. It’s not to the point where I would do anything crazy, but then again, you can’t speak for somebody else. I think you either appreciate him and what he did and what he gave us or you don’t.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say that as a race we hold it against him,” Drake continued. “I think that there’s only so much you can expect from the media, and that’s something I’m learning too, on a smaller scale. But on a personal level, there’s outlets with integrity that actually work for the artists and there’s one’s that try to take you apart. The key to it is not paying attention — but when you get to a Michael Jackson level, it’s kinda hard to not pay attention.”