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Michael Jackson, Prince & Spiderman: Realities of Being A Rockstar In The Real World

Updated: Mar 17

Sometimes my life feels like Forrest Gump because of how I keep ending up in surreal situations with no plan whatsoever, failing upwards and accomplishing more than my wildest dreams. My influence is so huge I can't talk about it without coming off like a crazy person if you're not tapped in but I swear i have something to do with a lot of things everyone likes and its been like that for a minute Hedi Slimane.

As I sit here, going back and forth with my idols and getting direct messages from my heroes telling me they love my work, I had the revelation that I'm really a rockstar right now. I was in the club with my shades on and it dawned on me. I don't say it as an ego trip like some jaded Kindergarten teacher, I mean it in the literal 25 year old professional musician, growing out my dreads, living the rockstar life I dreamt about everyday kind of way.

My name is Allo which is as African a name as you can have, & I'm from a Muslim, Ethiopian, Afar background, and I grew up around Africa, the Middle East and Toronto, with the influence of American culture, I've dreamt of being a Rockstar my whole life, and a lot of it has been trying to make all these pieces fit into this very complicated puzzle.

How do you combine coming from these cultures of varying magnitudes from conservative to wildly liberal, and having all these experiences of places and people, while having these ambitions in this world? I grew up on Cashmoney, YMCMB, M.IA. Kendrick Lamar, & trying to dress like Lil Wayne & 50 Cent, but I'm also from an ancient culture of pastoralist nomadic warrior people, and I have to live with those realities everyday. I haven't really seen it be done in my way specifically before outside of people in my generation but that's something diaspora communities around the world are facing.

We're all forced to weave in these varying cultural perspectives into this landscape which becomes a struggle of trying to find ones identity, maintain it, expand it and destroy archaic notions and expectations of it that come from social and cultural baggage, as opposed to denying your experience to fit into some category in someone's mind. Trying to navigate being an artist, and ultimately an individual in the "real world" is a task.

I've grown up in metropolitan cities my whole life, talking to strangers and sneaking into places I had no business being in just to talk to people, it's how I met Hulk Hogan & Michael J Fox. I've had so much crazy shit happen to me in my life I sound like Peter Griffin doing a cutaway gag whenever I tell a story. I literally know all kinds of people from all walks of life. I know people from everywhere that have been everywhere & done everything.

Due to social media we all live with this overarching awareness that we're always literally one of billions of people, I've grown up taking the train with a million people, I went to public schools, colleges, universities & a wide spectrum of workplaces and I never really felt like an outsider anywhere, I don't think I physically stood out in any particular way anywhere I went. I'm a good looking, charming, talented, & smart, money getting young man but aside from being conceited, there was really nothing too wild about my appearance growing up.

I've always considered myself a man of the people. I pride myself on being able to be in any environment, I do graffiti in alleys, I'm in art galleries, libraries, museums, clubs, mosques, churches, temples, houses, apartments, projects, factories, fashion shows, improv shows, wrestling shows, offices, restaurants, raves, vogue offs, rap, jazz, classical, & opera concerts, plays, in dive bars watching bands, in ubers discussing intelligent dolphins with Russian drivers, or discussing God with Afghan hot dog cart owners after the club, but if I go to certain places at certain hours and its not some really progressive crowd, I start to notice how different I look from everyone, and once you fully become an artist it really does change you whether you wanna admit it or not, it's like anything else.

Someone becomes a lawyer and you'll see them in a suit talking about laws, I have dreads to my shoulders, headphones, baggy tuxedo pants and a bright red crooks and castles jersey when I'm getting a Reese's pieces cake on a Tuesday at 7 pm from the local grocery store because that's my uniform, and when I see the old ladies and the cashiers stare at me, I can't help but think how different I look.

I grew up seeing Israelites outside of malls in purple suits, guys who dressed like Batman full time, goth girls with half their heads shaved, emo punks, alt kids, cosplayers, pro wrestlers, crackheads, all kinds of weird shit happens in my city, so I never really felt too weird whenever I experimented with anything growing up, but I went to my local mall recently for the first time in ages because I wanted to get this smurf gummy you can only get from this one store, and when I looked at the moms and dads with their kids, and I saw all the people in long lines buying stuff, I thought about my own family and relatives, & I couldn't help but think of how far removed their perspectives can be from mine and the perspective I live on a daily basis.

Being a rockstar is a look, it's a state of mind, it's an identity. It means a lot of things to me, it represents freedom, independence, rebellion, counterculture, positivity, love, truth, talent, justice, undeniable greatness, remaining unboxable and uncategorizable, it's a way of life for me.

Nobody teaches you how to be a rockstar, there's no classes, in the words of 50 Cent, you just pick it up as you go. You decide to embark on this journey for whatever reason & pursuing literally any artform as a career choice in the world has historically been a tumultuous path, to say the least. You can literally end up as either Jesus Christ or Hitler based on how your creative journey goes.

Rockstar is my identity, it's how I see the world, its what I think about, its what I talk about, its who I hang around, its what I read about, its what I do, its what I'm pursuing, its how I structure my life, its who my heroes are. I love Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix. Sometimes its hard to fully embody it in a "normal society" especially with my background, because most people really aren't on that, & I'm aware that I'm culturally an anomaly, but its my truth.

I'm a very disciplined & prolific artist and have been since I was a teenager. I have hundreds of songs, hundreds of beats, hundreds of paintings, more graffiti, hundreds of short films, hundreds of essays and screenplays, I've influenced & inspired people around the world that I'll never get to meet, I've influenced & inspired people I've idolized, I've accomplished more than I could have ever imagined, and there's still a lot more that I want to accomplish.

Making art takes a lot of emotion, playfulness, lightheartedness, thinking and intensity that I probably carry into everything else I do in life. My mind is constantly traveling between life, myth, history, art, internet, spirit, space, theory and reality, and I'm allowed to be this anti authority counter culture person that inspires people because that's my job, but when I'm around people that aren't in that cycle, I'm reminded how wild that really is.

Like everyone else, I always wanted to be spiderman growing up. Spiderman is my favourite superhero for so many reasons. As a creative kid I always related to Peter Parker, I saw myself in the character and I lived vicariously through him. I had every action figure, every foam web device, every video game he’s even partially included in, I watched every spiderman animated series and went on YouTube to catch the ones I missed, I grew up loving the Tobey Maguire spiderman movies, Andrew Garfield's spiderman, I loved Tom Hollands Spiderman so much it lets me forgive him for dating Zendaya. Spiderman is the goat in every incarnation because there’s something so relatable about him.

I’ve always felt like spiderman, like I have these superpowers that I need to be responsible with, and that it’s not just about money and fame it's about stopping the bad guys, being a good guy, being a smart scientist, making cool outfits, photography, being hilarious, and soaring through the skyline. As an artist I’ve quite literally carried all of these ideas into adulthood, and that's really what being a rockstar means to me.

When I was 19 Spiderman into the spiderverse dropped and I can't even articulate the vibes of being a black teen when Into the Spider-Verse dropped, you had to be there and be that to feel the exaggerated swagger of a black teen. All jokes aside though that movie was a big part in making me continue going towards my dreams because I watched it at a time when I needed it.

That's also how I felt last year watching Across the Spiderverse. People say representation matters but you don’t really understand it till you’re seeing your story being told on screen with you as your favourite superhero. The older I get the more I see how Spiderman is really an allegory for being an artist.

Peter Parker was a journalist, Miles Morales does graffiti and sketches in his bedroom, they're technically nerds but when they put on the costume they becomes their real self & they become this larger than life character and that's honestly what it feels like to be an artist.

Being Spiderman isn't easy, you don't get to see your friends & family that often, some people think you're up to no good even when you're trying to save the world, some people are really grateful for what you do & they'll even tell you sometimes but you never really see them because you're busy fighting bad guys.

You're always running off to do missions, there's no one to train you so you just have to figure it out by yourself, your real job hates spiderman and being spiderman doesn't pay anything, you have a hard time making rent sometimes, you're way braver with the costume on than with it off, but you do have these super powers, you do get to soar through the skyline and do cool stuff with the avengers, and you do have this responsibility, not just for yourself but for the kids & people that look up to you, and you also have to fully appreciate the journey because its a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll or be a superhero.

We had to see Peter learn how to hone his skills, he started with the bad costume and fighting macho man randy savage for money, he fought flash in the lunch room, he had to learn how to use his powers responsibly, he had to redesign the costume, he had to go from high school to university to the real world and continue being spiderman through all that time, through love and loss, and that's what the journey is about man, how do you balance being a superhero rockstar within the normal world, a world hell bent on your destruction despite your underlying awareness that it desperately needs you.

In certain ways I take life way less seriously than anyone I ever met, in certain ways I love humanity and want to save the world more than anyone I know, I feel like I have more fun than anyone I know, but in certain ways I'm way more serious, dedicated and disciplined than anyone I ever met, in certain ways I'm way more sensitive about stuff than most people, in certain ways I do not care about anything at all, I love my family and friends, I care about truth, God, beauty, myself, Women, money, greatness, philosophy, nature, art, & freedom, I'm expressive all of the time, I'm prolific & I'm either pretentious or a genius, but I'm definitely a rockstar, and I know I have to embody it, at times as stereotypically as possible, because deep down I know the world needs it, it's also my childhood dream that I'm getting the opportunity to live out.

I'm only gonna be the 25 year old rockstar once and I'd be really upset if Basquiat, Hendrix & Cobain weren't living it to the fullest when they had the ball, and I hope it doesn't sound like I'm condoning drug use or anything like that, I'm just talking about the lifestyle and the whole not giving a fuck & creating greatness thing. From the clothes, to the opinions, the quality of work, the attitude. If you're gonna go in you better go all the way in and be the superhero. James Dean had to be James Dean when he was James Dean.

Nobody in society thinks being an artist is a "smart idea" when you're starting out but nobody becomes a rockstar with a conservative mindset, we know its a big gamble but that's kind of the point. James Dean wasn't James Dean because he was fiscally responsible, part of being a rockstar is not giving a fuck and revving the engine. Its burning bright so the world can have some light in it.

Nobody's parents want them to be rockstars, society doesn't think it's a good idea, everyone in the world tries to tell you that you will never make it, I personally knew I was viewed as crazy as a 17 year old dreaming of becoming who I am today and living the life I get to live, but I also knew I was willing to deal with everything that comes with it.

I sat there as a teenage insurance salesman in a call center looking at what my future could be & I knew I would regret it for life if I didn't chase my dreams.

We only have one life to live as far as we're aware, like Eminem said, you only get one shot do not miss your chance to blow, and I decided to do what I want with it, and it's not always easy but it really is the dream.

What I learned is that there's a difference between dreaming of something and actually living it.

We can romanticize or fear certain situations before we're in them, and we might even fondly reflect on them afterwards, but you never really know how you'll react to a situation till you're really in it, & when you're really in the thick of it. In the words of Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face.

Bob Marley, Basquiat, all these people are heroes now with movies coming out, I saw old white people at the movie theatre buying tickets, eating popcorn & enjoying the Bob Marley movie earlier this week, they pay billions of dollars to possess these artists works, but these guys were rebels in their homes, in their communities, in their societies, in their world, in their time, they would be refused service at certain places even if they had money simply because of how they looked, but they had a conviction and a level of self confidence that you really need to have if you're not going to let people's opinion deter you from being who you know you are.

You have to decide who you are and be that, because ultimately you kind of had to believe there's something wrong with the everyday perspective of life, and that's what led you to embracing this countercultural lifestyle, and the mainstream is powerful, it can pull you into its current and make you question your stream, but if you're the real deal Holyfield Rockstar then you just live it out and deal with the consequences.

Being a creative is like sports, power, prestige, influence, ego, it comes with all of these incredible rewards & opportunities, situations you never dreamed of, conversations you wished for, attention from people who wouldn't look at you before, feelings and all of this baggage that you're not sure how to deal with.

You also have to deal with how society treats you after you become this thing, and the kind of person you become. You hear stories all the time of fighters leaving the ring and still being active in that mentality afterwards and that's really what it's like. Sometimes you turn on the Mike Tyson switch in your brain for training and to get in the ring and you can't stop being Mike Tyson once you leave the ring, and now you have to deal with that energy.

Athletes have coaches, & ramifications if they go too far, if you're partying too hard or too emotional as a fighter it reflects in your work & you start losing, being an athlete takes a level of discipline that artistry doesn't necessarily have to take all the time even if it does in a way, we've all heard of the athletes that lost everything because they partied too hard, artists get cooler the more they burn out, and then if you really don't slow down you turn into Cobain, Hendrix, Amy & Basquiat & you're even more of a legend. All of these artists were incredibly prolific but it was also at the expense of everything. Its like being Spiderman, you have to learn how to navigate & manage it.

The story of Michael Jackson & Prince Roger Nelson is one of a rivalry for the ages & is the perfect representation of this superhero rockstar story, and a teachable moment for all of us about the reality of this quest.

This is the tale of two child prodigies who pushed each other to their absolute creative & human limits, elevated the consciousness of the entire planet, outsmarted some of the most powerful entities in the world, became some of the most famous humans who ever lived & changed the status quo while doing so.

Mike and Prince were objectively the coolest kids in the world. Every once in a while the stars line up to create a moment so exhilarating that it changes the fabric of being. What is cool? Cool is cross cultural, every culture has its own version, it's a transcendent status symbol that comes from a specific perspective, a real & wide ranging social & cultural understanding, beyond class, & creed, & a confidence that if applied correctly can save the world. 

Sometimes I wish Michael and Prince had worked together, but once you look at their relationship you can see how they inspired each other to reach the heights they reached.

From a final creative product standpoint I don’t think anyone on Earth will be able to match the levels of perfection Michael was able to achieve in his final products with Quincy Jones and their teams, but as an artist I think Prince is the most talented human of the last century & I relate more to his life, work ethic, approach to life & creativity in general, and there’s no denying his catalogue, even if its not as popular as Michaels, the more I delve into it the more in awe I become of his genius. 

MJ & Prince were both born in the United States in the year 1958 in Gary, Indiana, & Minneapolis, Minnesota respectively, under extremely unique circumstances, both personally and historically. 

Everyone, including Prince, grew up on Michael Jackson. Michael made everyone believe in magic, he made the impossible feel possible. 

I love Michael Jackson. I think that's one of the best guys that ever lived & that this great man's name has been tarnished beyond belief by money hungry people, the same money hungry people Mike had around him his entire life that led to his death.

This little kid from Gary Indiana became one of the greatest humans who ever lived, from music, film, dancing, visual art, fashion, business, philanthropy, humanitarianism, charity, Michael was really a superhero, he was one of those ancient Warrior Musician archetypes, he outsmarted a world that used, abused and exploited him from the day he was born. 

Michael Jackson was child prodigy who was pimped from his 5th birthday till his 50th birthday, he ended up outsmarting the machine that held him captive and was ultimately killed by that same machine.

Once you’re deep enough into Michaels lore and life, a life that was so public the man couldn’t have a private life if he dreamed of it, you start to see exactly how everything that happened in Mikes life could have happened to him and how he was truly trying to be an angel, no human is perfect but I have no doubt in my heart and mind that Michael Jackson had the best intentions for humanity his entire life.

From business, to philanthropy, to charity, to messaging in his music, Mike wanted to truly heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race, even though he had been born into the prison of his talent, his race, his society, his family, his culture, entertainment, & capitalism. There was really no going back for him so he decided to make the most of it.

There are no artists like Michael who did what he did at his level and I don’t think there will ever be. I think Mike truly believed that he had a gift from God and that he had to use his place in the world to help others in every way he could, and it shows from the messaging in his music to his philanthropy.

Music wasn’t Michaels dream, it was his gift, his dream was his kids, world peace, magic, & beauty, the worlds he built on his stage, his sanctuary, his giving tree, his music videos, neverland ranch, the orphanages and hospitals he’d build and visit, .

The music business was Joe Jacksons dream. Joe was a steel worker that had a band with the older kids and it was going nowhere till baby Michael turned 4 and his mom heard him singing in the bedroom. Joe instantly saw the natural talent in his son and he disciplined him to refine it for the family’s economic prosperity.

Michael was born during the height of the civil rights movement, the levels of racism his family lived in were quite literally of historic proportions and Michael still willed himself to the top of his field. 

Joe Jackson prepared his kids for entertainment perfection and Michael along with his brothers danced onto the screen and into the hearts of the world on the Ed Sullivan show in 1969, this gifted 8 year old showman with the mannerisms of a 40 year old man.

Michael was the leader of his band as a 5 year old, he was meeting entertainers, emperors and presidents as an 8 year old who would constantly tell him about his greatness.

By the time Michael became 13 people started looking at him sideways, they were calling him washed up and wished he was still that 5 year old circus act. It was thought the Jackson’s were a nostalgia act by the time Michael was a pre teen. That lit a fire in this prodigy.

Michael didn’t just want to be the best singer, he didn’t just want to be the best dancer, he didn’t just want to be the best dressed, he didn’t just want to have the coolest music videos, he didn’t just want to focus on show business, Michael Jackson wanted to be the greatest ever, he wanted to be undeniable, he wanted to be magic personified.

Michael studied the best in everything, from working with Stevie Wonder, James Brown and the Temptations, having Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee & Steven Spielberg direct music videos, studying Fred Astaire, Michelangelo, Charlie Chaplin, Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, world leaders and architecture. He had a deep grasp of creativity and he was in tune with greatness in all fields since he was a child.

Michael knew he was Mozart and that he had no choice but to use his gifts to take the entire world to the next level. Michael wanted to provide dream moments for the world, this magical realm of elevated beauty and wonder. By the time he was about to drop 'Off The Wall' he started going to studio 54, studying street dancers, & studying discos.

Mike blended every genre and along with the help of Quincy Jones created what is in my opinion the most sonically pleasing and inspirational album ever made. Songs like Rock With You, She's Out Of My Life, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, Girlfriend, I can't help it, I can go on and on. This album has no genre, it’s just good music, it’s every emotion for every moment of life, it’s real, it makes you wanna dance and chase your dreams and love your life and cry about missing girls, it’s just awesome. 

Mike thought he made the greatest album ever with off the wall. Then when it wasn’t given the recognition he felt it deserved he got angry and decided to create the highest selling album in human history, an album that would make him the most famous man who ever lived. That album is Thriller. 

Now Michael made Thriller at 24 so that can seem pretty young to do something that incredible but Michael really dedicated every moment of his life to this goal from when he was 5 years old, there was no other choice and no other life to go back to. 

Michael Jackson was basically peerless by the late 70s, it seemed like everyone close to his level of talent was older than him. He had successfully transitioned from the bubble gum soul Jackson 5, off the wall image into this badass on Thriller, the highest selling album in history.

The shift in Mike's perception from this poppy kid on Off The Wall to this badass street wise player Thriller character can be directly linked to Prince's existence in the game.

The song Thriller was a direct response to Prince’s 1999, Quincy had shown Michael Prince in a magazine and Michael became intrigued. If there’s no Prince we don’t get Beat it, we definitely don’t get the synths from the Thriller song that was supposed to have been 1999 but more cinematic, and god knows what else. But that was only the beginning of this rivalry.

Michael and Prince were born in the same year, they were both child prodigies in different ways.

Prince could play every instrument, he had an insatiable work ethic, he could write, produce, engineer, direct, play basketball, make pancakes, dance and perform his own music, he was constantly creating & it was effortlessly flowing out of him, he embraced mistakes and single takes, he was extremely confident in himself, his abilities and his looks, he was generally way edgier than Mike because his experience was "realer."

The beginning of Prince's career is marked by an overt sexuality while also having this deep spiritual awareness throughout the worlds he built and songs he made. He dated some of the most beautiful women on Earth and put them in his movies, he had big bands with lots of women in them, he toyed with concepts like androgyny while supposedly being very straight edge behind the scenes.

Michael was a gifted singer and songwriter, he would write songs in his head, he'd beatbox every layer and create demos in his home to show it to the producers, he was a skilled showman that people fell in love with as a child that fully understood how to create magic through intricate & tasteful simplicity in every medium he touched, he was like walt Disney, he knew how to curate cool feel good moments to create the most epic montage of magical moments.

In the early part of their career, Mike was seen as this Jehovah's Witness goodie two shoes kid born and raised inside the mainstream entertainment industry, Mike was viewed as "good, clean and wholesome" in the eyes of the world, while Prince was being boycotted by soccer moms for being this degenerate heathen that was too sexual in his lyrics.

Now I’d be lying if I said I was ever the biggest Prince fan until recently, I had really only heard about him in context of his rivalry to Michael Jackson for most of my life, as I got older and became a musician, & especially after his passing his interviews and his turmoil with the music industry became more intriguing to me, the further I delved into Prince the more I understood how this man was one of the most talented humans who ever lived & why he would, even ideologically, be perceived as Michael Jackson's arch nemesis. 

Both Mike and Prince had long lives in different ways by the time they were in their 20s. Mike grew up in the industry, Prince was this short epileptic kid that grew up in the real cold world, a world Michael Jackson could only fantasize about & see in movies & TV. Prince grew up in Minnesota, he was kicked out of home by his father as a 12 year old after getting caught with a girl in bed, he spent his life surfing couches, teaching himself how to play every instrument, befriending all types of bohemians in the underground dive bars & circuits of people trying to make it. 

Michael and Prince are really more alike than they are different, they're both exactly like Peter Parker & Spiderman. Further than being born in the same year they seem to have eerily similar personalities. They’re both these introverted reclusive black musicians with this insane work ethic and extreme competitive spirits, they both wanted to be the greatest ever in their own way, and I think both of them deeply admired each other even though at times Prince didn’t show it. They grew up on the same musicians like Sly Stone, James Brown, Stevie Wonder & The Temptations, Michael just had the opportunity to be around those people growing up. 

Mike learned everything first hand from the greatest of the greats, from his cousin Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye & the temptations, even Muhammad Ali, the 5 year old leader of the Jackson 5 absorbed everything about entertainment, he was so focused on being great his entire life in a way no human being had ever been or even had the opportunity to be, & that created the highest selling album in history by the age of 24.

As a kid I felt like Michael Jackson, & I still love Mike, but the older I get the more I see myself in Prince in a way I can't with Michael.

I relate more to Prince’s DIY approach to creativity & life in general. As a 25 year old musician watching Purple Rain recently I couldn’t help but see an exaggerated version of my life reflected back to me through Prince, Appolonia & the rest of the revolution.  I feel like Prince in Purple Rain right now, I never got girls cause of my money, I'm just cool, good looking, charming, talented, rich with personality, a head full of dreams & a whole lot of emotional baggage.

The movie was about a group of kids trying to make it, how they were dealing with each other's egos, emotions, the trauma they picked up from their parents and environments, all while being this fantasy rockstar sequence of every man's wildest dreams. The movie was created to show every talent Prince had from music, to showmanship, to dance to ventriloquism, and how his music wasn’t something that was separate from his life but an extension of his life.

Purple Rain shows how Prince had a firmer grasp on reality, the streets, friendship, love and relatable situations like a musician living at home with his parents going to gigs trying to make it and going through girl issues, Mike had a different set of problems that come from making it as a 5 year old. 

Prince had to create his Rockstar image and embody it before anyone ever treated him like one, there’s stories of Prince practicing his rockstar walk to the gas station because he believed he could Will himself into his superstardom and he absolutely did, Michael had no choice but to be a superstar, he had to fight & put on costumes to be regular

Prince combined the sound of Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Sly Stone, Miles Davis, Charlie Chaplin and all his other influences into this unique approach and he literally almost single handedly led an entire generations sound, aesthetic & ideology for multiple decades, he had a level of influence that I could not believe because a lot of it is deliberately difficult to find and hidden from the public because the music industry had nothing to do with it, in fact if enough people listen to Prince their might not even be an industry. 

Michael Jackson wanted to be the undisputed greatest, & after Prince’s influence he had street dancers in his videos, and he was challenging them to dance battles and out dancing them just to let everyone know he’s the best on every level. Mike would apparently go around & ask people if they thought Prince was better than him.

Prince played guitar, sang, he was a basketball player, he was a writer, he saw himself as this elite alien gender hybrid Jack Johnson type human being that was sent here to enlighten & uplift humanity with his God given gifts & ideas. 

At times it seemed as though Prince saw Michael Jackson as not only inferior, but as not even being in the same league or even species as himself. When Michael got his Pepsi deal, Coke offered Prince a deal but he refused because he didn’t want to be compared to Michael and instead wanted to be compared to Miles Davis or John Coltrane. This kind of ate at Michael Jackson. 

Michael didn’t like that the world saw prince as this renaissance man vanguard and himself as this pop act, to me they were both renaissance men, but Prince said that because he played instruments and Mike didn’t, they weren’t even competing, even though the James Brown concert footage says different.

Prince notoriously turned down both Bad and We Are The World, Michael even called him nasty and said that he was mean to all his siblings. There’s various stories of them playing instruments in each others faces, and stories of them deeply admiring each others art behind closed doors, sending each other gifts & curses, and ultimately they both ended up fighting the same fight.

Michael and Prince were both fighting for freedom, they were exposed at a level of influence where they understood that the root of the real problems were a few greedy people and an incorrect approach to industry that disregards humanity, and they decided to use their art to combat against it, and it might have cost them their lives.

I feel like they would have accomplished more had they worked together but they became the personifications & fables of how to navigate being a rockstar, through their victories and mistakes. I think they got caught up in their ego sometimes, but they ultimately understood that there was always a bigger fight, and that's the spirit of the rockstar.

Every medium once taken to its full potential is both political and spiritual because its born out of a need to rectify a wrong, through aesthetics, through ideology, through beauty, and even Spiderman got caught up in his ego because that's part of the game, but ultimately everyone realizes with great power comes great responsibility and you have a responsibility to use your powers for good, and to figure out a way to keep being spiderman in the real world.

In the spirit of Mike & Prince I released my magnum opus on Bandcamp earlier this month, Its a rock Hip hop album that I can only describe as the most fire shit I heard in all my days. Support the boy, click the links below for more music and art and lets save the world!

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