Michael’s Moves: Imitation or Thievery?

Lately I’ve felt like ranting about a particularly thought-provoking topic involving young male performers influenced by the one and only. 

Looking at some of these newer performers, it appears to me that most of their ‘freestyle’ involves very familiar, decade old moves. Michael’s.

Of course just about everyone (artist) has been influenced by him in one way or another, but when does imitation become accidental thievery? Sure one may profess his love of Michael his idol and attempt a couple of moves for the fans, but where is the line drawn?

Nonetheless, without Michael here to wow us by performing his dashing moves once more, the line is becoming thinner. It’s as if many male ‘sing and dance’ artists are universally saying ‘I’m the next Michael Jackson, so let me prove it by dancing like him.’ Then again, he did create the threshold.

On the one hand, yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. One can perform the moves as a tribute (without a breakdown), or even prove themselves the life of the party every now and then. However, Michael set the bar for what knocks the audience off their feet; and someone else performing an MJ- type move is becoming more and more popular. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. 

From the bright side of things, we acknowledge the children and teens in the throws of MJ Fever and what Michael was all about. Not only that, but we see all the negative which surrounded him will not be reborn into another generation. We also see Michael’s style coming back into fashion, making his appeal, energy, and message stand the test of time and the ruthless media like no other.

On the other hand, we see those who are not as familiar with all of Michael’s moves see artists who are copying those moves and (un)knowingly passing them off as their own. Thus, bringing forth a new type of plagiarism.

This proves times are ‘a-changin’ due to the fact that people claiming to be influenced by Michael truthfully are making money off of him as well.

Now I’m not saying  ‘These are Michael’s moves meant only for Michael!’ but my thing is, there are just some things you leave to the master. There are times to break out your best imitation of the master’s Moonwalk, but not when you are trying to promote yourself!

With that being said, below is a little clip from ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ demonstrating the ‘imitation is flattery’ aspect of performing Michael’s moves. (This is actually quite funny. Enjoy!)


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