Hey, y’all. I know I’m late as all get out writing this, but I really wanted to publish this piece on the late Joe Jackson. I call it a piece, because it may be a bit hypocritical to consider it a tribute. You see, growing up, Joe Jackson wasn’t my favorite person. I didn’t care for the way he treated his sons, especially Michael. Mike never could stand Joe’s teasing of his physical appearance, or how hard Joe worked them as children, thus leading Michael to not having a true childhood. Everyone knows how those aspects affected Michael in his later life. I remember LL Cool J once likened how we react to the difficulties we face in life to how a lump of coal reacts to the pressures of the Earth. We can either become a diamond, or we can crumble. It’s safe to say that although Mike shined like a diamond, he eventually crumbled like coal.
However, I have to say this…even though Joe may have been too hard on his children, they were never arrested (not while they were still living with him, that is), they grew up to be respectable and to have a strong work ethic. Not only that, but without Joe Jackson, we would have never had The Jackson 5, The Jacksons, Michael or Janet Jackson, in every respect.
Joe’s strict disciplinarian methods could be ugly at times, but in the same vein, they led to something beautiful. If he hadn’t pushed his kids to be the absolute best they could be, we never would’ve experienced the music that shaped our lives. No Off the Wall, no Control, no Triumph, no ABC, no Rhythm Nation 1814…no Thriller. I can’t even imagine growing up without the Thriller album. If Joe hadn’t pushed his children, they’d probably be sitting in Gary, Indiana at this very minute, living in poverty and lost to the local steel mill. So, I thank Joe Jackson for making his children reach their full potential and enriching our lives in the process. Without him, we may not have ever had Usher, Ne-Yo, or Bruno Mars. My heart goes out to his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. God bless them all.
Joseph Walter Jackson: July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018
—Written by Nadiya