By Erika Ramirez
It’s still hard to accept that Michael Jackson is gone.
But fortunately, with the upcoming release of Michael on December 14 we will have a bit more to enjoy from the King of Pop.
On Thursday (December 9), Michael Jackson’s camp debuted the first visuals from the forthcoming posthumous album with track, “Hold My Hand.” The track features none other than Konvict artist-producer-label owner, Akon. But you already knew that.
Directed by Mark Pellington, the video showcases a diverse cast of real MJ fans and visualizes the biggest issue he’s always stood for, unity. Through out the video, Pellington adds images and performances shots of Jackson and Akon belting his lines.
“The video is a tribute to all that Michael stands for — life, in all its permutations … love, and its power … A video of memory, healing and joy,” said the director on MichealJackson.com, the official site for the late star.
“Hold My Hand” definitely left many nostalgic for Michael Jackson’s legacy, so RapFix turned to a few experts for their thoughts on the video and Akon’s contribution.
“Michael Jackson’s posthumous video ‘Hold My Hand’ makes you forget the string of dreadful and seemingly rushed tracks that were recently leaked from the estate of the King of Pop,” Keith Murphy, Senior Editor of VIBE magazine, said. “Even if you can’t get past the somewhat pedestrian, easy listening track, which features omnipresent producer Akon, the images of a smiling, dancing MJ is enough to make the most jaded music critic reach for a box of Kleenex.”
“I think the video is very characteristic of Michael,” Christina Brown, of Uptown magazine, said. “It definitely captures his essence as an artist. In typical MJ fashion, you’ve got the over-emotional montages of babies and women, flashes of inspirational footage and of course, diversity in terms of different colors, shapes and sizes. I’m interested to know how Akon came to get a duet with Michael …”
“Akon and MJ? It probably was bound to happen even if the late, great King of Pop were still alive,” Alvin Blanco, music journalist for AOL, VIBE, XXL, and others, said. “As for the video, I wish it showed more imagery of Michael rather than its attempt at looking like a glorified Benetton ad. After watching it a
few times, it ends up being a bitter reminder that Michael Jackson isn’t here anymore; and that sucks.”
Brown agreed with Blanco.
“I could definitely do without Akon, but the video is a nice ode to Michael,” Kathy Iandoli, media director of HipHopDx.com added. “The lyrics, especially at the beginning, are incredibly cryptic given the circumstances that followed. Everyday music continues to feel the loss of Michael Jackson and this video is a reminder of the impact he had on the world.”
Most of the cognoscenti understood that Akon, as a genuine part of “Hold My Hand,” would naturally appear in the video — except for Mike Brown the Remix, who wasn’t a fan.
“Akon shouldn’t have had solo shots, it was awkward,” Brown, online producer and fiction writer, said. “I think that the video was boring but that’s fine because it matched the song. It’s great that MJ is back with new material even if the new material isn’t that good. “
Emotions can run wild when people discuss, and even critique, the King of Pop but no one can deny his legacy.
What did you think of Michael Jackson and Akon’s “Holding My Hand” video? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!