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A heartbroken Hip-Hop Artist channels grief in2 a solo Bed-Stuy dance party
By Jean Grae
A year ago, I tried 2 convince a stranger that, yes, magic does indeed exist. I wasn’t talking about David Blaine, Criss Angel, or street magic—no. I meant the magic in creativity, in manifesting things at will, in . . . in . . . aggh! I was so frustrated that I couldn’t explain it 2 her, but then I realized that she would never just believe, wouldn’t even attempt 2 understand it. It made me so sad 4 her, 2 be missing out on the beauty in the world around her.
I say this because in the wake of Michael Jackson‘s passing, I’ve seen too many people comment on their indifference toward it. Now, it’s not the indifference that bothers me—it’s the failure 2 comprehend the grief others are feeling on a mass, worldwide level. “How can u miss something u never had?” read 1 dispatch on Twitter. I jokingly told my friend 2 respond back with: “Forget it—you won’t understand because u’re dead inside.” What could it be in a human that doesn’t recognize, or can so easily dismiss, clear & announced magic incarnate? Even if there is something in u, ur soul, your fiber, that is impervious 2 it—how can u deny its existence if it affects the rest of the world on a deeply profound level? 2 feel something as basic as thanks and compassion for receiving a touch of magic from the universe, grieving over the loss of its creator . . . 2 not understand the void people felt, 2 just not get it.
I cried, man. I cried HARD. I cry just remembering the feeling of reading the first online headlines, of waking my boyfriend 2 tell him the developing news. I cried harder because I saw his own tears well up. Then I Tweeted, re-Tweeted . . . felt the energy & outpouring of love from others. It helped 2 be a part of a real-time community at that moment—it truly did.
When his death was officially announced, we stared at the TV in awe. We each got up & wandered out of the room 2 cry alone, then wandered back in 2 have a shoulder. Back & forth with that for a bit. My mom called, and, at first, I couldn’t even speak. My mom is 72, so there’s a definite generational gap, but she expressed how much she had grown up WITH us, grown up with us loving him. She sounded heartbroken.