Jaylen Brown’s dilemma
Separating art from artist can be difficult
BY TRAVIS MORAN
Somehow, my rural white parents listened to a lot of Motown—especially the “wholesome” Jackson Five—and from the time I had a Fisher-Price cassette player, so did I. By 1987, at just seven years old, I had become a walking, talking database of the entire Michael Jackson canon.
I was a “Thriller” child.
Nevertheless, by the time “Dangerous” came out in 1991, I had become a disgruntled subject of the King of Pop. I started gravitating toward hip-hop (much to my parents’ chagrin, but there’s only so much REO Speedwagon a kid can take). When the 1993 allegations of sexual abuse hit the wire, I was preoccupied with “Check Your Head” and “The Chronic.”
By the time Jackson died, his life story had become a sordid litany of downright bizarre behavior and dangerously unchecked agency. If not for “Thriller,” at least for me, his memory probably would have evaporated into the ether.
In between those moments came the release of Kanye West’s (now known as “Ye”…
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