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10 things you need to know about the Supreme/Michael Jackson Collaboration

No secret is safe on the web these days, whether it’s exclusive Yeezy releases to Supreme drops, plugs and insider always seem to leak their way onto your insta feeds and blogs.

One of the most hype rumors that’s been the topic of conversation amongst streetwear fans is a possible Michael Jackson collab, which was today confirmed via Supreme’s mailout. Jackson joins the likes of Morrissey, Muhammad Ali, Kate Moss and other celebrities who have been immortalized by the New York City skate brand.

The collection which launches tomorrow,  May 24th, features a hooded sweatshirt, t-shirt, short sleeve work shirt and a skateboard deck.

The featured image is a still taken from Jackson’s infamous Billie Jean video from 1983. Not only is the track one of the highest selling singles of all time and the catapult that shot Jacko to the zenith of pop, it also changed the entertainment world. First, it was the video that drew attention to MTV and kickstarted its significance in popular culture. Second, it finally broke the grip of the racists in charge who refused to play videos featuring black performers. Here are 10 other facts about Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean that you might not know.

1. Steve Barron is responsible for some of the most iconic music videos ever made. The roll call of artists he worked with in the Eighties is impressive: A-ha; David Bowie; Fleetwood Mac; The Human League; Madonna. Top of that list, however, sits Michael Jackson.

2. The video was shot on a budget of ‘$50,000 andwas shot on 16mm film rather than 35mm as there wasn’t enough in the budget. To put that in perspective, though, when Beat It was shot five weeks later, the budget was $300,000. And when they shot Thriller, it was $2 million. So, in the space of three months, the Billie Jean budget had become minute.

3. Not all the paving stones in the video actually lit up in the video. There were 11 that lit up and they were all in a hop skotch pattern that they’d had to randomly decide over night. Barron let Michael know which stones would light up and without any rehearsal, Michael did it in one take and turned it into what we saw.

4. Like much of the video Michael nailed the vocals in the original recording in one take.

5. Memo to this decade’s lazy pop moguls: ‘Billie Jean’ was mixed 91 times by Bruce Swedien. 91 times!

6. Walter Yetnikoff, the president of Jackson’s record label CBS, threatened MTV that he’d go public with their stance on race:

I said to MTV, ‘I’m pulling everything we have off the air, all our product. I’m not going to give you any more videos. And I’m going to go public and fucking tell them about the fact you don’t want to play music by a black guy.’

7. Michael Jackson said he came up with the idea while driving his Rolls-Royce down a motorway. He was so absorbed by the song that he didn’t notice his car had caught fire. A guy passing on a motorcyclist warned him and saved his life.
8. Quincy Jones did not want ‘Billie Jean’ to appear on ‘Thriller’.

9. He performed his first moonwalk when he sang ‘Billie Jean’ on the TV show Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

10. It propelled ‘Thriller’ to be the best-selling album of all time partly due to winning shitloads of awards and honours.

 

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  • Could we please not use the Monicker “Jacko” which Mr. Jackson hated. Jacko is a story of a Monkey and its meaning can be easily googled.

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