Michael Jackson Been Giving Us Lowkey Nerd Fleek For Years

Thuli Zuma & Omar Holmon spent their weekend watching Michael Jackson videos and discovered numerous nerd elements within them. After much more extensive research via youtube and dance choreography re-enactments, they reported the conclusion of their analysis.

Omar: Look, I ain’t gonna say this but one time: Michael Jackson is one of the most nerdy entertainers to do it. The man was the king of entertainment, but that shy, quiet, awkward demeanor off stage? That had nerd written all over it.

Thuli: You are right about his off stage demeanor, but it wasn’t just that — Michael Jackson was never trying to be anything other than exactly what he was. He never tried to hide his nerd, he brought it into his dress, his performance, and his music videos. Michael kept his nerd strong.

Michael Jackson
No One Man Should Have All That Cosplay

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Omar: Here are three instances that showcase the nerddom levels of MJ so you can truly understand the multitude that Mike’s nerdness encompassed.

Thuli: It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Street Level Vigilante Mike (“Beat It“)

Omar: You can’t tell me Mike Jackson wasn’t on some superhero shit in this video. I don’t want to hear it. Look at the play by play of this glory, man. Cats are comin’ from all corners of the earth for a gang fight, dudes straight coming up out the shadows on some urban warfare Ninja Gaiden.

Thuli: And from underneath sewers. Listen, what city do you know where gang members are just chillin’ under sewers? What are they doing down there? Are they just waiting for the call? Is there a spades table? What is going on underneath that sewer?

Omar: We don’t knoooow! The fuck part of LA is that? They’re all gathering for this fight to go down right, then cut to Mike who wakes up in his bed. You know what wakes him up? The streets.

Michael Jackson

MJ knows he’s needed because some senseless violence is about to go down. So what does he do? Throws on a t-shirt and leather jacket on his superhero suit-up scene. And here is why: MJ is on some vigilante shit. My man walks into the middle of a knife fight and diffuses it not with his fists, not with weapons, but with his honorary theater degree and the power of dance. That’s some next-level vigilante hero power of persuasion, man. When the last time you seen Batman break up a fight between gang bangers with his pop and lock routine? Never! MJ literally walks over, puts his hand on these dudes that are in the middle of the most graceful knife fight I ever seen…

…and tells them, “Guys… guys come on, stop all this violence and just groove out with me over this sick beat right quick,” and they’re like… “This skinny dude in a red leather jacket that I’ve never seen before in my life is right. We need to dance this one off, y’all”.

Thuli: Can we please talk about the fact that Detective Torres from New York Undercover is on an undercover mission to infiltrate the gang activity? This trained undercover cop can’t fight the rhythm either, next thing you know he’s dancing in the background. He gets the body rolls going and it’s all over. You just know Malik Yoba is watching from under a man hole cover, binoculars in hand, going “Yo Torres, get it together! What are you — *shoulders start bouncing* — Ahh geez, he got me, too.”

Omar: I’m saying, though! No questions asked, these cats immediately realize the error of their ways. They out here trying to stab each other when all along they should’ve been united to take over the choreography game. Now, let’s be clear: over 80 members of the bloods and crips gang were actually recruited for this video in hopes of some kind of peace being brokered. Mike was out here doing the law’s work, for really reals.

+999 Magical Wizard Michael (“Remember The Time”)

Michael Jackson
Thuli: Remember The Time Michael Jackson took us all to Egypt and blew our collective minds? First he gave us the casting of ancient Egypt Ridley Scott wouldn’t, a quarter century before we even knew we needed it (hashtag visionary). But the real magic begins when the real Magic (Mr. Johnson) ushers in some entertainers for the pleasure of her majesty Queen Nefertiti and his royal highness Ramses The Great. All the acts are thoroughly unimpressive, but then enter the wizard — this dude is cloaked head to toe in a thick dark robe. It’s hot as the Sahara but dude got robes on? You know something’s up. Suspicions are confirmed when Sir Wizard straight up vanishes into a pile of sand on the floor then re-emerges in Egyptian business casual wear. It’s Mike!

Decked out in a golden-winged chest plate showing out his wizard skills, not just to impress Queen Nefertiti, but most importantly to ask…

Omar: “That time in Spain doe?!” Nefertiti got the “Oh-no-no-no, you gonna show up to my job for real?” face on and Ramses is like, “Ummm, I don’t know if this magician man remembers you from a bachelorette party or something but you best set the record straight. Baby…? You not gon’ set the record straight?

Thuli: And Nefertiti is just sitting there, all short of breath, not saying a word, and Mike’s like: I’m not done, but just hang on a second while I go dance through this marketplace.

Then as promised, he returns from his light afternoon shopping, and gets the whole palace tutting. Now this is what I love about Michael — he’s never messing around. Straightforward to a fault. He’s all:

“Okay, look Nefer-T, I don’t mean to embarrass you in front of your King or whatever, bringing up your pre-Ramses life, however, I just need to know… Do. You. Remember?!” And Nefertiti ain’t having it either, but Mike isn’t here for games. Now let’s be clear, at this point the song is rightfully over, but Mr. Jackson’s got a good 3 minutes left in him, and you will answer the question. So he goes off script and is like, “Yo, I don’t want these people I got body-rolling behind me thinking I’m just some thirsty-ass wizard up here claiming things…

…so let me help jog your memory.” Commence the handing out of the receipts. “Nef, baby, Remember? You and me, on the phone, till dawn, till 3, after dark, at the park, on the beach, in Spain, in Spain, do ya? Do ya? IN SPAIN! *dtrrrii-rrupp-dah-dtupp duht- trrrr-ruapp d’at-tuht-tuht* You know what that skat talk means. She knows what it means, dtrrrii-rrupp-dah-dtupp duht- trrrr-ruapp d’at-tuht-tuht indeed. And with that, Magic Mike’s work is done and he dissolves back into a pile of sand and gracefully whirlwinds his way out of there.

Symbiote Suit Michael (“Bad“)

Michael Jackson
Thuli: So here’s the thing: if we are being real, the only evidence that needs ever be put forward in a case for Michael Jackson’s nerddom is the first 8 min of the “Bad” music video, directed by none other than Martin Scorsese. The 8 minutes before the subway, before the beat drops, before any singing or dancing. Don’t believe me? …just watch.

Omar: This is actually peak nerd Michael, man. He’s going to a high-end high school, then back in the streets with his homies who are trying to get him back to the stick-up kid game (mostly Wesley Snipes). Here’s the thing: they trying to tell Mike he’s gone soft ’cause he ain’t ’bout that life anymore. Mike is trying to keep it nerd and chill, but they keep pushing him. They push him so much that Mike transforms into his other-self. The “Bad” self. Much like in Bleach when Ichigo went to his Hollow form or when Spider-Man got the symbiote suit. The homies done fucked up and made Mike bring out his final form.

Michael Jackson

Thuli: Without warning, everything goes into color, Mike drops from the ceiling in all-black leather and hella buckles, and he’s all: “You wanna know who’s bad? Lemme tell you about a few gentlemen I met in a pool hall back in my crime-fighting days.” And from behind the subway pillars emerge 30 odd tough guys who seem to just have been waiting there for their cue. Apparently, the same gang from “Beat It” stuck with his message. They’re older and wiser now, but dance is still the only weapon they need.

Omar: This is some Gangs of New York shit happening in the subway. Bad Mike is out and can’t be contained, he needs to know “Who’s bad?” We know the answer is him, but he’s so far gone in his rage because he had to come back out to prove he still runs shit, that even if you tell him he’s the baddest, he’s not satisfied and will keep asking said question. Look, if I come down to catch my train and I see dudes dancing on the turnstiles to my right, taggin’ walls and moon-walking in skates to my left, and Bad Mike spinning around in pre-Passenger 57 Wesley Snipes’ face repeatedly asking, “Who’s bad?” I’m turning around and jogging back up them stairs.

Michael Jackson
Thuli: Listen, I was out when he ripped the cover off that subway vent and stood in the breeze. Look, you have all that warm moist subway air rushing out at you and your mouth is wide open just taking the current in?! Nope. No, thank you.

Michael JacksonMichael Jackson
I don’t want any part of that. Not only do you have to be mad strong to tear that grate off to begin with — I mean, it’s bolted down — but your immune system must be dumb strong too and I didn’t take my vitamins this morning. I’m out. Peace. You bad… You ba– it’s you! Mike, it’s y– arggh… never mind.

And then in classic Mike style, the song is over. The instruments have run their course, but Michael is far from done, he turns back to his crew and is all “stay with me guys, whatever I say just say it back,” then he starts softly chanting “who’s bad, who’s bad…, they’re gonna have to tell me now that I’ve taken it down to a breathy whisper.” Then, when finally he’s satisfied with the answer, Mike gets serious: “Well, since I have this platform, let me take a minute to tell you a thing or two about life.” He then proceeds to straight up preach on Snipes, still backed up, as ever, by his gang of merry men. “Listen bruh, you’re doing wrong. You gonna get locked up, which will be awkward not just for you, but for your mother, your brother, your sister, and me.”

“Look at this spectacle over here…”

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Omar: The older guys from “Beat It” are like, “This took a weird turn, but he promised us pizza after this sooo…” At this point Wesley Snipes realizes the error of his ways, like “Look Daryl — uh, Bad Mike whatever — I obviously didn’t realize what I was getting myself into with you and your… dancers? Merry men? Ah, Warriors. Sorry, I’ma change my ways, man. I’ma take my acting more seriously and see if there’s some way I can combine it with my hatred for vampires. We’re good, man. We’re good. You’re bad. I heard someone say something about pizza.

Meanwhile back in Ancient Egypt

Michael Jackson
Ramses: What is this dtrrrii-rrupp-dah-dtupp duht- trrrr-ruapp d’at-tuht-tuht…

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  • Show Comments

  • Theo

    dtrrrii-rrupp-dah-dtupp duht- trrrr-ruapp d’at-tuht-tuht

  • Draper

    How?! How is the Moonwalker movie not mentioned?! MJ literally became a transformer.

  • Jamon

    Umm, gang fight, West Side Story ?

  • Elke Hassell

    OMG that was just the funniest I have read in a long time. Congrats to you both for giving me such a hilarious run down on “Nerdy MJ”

  • Rita Bosico

    Uh-pplause! Excellent job here! This could be your job security right here because Michael got an ENDLESS supply of super Nerd powers, both on and off stage. The man can TEACH and Class is IN SESSION. “The Nerd is strong with this one”. Keep on studying and bring us some more. Keep em coming. Loved it.

  • corlista1

    This is hilarious. Being a Michael super fan & having watched these vids a 100 times, I loved every little inside – and not so inside – joke. Egyptian business casual wear. Hella buckles. So clever. More please!

  • sunsetdriver2013

    Yo bro – loved seeing MJ from your unique perspective! He loved to laugh and you shared some here, with respect. You bad.

  • Dragan

    Mike’s self-deprecating humor is evident in the version of Bad with the kid–contained within Moonwalker. Hilarious. He was so cool he could be in full-on nerd mode and STILL be inexorably, magnetically, be somehow way cooler than anyone else on this planet.

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