Michael Jackson is dead. It’s the century’s most distressing fact, I know. But we’re consoled by queen dearest, Beyonce, who dropped her fifth, self-titled studio album last night with the ninja stealth, no promo. So you know the inevitable question:
a while back, @questlove said that Bey was the closest thing we'd ever see to Michael Jackson. People kirked out. Do folks disagree now?— Gene Demby (@GeeDee215) December 13, 2013
#BarbershopTwitter’s viral dissent is, basically, that Michael Jackson invented sound waves and the polio vaccine, or something. This debate is awful. These debates are incorrigible. MJ vs. Prince. Jay vs. Nas. S Club vs. Credence Clearwater Revival. It’s all fun and games until your girlfriend cracks the Rumours vinyl over the back of your skull as you flinch in retreat. We need a treaty. A truce. For MJ vs. Beyonce at least. Michael Jackson was a lifetime pop sensation who maybe single-handedly desegregated the American pop mainstream. You were conceived to an MJ cut, and so was your sister. Deal with it. (N.B., the Hague acquitted Mr. Jackson of crimes against humanity for the release of Thriller’s first single, "The Girl Is Mine’," which independent researchers determined was the least tolerable production of sound waves in the recorded history of homosapien. God forgives.) Beyonce is a feminist pop icon and galactic Regina. If your bae has any say, your first- and second-born will be conceived to a 'Yonce anthem. No one can prove that Queen Bey’s ever even used the Internet, yet here she is, winning it. Admit it: Beyonce just made every single hater feel kinda-sorta-just-a-lil-bit hype for a Drake verse. Suck your teeth if you want, but Beyonce will send them shooters to come find you in traffic. Beyonce invented traffic. MJ shattered dance floors. Beyonce just fried the entire Internet. They’re both undeniable, they’re both legends. They both win. Now knock it off.