Making Of They Don't Care About Us

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Offline applehead250609

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Making Of They Don't Care About Us

  • on: January 16, 2012, 04:42:51 PM
For the first time I saw the making of "They don't really care about us" I was amazed  :shock:  !!! I mean to be able to be around so many people who want's a PIECE OF YOU  :?  ,and  to endure so much presure  8-) .You can really see his COURAGE and PASSION for dance and music ,but there is something else about Michael that makes him GREATER.It is him being FEARless ,he is like  a LION,but in the same time GENTLE and CARING,I would say the"perfect combination"  8-)  penguin/ .

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"They Don't Care About Us" is the fourth single from Michael Jackson's album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I, released on April 1, 1996. The song remains one of the most controversial pieces Jackson ever composed. In the US, media scrutiny surrounding alleged antisemitic lyrics were the catalyst for Michael issuing multiple apologies and re-recording the album—altering the lyrics for that particular track. The singer countered allegations of antisemitism, arguing that reviews had misinterpreted the context of the song, either unintentionally or deliberately. Musically, it is an aggressive hip-hop production about social ills.

The song was accompanied by two music videos directed by Spike Lee. The first was shot in two locations in Brazil, a favela in Rio de Janeiro called Dona Marta and in Salvador da Bahia. State authorities tried to ban all production over fears the video would damage their image, the area and prospects of staging the 2004 Olympics. Still, the residents of the area were happy to see the singer, hoping their problems would be made visible to a wider audience. The second video was shot in a prison and contained video footage of multiple references to human rights abuses.

Commercially, the song became a top ten hit in all European countries and number one in Germany for three weeks. In the US, radio stations were reluctant to play the controversial composition; it, however, managed to peak at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Dispute regarding lyrics and context

The The New York Times claimed antisemitism on June 15, just days before the album's release. The publication highlighted the lyrics, "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me" and labeled them "slurs". Michael responded directly to the publication, stating:

"The idea that these lyrics could be deemed objectionable is extremely hurtful to me, and misleading. The song in fact is about the pain of prejudice and hate and is a way to draw attention to social and political problems. I am the voice of the accused and the attacked. I am the voice of everyone. I am the skinhead, I am the Jew, I am the black man, I am the white man. I am not the one who was attacking. It is about the injustices to young people and how the system can wrongfully accuse them. I am angry and outraged that I could be so misinterpreted".

When questioned further about the lyrics on the ABC News program Prime Time Live, Michael stated, "It's not anti-Semitic because I'm not a racist person ... I could never be a racist. I love all races."

The singer also noted that some of his closest employees and friends were Jewish. That same day, Michael received support from his manager and record label, who described the lyrics as "brilliant", that they were about opposition to prejudice and taken out of context. The following day, two leading members of the Jewish community stated that Michael's attempt to make a song critical of discrimination had backfired. They expressed the opinion that the lyrics used were unsuitable for a teenage audience that might not understand the song's context, adding that the song was too ambiguous for some listeners to understand. They accepted that Michael meant well and suggested that the entertainer write an explanation in the album booklet.

On June 17, Michael issued another public apology to anyone offended by his choice of words. He promised that future copies of the album would include an apology, by this point however, two million copies of the record had already been shipped. The singer concluded, "I just want you all to know how strongly I am committed to tolerance, peace and love, and I apologize to anyone who might have been hurt". The next day, in his review of HIStory, Jon Pareles of The New York Times alleged, "In ... 'They Don't Care About Us', he gives the lie to his entire catalogue of brotherhood anthems with a burst of anti-Semitism: 'Jew me, sue me, everybody do me/ Kick me, kike me, don't you black or white me'".

On June 21, Patrick Macdonald of The Seattle Times criticized Michael, stating, "He may have lived a sheltered life, but there really is no excuse for using terms like 'Jew me' and 'kike' in a pop song, unless you make it clear you are denouncing such terms, and do so in an artful way". Two days later, Michael decided, despite the cost incurred, he would return to the studio and alter the offending wording on future copies of the album; "Jew me" and "Kike me" would be substituted with "do me" and "strike me". He reiterated his acceptance that the song was offensive to some.

Spike Lee noted a double standard in the music industry. While the New York Times asserted the use of racial slurs in "They Don't Care About Us", they were silent on other racial slurs in the album.
Jackson used the word nigger on another song on the HIStory album, but it did not attract media attention.

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Music videos

The cultural music group Olodum with whom Michael collaborated. Near identical scenes can be seen in the first music video for "They Don't Care About Us". Producing the first video proved to be a difficult task for Michael. State authorities unsuccessfully tried to ban the singer filming in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Pelorinho).

Officials feared images of poverty might affect tourism and accused Jackson of exploiting the poor. Ronaldo Cezar Coelho, the state secretary for Industry, Commerce and Tourism demanded editing rights over the finished product, stating, "I don't see why we should have to facilitate films that will contribute nothing to all our efforts to rehabilitate Rio's image". Some were concerned that scenes of poverty and human rights abuses would affect their chances of hosting the Olympics in 2004. Others supported Michael's wish to highlight the problems of the region, arguing that the government were embarrassed by their own failings.

A judge banned all filming but this ruling was overturned by an injunction. Although officials were angry, the residents were not and Michael was surrounded by crowds of enthusiastic onlookers during filming. One woman managed to push through security to hug the singer who continued dancing while hugging her. Another woman appeared and hugged him from behind. He then fell to the ground as police pulled the two women off him and escorted them away. After the director helped Jackson get up off the street, he continued to sing and dance. This incident made it into the music video. 1.500 policemen and 50 residents acting as security guards effectively sealed off the Dona Marta shanty town.

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The music video was directed by Spike Lee. Asked why he chose Lee to direct the video, MIchael responded, " 'They Don't Care About Us' has an edge, and Spike Lee had approached me. It's a public awareness song and that's what he is all about. It's a protest kind of song ... and I think he was perfect for it". Michael also collaborated with 200 members of the cultural group Olodum, "who swayed to the heavy beat of Salvador's 'samba-reggae' music". The media interest surrounding the music video exposed Olodum to 140 countries around the world. It brought them worldwide fame and increased their credibility in Brazil. At the beginning of the video, a Brazilian boy says "Michael, eles não ligam pra gente" which means "Michael, they don't care about us".

Precarious houses in the favela of Complexo do Alemão in Rio de Janeiro. Identical scenes are viewable in the first music video. Speaking of the music video, in The New Brazilian Cinema, Lúcia Nagib observed: When Michael Jackson decided to shoot his new music video in a favela of Rio de Janeiro ... he used the favela people as extras in a visual super-spectacle ... All the while there is a vaguely political appeal in there ... The interesting aspect of Michael Jackson's strategy is the efficiency with which it gives visibility to poverty and social problems in countries like Brazil without resorting to
traditional political discourse. The problematic aspect is that it does not entail a real intervention in that poverty.

In 2009, Billboard described the area as "now a model for social development" and stated that Jackson's influence was partially responsible for this improvement. For the first time in his career, Michael made a second music video for a single. This second version was filmed in a prison with cell mates; In the video Michael is seen handcuffed. It also contains real footage of police attacking African Americans, the Ku Klux Klan, genocide, execution, and other human rights abuses.

Offline Tink

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Re: Making Of They Don't Care About Us

  • on: January 16, 2012, 04:47:39 PM
@applehead - Brilliant discovery!  bearhug Answers across the board.
Black & Proud! I'm like the Oracle/Batgirl, who helps Batman in the comic books. I believe in "Comic Book justice."

Offline mjj4ever777

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  • BE LOVE..LIVE LOVE! I LOVE you all, so very much!

Re: Making Of They Don't Care About Us

  • on: January 16, 2012, 05:00:50 PM
God Bless You Applehead!!! You find some real "Gems"! I LOVE YOU Friend!!!


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