DJ Quik Reflects On Michael Jackson’s Influence At His Diamond Celebration In Las Vegas
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since Michael Jackson passed away, but his influence continues to reach far and wide. Bossip’s Senior Director of Content Janeé Bolden attended Michael Jackson’s Diamond Celebration in honor of what would have been Jackson’s 60th birthday a few weeks ago, where guests enjoyed a live performance of Michael Jackson’s “ONES” show at Mandalay Bay and an afterparty deejayed by Mark Ronson, where Usher performed. Besides taking in the performance, we also had a chance to chat with Michael’s brothers Tito and Jackie Jackson about Jackson’s legacy and hear DJ Quik reveal he nearly had the chance to open for Michael.
“He would be smiling down at this event,” Tito told BOSSIP. “We’re very excited to celebrate his birthday and his legacy with all the celebrities who’ve come out tonight.”
Jackie modeled a pair of new Giuseppe Zanotti x Michael Jackson sneakers as the designer himself also walked the red carpet.
“It’s a new shoe, it comes out in October,” Jackie told BOSSIP. “It’s just one style of it, but I dig it. I’m going to wear it onstage too.”
When asked if the family had any plans for a private celebration of Michael’s 60th, Tito reminded us that much of his family doesn’t believe in such commemorations.
“As you now, half of my family is Jehovah Witness,” Tito said. “And the ones that do celebrate, you’re looking at them right now.”
Besides Tito and Jackie, Michael’s oldest children Prince and Paris were also in attendance. Other celebrity guests included Gabrielle Union, Vanessa Hudgens, Blake Griffin, Usher, Angela Bassett, Evan Ross and Ashlee Ross Simpson and rapper/producer DJ Quik.
Quik told us he was especially happy to join MJ’s Diamond Celebration because he’d nearly been an opener for the pop superstar at one point in his career.
“I never got a chance to see Michael live,” DJ Quik told BOSSIP. “My opportunity came when his promoter Terry Harvey called me to open some of his shows that he was going to do at the O2 Arena back in 2009. I was stoked. I had just put out a record with Kurupt and we were on a promo tour. Our promo tour started June 25, 2009 [the day Jackson died] so you know what day that was. While we were soundchecking, we get the news we’re not going to Europe and performing with him.”
“I was out of it,” Quik added. “I don’t even know if I performed. I was hurt.”
Quik took a moment to stroll down memory lane with us, remembering back to the first time he saw Jackson’s “Thriller” video:
“We didn’t have cable at that point,” Quik told BOSSIP, “so I was across the street at my homeboy Billy Ray Smith’s house watching it on their cable TV — you know, back when the TV’s used to sit on the floor? One of them big RCA or Zenith TVs and being moved by it.”
“We had seen all the rock’n’roll videos, Def Leppard and all that, but when his video came on it spoke right to us. It let us know that black people could do it.”
Asked to describe which Michael Jackson song best reflects his life, Quik, born David Blake, didn’t hesitate a beat.
“‘Human Nature,’ because that record describes the whimsical part of life,” Quik said. “Michael Jackson was a dreamer and he was all about ooh’ing and aah’ing people. That record just has some kind of quality in it that lets you know you can be magic too.”
With Prince and Paris Jackson in attendance and accompanied by his own son David Jr. Quik also took a moment to reflect on the importance of legacy.
“It’s important because nobody is going to represent you like the people that you raised,” Quik said. “You can hire people publicists all day long and tell them to run this or run that, but when my son speaks about me he is going to speak from the heart. He’s going to speak about the personal experiences and public.”
Quik’s son is also a producer and the Compton native said he couldn’t be more proud of him.
“This kid is awesome. He did it on his own,” Quik boasted. “I didn’t have to tell him hey son do this or do that. Now I ask him for beats. ‘Can I rap on it one time? I still got it son, I think I still got it.’Now he’s performing, he’s engineering. I’m really proud of the stuff he does behind the scenes, he’s in the studio teaching other people how to engineer, how to patch wires… He got it honest.”
Check out more photos from MJ’s Diamond Celebration below: