Michael Eric Dyson sat down for an interview with Power 105’s The Breakfast Club Monday morning (Feb. 18) and delivered the hot take of the week.
The author and academic made a case for Beyoncé surpassing Michael Jackson, referencing an essay he wrote called “The King of Pop and the Queen of Everything” which appears in Veronica Chambers‘ forthcoming book, “Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.”
“My argument is that Beyoncé snatched the crown from Michael Jackson,” Dyson says.
He goes on to say he saw Michael Jackson at his height but remains steadfast that Bey has surpassed him. “He was extraordinary. He’s a genius. But what she’s doing is on another level.”
“Fred Astaire and Ginger Roberts were partners back in the day,” he continued, “and she did everything Fred Astaire did except backwards and in high heels. And that’s the way I feel about Beyoncé.”
He continuous, calling Bey an “extraordinary genius.” “She doesn’t get credit for the remarkable way in which she changed the musical vocabulary of contemporary art.” He adds, “I think she’s a godmother for some of the mumble rappers. Not in terms of content, but in cadence— the rap-singing she did. The way in which she changed the whole genre with a female-centered presence and bringing her blackness along unapologetically.”
When Angela Yee asked his opinion on the forthcoming Leaving Neverland documentary that features two men accusing the late entertainer of sexual abuse, Dyson responded, “It’s tough.”
“We know that Michael had tremendous traumas. Did he have vitiligo? Certainly… He also had self-hatred… Was he involved with children? That’s what the documentary says. Those two guys, when they were younger, said it wasn’t true. But we know what happens when you’re younger and you’re seduced and the hypnotic sway of fame and celebrity may preclude you from telling the truth. Or, your parents got bought out and they sold you out,” he says.
He continued, in a non-accusatory air, “Hanging out with kids that age, it ain’t something we would recommend. It’s not something that we would do for our own kids… We have to be open and honest. it’s hard to reckon with the flaws of our great heroes.”
Watch the full interview above.
Ivie is a Nigerian-American, native New Yorker, and journalist covering culture. Usually on-air, on deadline, and on point. @ivieani