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Das Racist VS Michael Jackson

December 1, 2012

In this blog post I am Comparing and contrasting the use of morphing technology in Michael Jackson’s “Black & White” music video with the use of that same technology by the group Das Racist in the music video to their song “Michael Jackson”, a parody of “Black & White” which came out 20 years later. Morphing is a special effect where you take one image and “morph”, or seamlessly change it into another image. After watching both videos, it is clear that they both use the same technology (One 20 years before the other), and they use it to show the same message: that we all should be living on this earth together in harmony. But Michael Jackson and Das Racist go about it in very different ways, and have two totally different concepts of reasoning behind their messages.


First of all, both videos have a series of people, of all races and size, morphing into each other singing along with the song.


I’ll first talk about the Michael Jackson video. In this video, the beginning shows Michael Jackson dancing with people of different races. Towards the end, it goes into the sequence of people morphing into each other singing along with the song. The first thing that stands out to me that all the transformations are between people with faces of similar features, size, and shape. They are from all different races (African, Indian, Chinese, Caucasian, etc), but when morphed together they look very similar – everything except the color of our skin. The message that we can extract from this is that we are all from the same gene pool, and that we are all the same (human beings) no matter where we are from or what color we are. Race does not matter, and we are all equal.  


This is in contrast to what is shown in the Das Racist video. I thought this video was very funny, and I actually had to watch this video two to three times to get the message. In this parody, the morphing between the different people singing is much more jarring – It’s between faces that are vastly different in features, size, and shape, and at the end the human face turns from a human face to a dog’s face! The people are also moving their heads in different way and not mimicking each other’s movements like in “Black & White”. The Das Racist video, by emphasizing the differences between all the types of people, says yes, everyone is in fact different, but that’s OK! We can still morph into each other – and live together in harmony on this planet.


It is the same goal in the end, but the way of relaying this goal of peace and harmony between all types of people on this earth was gone after in very different ways with vastly different messages. And Das Racists’ message of emphasizing differences is in contrast to what the Michael Jackson video shows, where the message we get from the video says we are all the same, human, and race, gender, size, shape, etc, is irrelevant. To me, the message that Das Racist is much more down to earth, because just by observing the people around us, we are in fact very different from each other, but that doesn’t affect the friendships and relationships that we make everyday. 


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