[editorial][3 clips] From Stephe’s desk: My Ultimate Generational Trio. (And nice comeback, Rain!)


(Image credit: 1theK @ Facebook / R.A.I.N. Company. ^@@^)

Rain teasing us with a fedora in relation to his upcoming music comeback on January 15 made my soul soar, folks (we don’t get that a lot, so I love it when we do). And then, his “The Best Present” music video hit with its amazing silhouettes and I immediately went to heaven. His M.J. side is one that I have long appreciated and loved. It’s an important part of him that has made him who he is, just as the Fred Astaire and James Brown sides of Michael Jackson were important parts that made Michael who he was.

That’s how it works a lot of the time, you see…

Young, aspiring (insert profession here) finds inspiration in his/her idol, imitates his/her idol, and then takes that and builds upon it and adds to it and evolves it to make his/her own unique style. This is a good thing, because it — in addition to the idol’s body of work — is what helps immortalize said idol in our world’s collective memory.


This is why you will always see “touches” of M.J. in Rain — in his hands, his posture, the tilt of his head, the way he touches a hat, his eyes hidden in the shadow of the brim. Michael Jackson lit a fire in a starving, desperate child on the streets and gave that child a life raft and a dream. You can no more take Rain’s M.J. side out of him than you can take the Pope out of the Vatican. And why would you want to? I don’t recall anyone bitching about Michael’s style paying tribute to Fred Astaire and James Brown ever. (Not that anyone’s bitching about Rain, but you know, there’s got to be somebody somewhere being a smartass, LOL.)

A little M.J. fun in Taiwan on New Year’s Eve… haha~

Now, with all of that said… when Rain begins to move and groove in the MV, whether in silhouette or in the light, it is all strictly his dance style. It is all him and that incredible body. He is imitating no one, folks.

In celebration of Rain’s black- and white-fedora’d “The Best Present” produced by top entertainer PSY, I wanted to revive and refashion my brief, original “Ultimate Generational Trio” post from June 2010. It’s quite fitting, I think, and there are new Rain fans and veteran Clouds who might enjoy it.

Thanks for indulging me. And thanks for supporting the official “The Best Present” MV so doggone well! ❤ ^@@^

My Ultimate Generational Trio: Fred Astaire, Michael Jackson, and Rain


Thinking back on my favorite Rain performances, one in particular always stands out quite strongly — his “11 Days” live stage during his Legend of Rainism Tour (with “I Like You Again” as additional gravy).

Not only was it creative in and of itself, but it reminds us that 1) great minds do indeed think alike, and 2) Rain is one smart cookie.

In honor of his January 15 return to the music scene, I give you what I fondly refer to as the ultimate generational trio: Rain’s “11 Days”, Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” short film, and Fred Astaire in the popular 1953 film The Band Wagon. Three mega-icons, one great idea, down through history. Club/bar scene, hot chicks, dress jackets, and fedoras.

I can only imagine what creativity might have come out of these three men if they’d been in one room together, talking for a while. (M.J. and Astaire were neighbors and became very close, so they had those moments, at least.)

Stephe @ cloudusa.blog / CloudUSA.org

Rain, 2008 Legend of Rainism Tour. (Courtesy of Hangkalokkala)

Michael Jackson, 1988 Smooth Criminal. (Courtesy of michaeljacksonVEVO)

Fred Astaire, 1953 The Band Wagon “Girl Hunt Ballet” dance sequence, with the amazing Cyd Charisse. (Courtesy of SophyaAgain)


~ by Cloud USA on January 23, 2017.

6 Responses to “[editorial][3 clips] From Stephe’s desk: My Ultimate Generational Trio. (And nice comeback, Rain!)”

  1. Moi aussi j’ai un lien avec les 2 MJ 😉
    Quand MJ sort l’album thriller 30/11/1982, je n’ai que 3 ans , mon père ma emmener chez le disquaire pour l’acheter , le disquaire à été choqué de voir une enfant si petite acheter l’album de MJ . Mais quand on aime il n’y a pas d’âge 😉
    25/06/1982 Naissance d’une futur star ..
    Et en 2008 je suis fan de Notre Rain .
    Les 2 ont un style de dance et de musique que j’aime .


  2. Awesome, Stephe, Terri, you ladies are the best. This edition of the legendary performers and our RainRain right up there with them. You ladies out did yourselves. Thank you for sharing – good way to end the evening


  3. I have always loved reading your posts -Thank You. 3 extraordinary performers and legends of our lifetime. Not surprised that Rain chose Michael as his name in the Catholic Church and now has the same initials as MJ.


  4. Thank you Stephe. I swear you and Terri have given this Cloud “blog life” with your two posts. I’m so glad you’ve given context to Rain’s long held MJ influences (folks get in their feelings when others defend him).

    I tell ya, long before I became a Rain fan, MJ and his brothers were the ones I grew up with. From my formative years through high school, MJ was “it” honey…..LOL. So when I came to know Rain, I instantly keyed in on the various MJ nuances in some of Rain’s dances moves. One move I love in particular……the jacket flap back. Seeing Rain do that move, felt like “R&B home” (so to speak). Also because of who Rain is, I never felt as if he was “copying” MJ (not that anyone has Ever said that……Good Lord… let’s not start that rumor) LOL. I have felt only that Rain was paying homage and giving deeply held respect to the artistry of MJ…..one of his greatest musical influences. Some people may not get that.

    You are absolutely right, MJ spoke extensively about his own influences Mr.’s Brown, Astaire and Wilson (Jackie…..for those who don’t know). The bottom line, we are all influenced by generations that come before us and Rain is no different in that regard. I give Bi much credit Because of the very thing I just said. To be able to get a longtime MJ fan (like myself) to “see you” and not Just the MJ moves….to see you as an artist alongside the obvious influences……now That’s the stuff that true artistry is made of. What a wonderful way to have one’s legacy carry on.


  5. Thanks for another great post. When comparing Rain to Michael Jackson, I cannot resist to mention that Rain has something I never saw in MJ 🙂 MJ was a great artist and a phenomenon of his era (ok, I don’t dare to say anything about Fred Astair), but Rain has that power to drive us all crazy – just with a slight move of his fingers or a single look 🙂


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