This awesome 2001 cover of Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal' just can't stop going viral

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When Micheal Jackson launched “Easy Prison” in 1988, I used to be a 13-year-old named Annie. As you may think about, the “Annie, are you okay?” jokes got here quick and livid, and so they have not let up a lot within the three and a half a long time since.

It is all good. These jokes gave me a respite from the “Annie get your gun” and “little orphan Annie” ones, and in addition to, it is an incredible tune. It wasn’t Jackson’s largest hit, nevertheless it was all the time my favourite, and never simply because it bore my identify. The music video—a nine-minute, dance-heavy mini-movie set within the Thirties gangster period—made it even higher.

However apparently, mentioning “Easy Prison” or “Annie, are you okay?” to the youthful of us would not conjure up the zoot fits and dimly lit speakeasy photos it does for me. For them, it brings up photos of an alternate rock punk band taking part in in a … boxing ring?


In 2001, a band referred to as Alien Ant Farm did an alternate/punk cowl of “Easy Prison” that has repeatedly gone viral since then. In actual fact, it went viral in June 2022 after which once more this week, when Lindz McLeod on Twitter requested if anybody would acknowledge the lyrics, “Annie are you okay, are you okay, Annie?” with out trying them up. (Ahem.) Some individuals, severely or jokingly, pointed to the Alien Ant Farm cowl because the supply.

The Alien Ant Farm “Easy Prison” video is definitely an homage to Michael Jackson, although the oldsters that did not develop up within the MJ period could miss most of the small particulars that time to him. Watch and see what number of Michael Jackson references you could find:

The child dancing whereas carrying a masks has a complete totally different really feel now than it did when the video got here out, for positive. Appears downright prescient, in hindsight.

The masked child was the one a part of the Alien Ant Farm video that Michael Jackson himself took challenge with at first. (Michael Jackson would typically put on a face masks in public, lengthy earlier than it turned a pandemic behavior.) The band shared that story in an interview with Los Angeles Instances:

“Once you requested if we had any reservations of how it could be acquired, the one individual we have been aware of was Michael Jackson himself. We have been form of fearful. We despatched the video to MJ to get his nod of approval. And he commented again that he didn’t actually dig the child with the masks. I believe MJ wore that masks due to all of his failed surgical procedures. We have been like, ‘Oh s—, possibly we should always take away it.’ We have been already on tour. However a number of weeks later, the director of the video [Marc Klasfeld] went to the identical road, bought a bunch of the extras collectively and reshot the dancing child with out the masks. We went by means of fairly a bit of cash and bulls— to guarantee that we have been appeasing Michael Jackson. We despatched it again to him a number of weeks later with the child with no masks and he stated, ‘ what? I prefer it higher with the masks!'”

The Alien Ant Farm “Easy Prison” video has racked up a whopping 257 million views on YouTube alone because it was shared in 2009. Folks say it is an ideal illustration of the early 2000s, each the sound and the visuals.

Some individuals have additionally stated they like the Alien Ant Farm model to the unique, which feels a bit blasphemous, however no matter. It is an incredible cowl—the band did an admirable job of holding the general parts of the unique whereas including their very own sound to it—however there’s simply nothing like Michael Jackson’s unique. Take pleasure in:



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