The song “Beat It” was created and performed by the legendary pop icon Michael Jackson in 1982 for his sixth individual album “Thriller”. He also co-produced the song with Quincy Jones and invited Eddie Van Halen to play the song’s distinctive hardcore guitar solo. The song and especially the video of “Beat It” have been idolized, covered and even parodied by a variety of artists since its first appearance on TV.
A little known fact about “Beat It” is that Michael Jackson had a unique idea which he incorporated in the music video. The cost of the video was $150,000 and it was filmed mostly on a variety of locations near East 5th Street in Los Angeles, California. MJ wanted to improve the relationship between two actual rivaling gangs which operated in the area. He invited real gang members from the street gangs Bloods and Crips to participate in the filming of his “Beat It” video. More than 80 genuine street hoodlums were cast and given the opportunity to appear in a video which revolutionized the pop-rock genre. Attracted by the entertainment industry, later many of the gang members decided to drop their criminal lifestyle and turned into professional dancers.
Michael Jackson Had Cast Actual Gang Members In His Music Video For “Beat It” And Reformed Them In The Process Of Filming.