Back in the early 2000s, Michael Jackson gave a speech at Reverand Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem, New York, where the late singer appeared to suggest that the slander against his name was all a conspiracy to derail his success.

During the speech in front of his fans, Jackson states that as soon as he started breaking the all-time records, including those held by Elvis and The Beatles, they started slandering him to tarnish his legacy.

“The minute they became the all-time best selling albums in the Guinness Book of World Records, overnight they called me a freak, they called me a homosexual, they called me a child molester, they said I tried to bleach my skin… they did everything to turn the public against me.” Jackson then went on to say “This is all a complete conspiracy you have to know that.”

From there, MJ addressed the controversy around the change of his skin color, pointedly stating that “I know my race, I just look in the mirror I know I’m black,” to thunderous applause.