A song that the two worked on for Akon's upcoming album has leaked to the Internet, and it's called "Hold My Hand." An earlier version of the track, without Jackson's contributing vocals, leaked in February, just as the pair's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008" was officially released as the first single for the re-release of Thriller.
A mid-tempo ballad featuring strings at its beginning, "Hold My Hand" layers the singers' vocals over a drum machine and a twinkling piano melody as the pair trade off lyrics like "We're better off being together than being miserable alone" and "Nothing can come between us if you just hold my hand." Jackson's softer, more lilting vocal lines start the duet, but Akon soon becomes dominant, thanks to his distinctive phrasing.
Akon's label rep said that the singer's as-yet-untitled third album, due later this year, has not been completed, so there's no word on whether "Hold My Hand" will make the cut, and as such, there hasn't been any plan to release the song as a single.
Akon previously told MTV News that working with MJ was a dream come true, calling the King of Pop "incredible" and a "genius."
"Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt everything I wanted to accomplish in life has been achieved," Akon said. "That aura ... that's how incredible that aura is. We about to shake the world up, man. You know how you be with somebody and you can't even explain [the feeling]? I used to sit and think, 'How does somebody sell so many records and dominate a whole business genre to a point [where] nobody can't be a part of that without associating with you?' The way he thinks ... some artists think regional, some think national, I was thinking international. He thinks planets. It's on another level."