If the rumors that [artist id="1102"]Michael Jackson[/artist] has at least a couple of hundred unreleased songs in his vault are true, then not only will the King of Pop live on forever in spirit, but he will seem to be alive in the industry as well. Those records could be distributed for years to come.
In the years since 2001′s Invincible, music’s elite have been telling MTV News amazing stories about their collaborations with Jackson for an upcoming album. Though the work was never completed during his life, we can look back at the clues these collaborators gave us to speculate about what MJ’s next release would have sounded like.
“I’m writing a lot of stuff right now,” Jackson told Ebony magazine in 2007. “I’m in the studio, like, every day.”
MTV News confirmed that songwriter Sean Garrett, Grammy winners [artist id="2002414"]Ne-Yo[/artist] and [artist id="1230523"]Kanye West[/artist], and music do-it-all T-Pain had all met with Jackson and discussed work. In June 2008, super-producer Swizz Beatz told us he was crafting tracks for Jackson as well producing pieces for his tour. Even Murder Inc. head honcho Irv Gotti traveled to the Neverland Ranch back in 2002, hoping to Jackson to let him helm the LP.
Chris Brown was pushing for a duet with one of his greatest musical influences in 2007. “He called me for my birthday, and I told him we should do a song,” Brown told MTV News. “He was up for it.”
DJ Whoo Kid openly dreamed of orchestrating a Jackson/ 50 Cent collaboration in 2006, after sitting down to a weird but extraordinary dinner with Jackson in Bahrain. “He was supposed to be there for like 45 minutes; he stayed for five hours,” Whoo Kid recalled of how he met Jackson and later arranged for phone conversations between him and 50.
Jackson worked with [artist id="1240040"]Akon[/artist] on more than one track, and a song called “Hold My Hand” leaked to the Net several months ago.
“He’s incredible,” ‘Kon said of his first collaboration with Jackson, a 2008 remix of “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” “He’s a genius. Just to be in the same room [with him], I felt everything I wanted to accomplish in life has been achieved. 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.”
Will.I.Am also told MTV News in 2007 that Jackson called him personally and had him work on a few songs. “I’m a fan of the dude,” Will said at the time. “He’s the smartest dude I ever met. I met James Brown, had the opportunity to work wit’ him too. You get a couple of great people to help you live your life. You got your Michael Jacksons, your James Browns, Princes, Nat King Coles, just to shed light on the Earth.
“Michael Jackson, he told me what rock and roll meant,” Will.I.Am added. “He said, ‘Rock and roll, you know, that means having sex. That’s what they used to say back in the ’50s: “You ever rock and roll?” ‘ Chillin’ with him, you have an outlook on what Michael Jackson will be like. He still is real proud of being black. A lot of times he’s repressed in the media, so you don’t think that.”
For complete coverage of the life, career and passing of the legendary entertainer, visit “Michael Jackson Remembered.”
Share your Michael Jackson memories by uploading video and comments to Your.MTV.com or joining the discussion below.