Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE Came From A ‘Tap On The Shoulder’

Producers explain how the May 13 album came to be.

A day after Usher helped debut “Love Never Felt So Good,” a never-before-heard Michael Jackson track off the upcoming album XSCAPE, we’re finding out more information about what else is in store for the May 13 project.

“Michael Jackson was the perfect artist who spoke to all of us,” L.A. Reid said in a video released on Jackson’s official VEVO channel. “He tapped us on the shoulder and said, ‘Would you just do me one small favor, and remind people that I’m the greatest?’ ”

Reid, who is the Chairman and CEO of Epic Records, which will be releasing the album, put together a team to try to do just that.

“The project started with a conversation that I had with [Co-Executor of the Michael Jackson Estate] John Branca,” Reid explained. He just asked a simple question. “How about you let me hear everything that’s been recorded, everything on tape, whether it’s an entire song, or a fragment of a song?”

The music industry vet then assembled a squad of revered talents to help put the album together.

“I felt like I had to dig into a place deeper than just music,” explained Timbaland, who is serving as an executive producer on the project.

Rodney Jerkins felt similarly out of the gate. “It wasn’t that I didn’t trust L.A., it’s just that I worked with Michael before, and I know what his expectations were,” the producer/songwriter admitted. “Once L.A. played me the music, I was all the way in. I was like, Oh, yeah. This is a Michael Jackson. This is one of them classic albums.”