Last August, pop fans simultaneously jumped for joy and scratched their heads when a never-before-released Michael Jackson track surfaced online that featured Justin Bieber. But shortly after, just as mysteriously as it came, it vanished.
That track, the up-tempo, dance-driven "Slave 2 The Rhythm," is noticeably absent from the just-released XSCAPE, a collection of eight never-before heard tracks from the King of Pop. But there's a valid reason for that, and the album's executive producer, LA Reid, is hardly ruling out getting Justin and Michael together on a new -- and official -- track. After all, the Epic Records CEO has played an integral role in the young pop star's career, and Reid admitted that "Justin is my guy... I feel like I should protect him."
What is to come - http://t.co/QZRakEYTNl— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 15, 2014
"'Slave 2 the Rhythm' didn't include [Bieber] per my direction. That was something done separate and apart from me, and it was leaked. If it hadn't been leaked it would have been featured, but it sort of took the wrong turn," Reid told "Access Hollywood" earlier this week. "But we're going to revisit that. We're gonna revisit that and do something special with Justin Bieber and Michael."
Whatever they do come up with, Reid said he'll ensure that the collaboration lives up to Jackson's standards -- even if it isn't the next "Thriller."
"Michael has some of the greatest albums.... it's very, very tough to top that. Michael always lived in his mind of topping it," he said of the eight tracks that appear on XSCAPE. "But in the process of trying to compete and top thriller he made some really great songs, maybe they didn't live up to 'Billie Jean' and 'Beat It' and 'The Girl Is Mine,' but they were still great."