Will.i.am is speaking out against Sony/Epic’s decision to release Michael the posthumous album due out next month. The producer and Black Eyed Peas front man says the move is particularly callous because Michael was very adamant about perfecting his music and wouldn’t have been happy having his unfinished product heard.
“Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are,” he says, “to say that what [Michael] contributed during his life wasn’t enough. He just wasn’t any ordinary artist. He was a hands-on person. To me it’s disrespectful. There’s no honoring.”
The producer collaborated with Jackson in 2006 on what would have been Jackson’s comeback album, following 2001′s Invincible. He can’t understand how Sony, Epic’s parent company, could release fragmentary works from a man who was so meticulous.
“Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they’re finished,” Will says. “Maybe if I never worked with him I wouldn’t have this perspective. He was very particular about how he wanted his vocals, the reverb he used…he was that hands-on.”
Earlier this year, Will talked to Access Hollywood about some of the songs he recorded with Michael, mentioning “Dreaming,” “Still the King,” and a James Brown tribute called “I Will Miss You.” But he still maintains that none of them will ever be released, because Jackson didn’t give them a final okay.
“He kept his vocals and I kept the music,” he says. “We had that understanding.”
Will.i.am might not always make sense (sorry we will never understand the VMA blackface thing) but this actually rings true to us — especially since Jackson’s family says the vocals on the project that aren’t even Michael’s!