L.A. Reid and Timbaland stopped by TODAY to talk Michael Jackson‘s Xscape. While the lead architects of this posthumous album (out today), the two of them offered completely different perspectives on what it was like to revisit and reinterpret the King of Pop’s music from the vaults.
To Reid, CEO of Epic Records, Xscape was his call of duty. He reassured host Matt Lauer that none of Xscape‘s offerings was “music that Michael didn’t want the world to hear.” He reminded viewers that, while he wouldn’t call Jackson a friend, he did work with him for many years and even had “Slave to the Rhythm,” first recorded in 1991, in his possession. “Michael Jackson tapped us on the shoulder and said, ‘Would you just do one small favor and remind people that I am the greatest?’” Reid says.
But to lead producer Timbaland, the premise of Xscape initally felt like intrusion. While talking about the featured vocals, he cuts to the heart of why fans felt conflicted from the start. “L.A. gave me a call and said I was the perfect person, and in the beginning I was like, ‘Yeah!’ But, you’re working on someone who’s not here, so it was kinda difficult for me,” he said, adding, “I felt I couldn’t touch it right away. I thought I could, but I couldn’t.”
While Xscape is meant to celebrate Jackson’s career, as proof that his legacy would live on, it’s reassuring to hear Timbaland’s frank comments about how tricky that process was – after all, not even the biggest of fans could ever speak for the King of Pop himself. Watch Timbaland’s chat up top, then hear Reid’s take below.
[via Rap Radar]
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