Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am was working with Michael Jackson on new music before his passing, music that he feels should never see the light of day. The former Ruthless Records artist isn’t upset because he wasn’t asked to work on this album, but because MJ never signed off on this.
“Whoever put it out and is profiting off of it, I want to see how cold they are,” will told EW. “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.”
This isn’t the first time will.i.am spoke out against this album, he made similar remarks this summer. “I don’t think that should ever come out,” he said. “That’s bad. He was a perfectionist and he wouldn’t have wanted it that way. How you gonna release Michael Jackson when Michael Jackson ain’t here to bless it?”
will echoed those sentiments to EW. “Michael Jackson songs are finished when Michael says they’re finished,” he continued. “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.” (November 15)
UPDATE: Shortly after will’s comments against the Epic Records release, another global superstar who worked with Michael Jackson, Akon, expressed his support of this project. “Me personally, I think it’s keeping the legacy alive. I don’t see anything disrespectful about it … these albums would have come out if [Michael Jackson] was alive or dead,” said Akon to TMZ.com. He asserted his disagreement.
Akon will appear on the December album.