Michael Jackson’s estate has prepped a special reissue of the singer’s classic 1979 album, Off The Wall, featuring a new Spike Lee-directed documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off The Wall. The package will be available as CD/DVD and CD/Blu Ray editions on February 26th via Sony Legacy Recordings. Lee’s doc will make its world premiere January 24th at the Sundance Film Festival, with its TV debut scheduled for Showtime – on-air, on-demand and via the Internet – on February 5th at 9 p.m. EST. After premiering on Showtime, the film will be broadcast in territories across the world.
Michael Jackson’s Journey chronicles Jackson’s rise from child stardom to the iconic Off The Wall, using footage from Jackson’s personal archive and interviews with family members and contemporary performers. Pharrell Williams, John Legend, Questlove, Mark Ronson, The Weeknd, Marlon Jackson, Lee Daniels and L.A. Reid will all speak on the album’s influence and legacy. “A look at a chapter of his career that is rarely examined, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall allows audiences to travel with Michael as he gets his start at Motown, strikes a new path with CBS Records and forges a relationship with legendary producer Quincy Jones,” reads a statement about the project.
Off The Wall – which ranked Number 68 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time – was Jackson’s breakthrough as an adult solo artist, featuring radio staples like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” and “Rock With You.” Recorded at age 20, the LP showcased his evolving maturation as a singer and songwriter, blending elements of funk, pop balladry, disco and jazz.
Pharrell dishes on his first ever meeting with Jackson, and how his mind was blown when the legendary singer started making out with a hot woman right in front of him. Pharrell has revealed that Michael Jackson was a master of catching people off guard and the first time he met the King of Pop, he was stunned to find him kissing a beautiful Brazilian woman right in front of him!
“I met him two times,” Williams reveals on the show. “Talk about mind control, he was a genius! We get into the trailer, it’s a two story trailer, the trailer has stairs!” the 42-year-old musician says, laughing. “He comes in, he’s tall, standing there, two beautiful women walk in, he kisses one. It’s a moment!” Williams explains. “It ain’t like no peck, it’s a situation. [The women] look Brazilian, and I’m like, ‘Wow!’ He’s the king of catching you off guard.”
By Andres Tardio. Noreaga explains how his relationship with Pharrell Williams has remained strong since 1998’s “SuperThug,” despite doubters and naysayers trying to come between them. Pharrell may be one of the most acclaimed producers in the industry, but not everyone believed in the beatsmith when he emerged in the late 1990s as a member of The Neptunes.
N.O.R.E., who’s had success with Pharrell since 1998’s “Super Thug,” which was produced by The Neptunes, was one of the producer’s early supporters. He enlisted The Neptunes for his self-titled debut solo album. Their “Super Thug” collaboration would become one of the year’s most popular Rap singles. The song also marked the first time that The Neptunes earned notoriety for its production, something Noreaga recalls with joy.
There is one name which keeps coming up in the reviews for Pharrell Williams’ solo record. The cat in that hat won’t countenance the affirmation offered by critics who are drawing the natural line between Michael Jackson and his record GIRL. Yet Williams has made exactly the record that Jackson may have finally attempted if he was still alive. After all, Williams gave him the chance to make it that album back in 2002. But Jackson’s minders rejected the songs he had written for the King Of Pop.
Instead they would feature on Justified, the debut solo album by Justin Timberlake, who returns the favour with a duet on GIRL called “Brand New”. While Williams and Jackson would often talk — and the King Of Pop even interviewed his heir apparent for a magazine feature — they never did get to work together. Well, there’s no comparison between me and Michael Jackson. He is the King of Pop, an incredible dancer, an incredible writer, incredible visionary, he changed the world in so many ways,” he says.“I am just a fan who has been given the opportunity to make music.
“I did eight songs for him that never made it to him, that ended up on Justin’s record.“Later he sang me all those songs and told me they should have been his and I told him they were for him.“When we did that interview for Interview magazine in 2003, I always said it was the king interviewing the peasant. He knew who he was supposed to be and I am still pinching myself.” Williams has a lot to pinch about. GIRL went straight to the top of the iTunes charts in 60 countries and “Happy” has sold a gazillion copies.
And then there is his fingerprint on the two other biggest hits of the past two years, “Blurred Lines” and “Get Lucky”. It was when Columbia Records heard the Daft Punk collaboration that they decided to lure Williams from behind the producer desk to do a solo artist album himself. He was skiddish about the prospect as his 2006 debut solo record In My Mind flopped. Hence his genuine gratitude and humility about his purple patch.
“I am doing things the same. It’s the fans, they are doing it and I cannot take authorship of the success because I didn’t do it,” he says. Even when it is pointed out that he created the music which has generated the success, Williams won’t gloat.“How lucky are you to be chosen by people to be lifted this high?” he says. Before anyone else heard “Happy” or “Brand New” or “Lost Queen” or “Gust Of Wind” or “It Girl”, Williams knew he wanted the album to be about women and his feelings about them.
So he tested the tracks with his wife Helen, riding around Miami in their “truck”, the American equivalent of a ute.“You got to play them in the car, you have to, because that’s where people hear it, that’s where you get to see if you feel it,” he says.“You just wanna hear it again. Oooh, that’s my part, that’s when you know there’s something in there. Williams is playing his future plans close to his chest about touring about confirmed he is working on plans to take GIRL on the road. As for the future of hat trends, Williams is “I am not like this guy who is going to show up with all these weird hats.”
Pharrell Williams talks us through his childhood obession with Michael Jackson. By Dazed Digital. “The most important thing I have to say about Michael Jackson is that he was an incredibly enlightened, super-intelligent guy who changed the standard for entertainment. My first memory of him is being in front of the TV when I was a child, watching him perform. My mom didn’t have a floor model TV – we had one of the older ones that stood on a stand and I remember running as close to it as I could, totally mesmerised by him. It was the “Let’s Dance Let’s Shout” record and I was glued to the television. It was a phenomenal experience just to watch him perform. From then on, he reinvented the standard of what being an artist was about. I can’t think of anything I’d seen before that point, or that I’ve seen since for that matter, that even comes to being anything like it, musically or visually.
That said, at that age, I never thought about making music inspired by Michael. I didn’t think about making music at all. Thinking like that wasn’t an option. I was in the projects in Virginia – there was no custom of thinking like that. It wasn’t that so-and-so did something and you thought you might do it one day. At that age, in a place like that, you know what you love and what you feel an incredible relationship to. You know that you think music is magical and art is magical and movies are magical, but there isn’t much around to cultivate that magic, to make it even seem like a possibility in your own life. That was part of the amazing thing about Michael. What he did seemed impossibly magical. He was always just something completely special. More after the jump, thanks to aliXxXDabeat.
Michael Jackson – Working Day & Night (DJ Freakiii Extended Mix) (79′)
Thomas Seebach – Disco Tango (1976)
Forum member MortenMars found the actual interplation track that inspired The Neptunes to do ‘Nothin’ Else’ by Thomas Seebach with the tune Disco Tango, from 1976, check it out above. ‘Nothin’ Else’ has been first recorded for Latrelle for her debut album in 1998 but then it was planed to go to Michael Jackson but MJ’s Manegement didn’t like it, so it went in the end as we all know on Justin Timberlakes’ multi-platinum album Justified in 2002.
Justin Timberlake – Nothin’ Else (2002)
Latrelle – Nothin’ Else (1998)
By Danielle Harling, Justin Bieber says he only raps for fun, plans on working with Drake, Pharrell Williams, and 40. With news of pop star Justin Bieber tapping into his inner rapper for his next single “Girlfriend” on top of the singer freestyling on various radio shows there’s been lots of talk about Bieber as a rapper. But in a feature in Complex Magazine the singer cleared up the rap rumors explaining that he does it merely “for fun.” “I just rap for fun. It’s nothing to take seriously,” Bieber explained to Complex. “On my new album, I’m going to do a little bit of rapping.” While Bieber may only rap for fun he still has plans on working with several Hip Hop artists in the studio including producer Pharrell Williams and rapper Drake.
“We’re talking to Benny Blanco, Bei Maejor, Mike Posner. We’re going to work with Pharrell…and Bruno Mars. He’s going in with Drake and 40 next week,” said Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun. Braun also explained that Bieber pits himself against the late singer Michael Jackson when it comes to setting the bar. “He’s competitive with Michael Jackson. When he looks at who he should chase and who’s setting the bar, we only talk about Michael Jackson. We talk about Michael probably every other day,” Braun revealed. The interview with Bieber will be featured in the April/May 2012 issue of Complex.
Responsible for crafting top ten hits for many of today’s artists, Pharrell Williams has redefined pop music over the course of the last decade. In 2009, alongside production partner, Chad Hugo, Williams (who together are the duo known as The Neptunes) was ranked number one among Billboard’s producers of the decade. Williams‘ consistent track record of smash hits was just one of the topics discussed in HuffPost Black Voices latest episode of “The Tanning Effect.” The “Rump Shaker” producer opened up on trying to convince Michael Jackson’s manager to use a selection of beats tailored specifically for the “King Of Pop.” According to Williams, the late singer preferred a sound similar to the producer’s 1998 hit Noreaga song, “Superthug.” “I have been telling him, ‘Yo, I got these Michael records [that I did for Michael].’ And I’ll never forget Michael’s manager saying, ‘Yo, Michael wants some “Superthug!”‘And I was like, ‘What?'” the producer-singer recalled.
“I remember being so baffled and so crushed, ’cause he still is my idol.” When the initial tracks produced for Jackson were scrapped, Williams sought out Justin Timberlake, who was working with The Neptunes on his debut album, Justified. The songs went on to commercial success, not to mention eliciting a phone call from Jackson. “Funny story is, when we were working on it, Michael called … he just called me and he was eating popcorn in my ear [over the phone] and he was like, ‘Oh, so you’re working with Justin, how’s it going?’ And you know, it was Michael’s voice…it wasn’t the high pitched [voice] that everyone else knew. And he’s just eating the popcorn or whatever. And I remember just thinking to myself, ‘Man, I wish Michael could hear these songs,'” he said (see video 2, 3:00). “And later on, after those songs came out and they were really huge thanks to Justin’s talent and what he had to offer, I’ll never forget the day that me and Michael met up. And he sang me those songs, sounding like Justin. And he said, ‘You should’ve gave those songs to me.'”
Helming most of Timberlake’s 2002 solo debut was only part of The Neptunes‘ early commercial success, as they also landed their first global number one hit with Britney Spears‘ “I‘m A Slave 4 U.” A 2003 survey that showed that 20 percent of the songs played on British radio — and a staggering 43 percent of songs in the U.S. — were written or produced by Williams and Hugo. For Williams, the accomplishment was a bit weird and inspired him to do different things. “I didn’t realize it until I was looking at culture and saying to myself, ‘This is weird,’ because you start to see it,” he admitted. “It freaked me out … and Kanye asked me, ‘Yo, you don’t want this?’ And I was kind of like, ‘Nah, man.’ And I remember thinking to myself that I need to go do some other things, because I don’t feel like people want to move on from this.” He added, “I’m a southern boy, so you know at the end of the day, humility is everything. And I think credit is to be given, not to be taken. But at the same time, sometimes I need to be told and reminded.” Check out parts one, two and three of the interview above.
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