Producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins has revealed that he has a few things in mind for the seemingly boundless vault of outtakes and demos Michael Jackson has left behind. Darkchild has had an elite career when it comes to the tier of talent he’s written and produced for over the years, laying tracks for A-listers like Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton and a long list of others. However, his most pervasive collaboration would have to be that resurrection project XSCAPE, which “contemporized” a set of ten tracks that began as mere vocal demos, fragments of songs varying in completion; pieces to Darkchild’s posthumous MJ puzzle.
The undertaking was a formidable one, headed by the supreme hit-making steez of the one and only Timbaland, but definitely took some liberties that felt more contemporary than they did in keeping with MJ’s known body of work. What we got instead was one hit single in “Love Never Felt So Good” (though I’d take the original any day) and a handful of lacking cuts, that simply didn’t feel all that authentic–like its validity got lost in the update. Jacko Wackos have plenty of cause for concern when Jerkins tells Rolling Stone:
“We got more surprises coming…“I’m sure there are a few more great things out there, and hopefully we’ll have a chance to hear them.”
Yeah, we know MJ’s estate has brought in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue in the years since his passing. Yeah, there’s probably a little milk left in that old cow, but leave something there for the baby cows. Leave it something to remind us what Michael’s elaborately layered vocal demos actually sounded like. This is not just us, certain record execs like Dan Beck formerly of Epic (quoted in the RS story) have pointed out:
“After a while, a certain part of the audience stops listening,”
Whether you want to hear some more repackaged MJ demos or tend to side with Quincy on the matter, let us know how you feel about Jerkins continuing his excavation of MJ’s demos and back catalogue below and head over to Rolling Stone for the full scoop.