Michael Jackson will continue to follow in 2Pac's posthumous footsteps on May 13 by releasing his second album from beyond the grave. In the process, he will also make Epic Records a lot of money. The new album, called "Xscape," promises to feature a collection of previously unheard Jackson tracks that have been "modernized" by the production hands of Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins and Stargate and will feature additional vocals by Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo.
But the real question is: do we actually need a new Michael Jackson album? Absolutely not! Here are 10 reasons why "Xscape" should never, ever be released.
10. MJ's last posthumous album sucked
Michael Jackson's estate already released one posthumous album called "Michael" back in 2010 and it was awful. Now a second? "Michael" was produced by the likes of Akon and Lenny Kravitz and featured 50 Cent. Despite being the worst, "Michael" made the label a lot of money and sadly, that seems like the only justification for the sequel "Xscape."
9. What posthumous album has been worth it?
Biggie, Tupac, Aaliyah, Amy Winehouse, Joey Ramone…has there ever been a good posthumous album? It's hard to think of an artist’s post-death album that stands out as being quality. It seems like it’s never worth releasing a posthumous album for anyone except the label. (OK, that new Johnny Cash album is OK, but that was a completed album that was shelved, rather the usual odds 'n' sods.)
8. Bringing back old MJ scandal
No matter what, if a new Michael Jackson album is released, MJ’s name will be back in the headlines and talk of his scandalous past will resurface. Discussion of pedophilia and whether or not music fans should be supporting his legacy will be questioned. MJ has been gone for five years. Let him rest in peace.
7. It's not a Janet Jackson album
With all these big-time label executives and big-money producers scraping their efforts together to get a new MJ album released, why aren't they focusing on trying to get a new one out of the most talented member of the Jackson family who's still alive? There are probably more fans that want a new Janet album and it wouldn't appear as just a shameless cash-grab by the label.
6. Modernizing Michael?
Does Michael Jackson need to be modernized? Is it the right way to "contemporize" Michael Jackson by having Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins (Gaga, Justin Bieber) and Stargate (Selena Gomez, Katy Perry) do it? No offence to those guys, but the whole idea just sounds financially driven and as many records as MJ sold, he was always an artist. The idea of Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo providing updated vocals on tracks also sounds like a total snooze.
5. MJ never wanted you to hear it
The eight songs on "Xscape" were scraps from Jackson's old albums. He never liked them when they were made so there's a reason why he never finished and released them on his other albums when he was still alive. Would he really want them out now to potentially taint his approved catalogue of music?
4. LA Reid is calling all the shots
"Xscape" is being totally dictated by label mogul and former "X Factor" judge LA Reid, who claims to be "capturing Michael's essence." Although Reid says this project is strictly for art purposes and not making Epic Records a bunch of cash, you can't help but feel that sentiment is insincere coming from the label boss who's trying to release the artist's second posthumous album.
3. Quincy wasn't part of it
Legendary record producer Quincy Jones has always had his hand in Michael Jackson's best work. He produced "Off the Wall," "Thriller," and "Bad" and will forever be tied with Jackson's best successes. But Jones has nothing to do with any of the material on "Xscape." No production credits, no presence and no praise of the upcoming release. That's a bad sign for quality.
2. It's not even a full album
Since when is a full album only eight songs long? The "Xscape" track listing has only seven confirmed songs so far but Epic Records says that it will contain eight. It seems like the label was desperate to scrape up any songs they could to make a new MJ album and boost second quarter sales but they still managed to fall short.
1. It's not actually a new album
"Xscape" may be billed as a new Michael Jackson album, but obviously it's not. The guy died back in 2009! What we've got here are a pack of throwaway b-side songs (or pieces of tracks turned into songs) from earlier MJ recording sessions that are the musical equivalent of three-day old leftovers in your fridge. Nobody wants 'em. The first single "Xscape" is a scrap from back in 2001 when MJ recorded his mediocre album "Invincible."
Michael Jackson's Style Evolution
CIRCA 1968: R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' pose for a portrait in circa 1968. Clockwise from bottom left: Michael Jackson, Tito Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, Marlon Jackson. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1970: Pop singer Michael Jackson of the R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' performs onstage in circa 1970. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1970: Pop singer Michael Jackson of the R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' poses for a portrait in circa 1970. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
DECEMBER 1971: Pop singer Michael Jackson of the R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' performs onstage wearing a bright patterned shirt in December 1971. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JUNE 1971: Pop singer Michael Jackson of the R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' poses for a portrait wearing a Mickey Mouse t-shirt in circa 1971. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 20: Michael Jackson poses for a photo shoot at his Hollywood Hills home on April 20, 1972 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson of the Jackson Five, portrait, London, November 1972. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) on stage with the Jackson Five at the Inglewood Forum in California, 26th August 1973. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
American singer Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009) posing in New York in 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
JAMAICA - MARCH 01: Photo of Michael JACKSON and JACKSON FIVE; Posed group portrait, full length L-R Tito, Jackie, Michael, Jermaine and Marlon Jackson (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 7: Pop singer Michael Jackson poses for a portrait session at home on September 7, 1976 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
1979: Pop singer Michael Jackson attends an event wearing a sequined shirt and a bow tie in 1979. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 3: Michael Jackson performing on stage with The Jacksons on their Destiny Tour at the Municipal Auditorium on October 3,1979 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)
American pop singer Michael Jackson carries the two American Music Awards he won for his album 'Off the Wall,' they are for Favorite Male Vocalist - Soul and R&B, and Favorite Album - Soul and R&B, Los Angeles, January 30, 1981. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Getty Images)
1983: Portrait of American pop star Michael Jackson wearing a red leather jacket at the opening of the stage musical, 'Dream Girls,' Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
LONDON -1983 : Michael Jackson at the BPI awards to collect an award on behalf of Barbra Streisand held in London 1983.(Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
1984: Pop Star Michael Jackson performs onstage in 1984. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
11th Annual American Music Awards--Michael Jackson (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
The 14th Annual American Music Awards--Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
MN - 1988: Pop singer Michael Jackson performs onstage during his 'Bad World Tour' in 1988. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
The 35th Annual GRAMMY Awards--Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Michael Jackson is Honored With Hollywood Walk of Fame (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 10: Michael Jackson performs on stage during is 'HIStory' world tour concert at Ericsson Stadium November 10, 1996 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
"Happy Birthday, Elizabeth Taylor: A Celebration of Life"
SUN CITY, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 5: Former South African President Nelson Mandela (L) claps his hands after American pop-icon Michael Jackson was given a lifetime achievement award during the Kora All Africa music awards in Sun City some 120 km northeast of Johannesburg , 04 September 1999. (Photo credit should read ADIL BRADLOW/AFP/Getty Images)
The 16th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Michael Jackson Tribute Celebrating 30th Anniversary of His Solo Years
The 3rd Annual BET Awards -Michael Jackson presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to James Brown (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage for BET Entertainment)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 31: Singer Michael Jackson waves to fans after a meeting with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) on March 31, 2004 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Jackson was on Capitol Hill to meet with African-American lawmakers and offer his support on the fight against AIDS and help for African children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
SANTA MARIA, CA - JUNE 3: Michael Jackson waves to fans as he arrives fo closing arguements in his child molestation trial at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse June 3, 2005 in Santa Maria, California. Jackson is charged in a 10-count indictment with molesting a boy, plying him with liquor and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Michael Jackson during MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2006 - Press Room at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Nathan Shanahan/FilmMagic)
LONDON - MARCH 05: Michael Jackson announces plans for Summer residency at the O2 Arena at a press conference held at the O2 Arena on March 5, 2009 in London, England. (Photo by Eamonn McCormack/WireImage)
More Michael Jackson Pics
(L-R) Jackie Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Randy Jackson, Tito Jackson and Michael Jackson of the Jacksons (aka Jackson Five) pose for a studio group portrait in 1977 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
CIRCA 1971: Pop singer Michael Jackson of the R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' poses for a portrait. It was clear from an early age that Michael had the most star-quality of the sibling band.
CHICAGO - 1968: R&B quintet The Jackson 5 pose for a portrait with their instruments circa 1965 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
53rd Annual Academy Awards Caption: Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 2: Pop singer Michael Jackson in a still from the video for his hit single 'Thriller' which was released on December 2, 1983 in Los Angeles, California.
Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones at the Grammys in Los Angeles, California on February 28, 1984 in Los Angeles, California - awarded for their work on the record-breaking Thriller album