New York

50 Cent and Michael Jackson Are Not Friends Now


With a pistol he’ll define the definition of pain

He makes terrible mixtapes, but DJ Whoo Kid may have justified his existence with this news story where he tells MTV about hanging out at a party in Bahrain with Michael Jackson. The entire scene Whoo Kid depicts is so utterly opulent and ridiculous that it makes me unspeakably happy that it even happened at all: the King of Bahrain throws a party for Michael Jackson, and John Legend and Tyson Beckford and Whoo Kid all show up. Whoo Kid gets invited because the Prince of Monaco and the son of the dictator of Libya both recommend him (“Huge G-Unit fans,” Whoo Kid calls them.) Whoo Kid sits next to MJ at dinner and gets him to say cusswords. MJ asks Whoo Kid about Eminem and 50 Cent. Whoo Kid sets up a phone call between MJ and 50, trying to get a collaboration going.

It’s hard enough to believe that this whole thing actually took place, so it makes sense that some random prankster would send out a press release earlier this week saying that Jackson would be doing a song with 50 Cent, and it also makes sense that a lot of news outlets would pick the story up before 50’s people got around to squashing the rumor. The fake story is just hilarious: Jackson was apparently going to release a Radio G-Unit mixtape with Whoo Kid, calling it MJ-Unit: The Takeover. He was going to make a single called “Now That I Found Love” with 50 and “G-Unit talent” and Lucy Diamonds. There’s no word on whether the single would be a Heavy D cover or whether “G-Unit talent” means like Spider Loc and Olivia or whether it just means that 50 Cent would be appearing along with his own personal natural talent, which would just necessarily be called G-Unit talent because he’s part of G-Unit and he has talent. Nor is there any word on who Lucy Diamonds is; I’ve never heard of her. Neither has Whoo Kid, and neither, apparently, have most news outlets, many of whom reported the prospective MJ-Unit collaborator as Lucy Pearl, the circa-2000 neo-soul supergroup. The story isn’t even that big of a leap, especially considering that he’s releasing his next record through Two Seas Records, a new label apparently started by the King of Bahrain for the express purpose of putting out the next Michael Jackson album and run by the British music exec who figured out how to make Crazy Frog sell in the UK. Jackson has spent the last twenty years proving that he’s way too potentially insane for us to dismiss any rumor about him outright. A song with 50 Cent and Lucy Diamonds would only be, like, the forty-seventh-weirdest thing he’s done lately.

MTV News reported today that the story was a hoax; there’s no word yet on who sent out the fake press release. So we won’t be able to realize the dream of hearing MJ trying to sing over Whoo Kid’s echoey gunshot-noise drops anytime soon, thank God. But something like this might actually be a good look for Michael; part of what makes Off the Wall and Thriller so great is that they work as sort of uber-pop answers to disco, like Jackson found a way to internalize the aesthetics of club music and turned it into something more expansive and universal without losing the ecstatic pulse. It’s hard to imagine him doing the same thing with club-rap in 2006, especially after all the baggage he’s racked up, but it could be worth a shot for him. It couldn’t work any worse than that cluttered-up Rodney Jerkins technopop he was trying to do with Invincible, anyway, though admittedly the remix of “You Rock My World” with Jay-Z didn’t exactly set the world on fire either. The Persian Gulf island nation of Bahrain has a king rich and bored and dumb enough to devote substantial resources to releasing the next Michael Jackson album, which is probably the only way we’d ever hear new music from MJ; who’s to say he’s not rich and bored and dumb enough to throw indescribably lavish amounts of money at 50 Cent to get him on it as well? And how long will it be before 50 Cent goes from legitimate pop superstar to walking tabloid punchline? In twenty years or so, it’s not hard to imagine 50 following MJ’s lead and convincing an obscure monarch to be his benefactor. I can’t wait.

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