UPDATE: Slate has reached out to Epic Records and confirmed that the above song is not the lead single on the upcoming album but instead an older version of XSCAPE. A snippet of the new, updated version of XSCAPE can be heard in the official album teaser below.
Even though the King is gone, the beat goes on and on.
The first of eight unreleased songs from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has just hit the web. The song XSCAPE is the title track off MJ’s upcoming posthumous album, his first since 2010’s poorly received Michael. The new unreleased cuts were discovered by Epic Records boss L.A. Reid, who called upon artists such as Timbaland, Mary J Blige, and D’Angelo to help with the modernization process.
XSCAPE, originally produced by Rodney Jerkins, is the only track on the LP that has been retouched by its original creator. Jerkins also produced a portion of Jackson’s last true studio album, Invincible, in 2001. The track itself is an upbeat, urban pop tune that features many of MJ’s signature moans, grunts, and wails. Although it’s been five years since his untimely passing, his music and voice sounds as current as ever.
John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson, commented on the album in an announcement March 31:
“Michael was always on the cutting edge and was constantly reaching out to new producers, looking for new sounds. He was always relevant and current. These tracks, in many ways, capture that spirit. We thank L.A. Reid for his vision.”
The album will be released on May 13 via Epic Records. Pre-order your copy of XSCAPE here.