Michael Jackson Is A ‘Slave To’ Timbaland’s ‘Rhythm’

Timbaland Michael Jackson

Back in August, Timbaland appeared in a clip on REVOLT TV’s YouTube channel hyping his next project. Teasing it as “two kings working together,” Tim’s words were ambiguous at best, but the spliced-in visuals of Michael Jackson made it crystal clear.

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Now, Mr. Shock Value had teased a posthumous single called “Chicago” for the King of Pop, but it was “Slave to the Rhythm” that premiered during his Timbaland Thursdays series. Clocking in at 1 minute, 7 seconds, “Slave to the Rhythm” is kind of what you would have expected the two to create if MJ was still among the living. Orchestral strings accompany Tim’s human beat box-style melody before Michael’s “Earth Song”-esque voice (think the dramatic part of the song and all the “What about us” chants) screeches, “She’s a slave to the rhythm.” Gravelly repetitions follow, as do MJ’s signature ad-libs, suggesting he, too, might be possessed by Tim’s infectious beats.

In hindsight, it seems strange that Michael Jackson and Timbaland never properly collaborated. That’s probably attributed to the fact that Justin Timberlake, a regular Timbaland partner, has a sound heavily influenced by Jackson. Though Tim’s insight is dominant on “Slave,” it’s still a track that fits comfortably among the rest of MJ’s catalog. We’re hungry to hear the rest of this song, but for now this preview is a satisfying appetizer.

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