By Laura Ferreiro
A new song featuring the King of Pop and the Prince of Pop might sound like a match made in musical heaven, but it has fans up in arms.
A remixed version of "Slave 2 The Rhythm" featuring Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber recently leaked online. The original version of the tune was reportedly recorded by Jackson before his death in 2009 and it appeared online the following year.
Now a remixed version featuring Bieber is making the rounds and has already been spun by U.K. radio, reports Billboard.
The up-tempo, electro-dance number leads off with Jackson's trademark, high-pitched "Woo!" segueing into Bieber singing about a woman who works thanklessly for her family and is a "slave to the rhythm of love."
Bieber has often expressed his admiration for Jackson and teased his followers with tweets prior to the song's release. "Excited for what is to come. MJ set the bar," he wrote. "Not only for music but for being an entertainer and how u treat fans."
Truth be told, the new tune doesn't do either of them justice. It's a heavy-handed dance number that's so heavily remixed it has lost any of its original charms. Bieber trades choruses with Jackson on the tune and tries his best to match the high-energy, spot-on vocals of his role model, but the result is forced and contrived. What's more, the driving backbeat is reminiscent of hundreds of other generic dance tunes.
Several Jackson fans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations about the collaboration:
— James Kahuna (@FilthyCapp) August 19, 2013
bieber record a unreleased michael jackson song? god why!!!? leave the king of pop rest in peace, -.-
— Soul Punk (@GreenRocker9) August 19, 2013
However, some Beliebers were a bit more forgiving :
Michael Jackson - Slave 2 The Rhythm ft. Justin Bieber King and Prince of pop, perfect song
— ♔ (@TheKingBiebz) August 19, 2013
Various posts of the track have been popping up, but then quickly taken down because of a Sony copyright claim, making it difficult to find a reliable version for this posting.