Singles File: Special Salute to Michael Jackson
A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.
Special King of Pop Edition
The Game featuring Chris Brown, Diddy, Polow Da Don, Mario Winans, Usher and Boyz II Men: "Better on the Other Side (Tribute to MJ)"
This all-star track, assembled by the Game, was on the radio the morning after Jackson's death. Like most things involving Diddy, it's sort of awkward, and mostly about Diddy.
The Roots and Erykah Badu: "I Wanna Be Where You Are"
Badu offers up an uncanny, love-it-or-hate-it MJ impersonation on this cover of one of his earliest solo songs.
Michael Jackson: "In the Closet" (Daz the Dominant's "Tribute to the King" mix)
The Australian house producer pays thunderous tribute to Jackson in one of the most innovative mixes so far.
Jackson 5 featuring Lil Wayne: "I Want You Back" (Cookin Soul mash-up)
Famed Spanish producers Cookin Soul assembled a posthumous MJ mash-up mix tape featuring tracks from Kid Cudi, Jay-Z and this unexpectedly touching/weird entry featuring Lil Wayne. (It's available for download in its entirety here:
DJ Soap: "Never Can Say Goodbye"
The Midwestern DJ's new mix is a nifty, 20-songs-in-nine-minutes career retrospective.
Jackson 5: "I'll Be There (Minus Mix)"
Despite its ignominious origin (it began life as a State Farm commercial), this new mix, which pares the classic track down to little more than its vocal bed, may be one of the most poignant tributes of all.
-- Allison Stewart