In an interview in the December 23 issue of Rolling Stone, Austin Scaggs asked Black Eyed Peas mastermind Will.i.am about his "disgust" for Michael, the posthumous Michael Jackson album released Monday.
"Hell, yeah, I feel that way, and I'll tell you why," Will told Rolling Stone. "A couple of months before Michael died, he called me on the phone really upset. 'Hey, it's Michael,' " Will recalled, imitating Jackson's voice. "'Somebody leaked one of these songs. Why would they do that? Who does that?' I said, 'What song, Mike?' 'Some song called 'Hold My Hand.' I swear to God I had this conversation with him."
Last month, will.i.am said he considers Michael that was released today, "disrespectful," saying that Jackson was such a perfectionist about his songs that releasing any of them without his approval would dishonor the singer's memory. Will.i.am also swore that none of the songs on which the two collaborated will see the light of day.
"I knew this man," he told Scaggs. "And he was very critical about every single detail. He stood in the studio himself, mastering and mixing everything. How can you release a record without that Michael Jackson? It's not Michael Jackson. I heard the song that's on the Internet now ['Breaking News'] and I'm like, 'That ain't Mike.' He wasn't there to do his micro-Michael-managing that he did with 'Thriller' and 'Billie Jean.' It disgusts me."
Over the weekend, Teddy Riley, who produced several songs on Michael, slammed longtime Jackson collaborator Quincy Jones for his comments about the album.
"Look at his age. He can barely hear you talk. How the hell could he hear Michael?," Riley said.