Michael Jackson has collaborated with many artists during his long and decorated career. At one point, he allegedly even nearly collaborated with rap legend Tupac. But the Grammy-winner was said to have turned down the opportunity out of loyalty to Biggie.
How Biggie Smalls reacted when he met Michael Jackson
As many know, Biggie Smalls and Michael Jackson collaborated for the record “This Time Around” produced by Dallas Austin. Smalls was a huge fan of Jackson at the time and was more than excited about meeting his idol. The collaboration came about because Jackson wanted a rapper to feature on his record.
“So, after we finish, we was working on the song, he goes, ‘Man, I really want a rapper. I need a rapper on the song,’” Austin once told DJ Vlad. “So I was like, ‘Maybe you want Treach, from Naughty by Nature.’ He goes, ‘No, no, I need somebody hard or something.’ I said, ‘You want to play Notorious BIG? B.I.G?’ ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, what about him?’”
Biggie and Austin would go on to meet with Jackson to record the feature. In the book Michael Jackson: All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track, recording engineer John Van Nest was present when Biggie met Jackson. And Nest shared the Brooklyn rapper had an emotional response to meeting Jackson.
“He was quite an imposing figure when he walked in, as he was quite popular at the time. I had no idea what to expect from him in terms of attitude, but he seemed nice when he walked in…. But almost immediately, he blurted out, ‘Yo, Dallas, can I meet Mike?’…. Biggie went on to talk about how much this opportunity meant to him, as Michael was his hero,” Nest recalled.
Michael Jackson once refused to do a Tupac feature because of Biggie
Quincy Delight Jones III, aka QDIII, was a longtime producer for Tupac and considered himself the rapper’s close friend. QD III ended up only producing one track off Tupac’s The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. This posthumous record would also be the debut of a new moniker for Tupac titled Makaveli.
Seen as one of Tupac’s most introspective albums, the record almost featured a first-time collaboration between him and Michael Jackson. But according to QD III, it was an invitation Jackson declined.
“So I set up a meeting at Neverland [Ranch],” QDIII recently told BET. “I go up there and told Michael about it. And do you know what Micheal said? He liked Biggie.”
Tupac once believed wealthy celebrities like Michael Jackson didn’t do enough for poor communities
In Tupac’s younger years, the late rap superstar criticized many celebrities for not helping out poorer communities. To the multi-platinum artist, Jackson was one of those celebrities.
“Ther’s no way Michael Jackson should have, or whoever Jackson should have a million thousand drouple billion dollars and then there’s people starving. There’s no way,” Tupac once told MTV News.