The Story Behind 50 Cent’s Collaboration With Michael Jackson

To some, the idea of another song taking the place of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is absurd. Despite this, Jackson collaborated with 50 Cent on a song he felt was the next “Thriller.” Although 50 was happy to work with Jackson, he later said he felt Jackson was inferior to another popular R&B artist. 

50 Cent wearing a necklace
50 Cent| Alex Della Gatta/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The Michael Jackson/50 Cent song no one heard until after Jackson died

Jackson wasn’t a rapper but he incorporated rap into his music. For example, he collaborated with rappers like The Notorious BIG and will.i.am. In addition, the book Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire reports he had a particular fondness for 50’s hit “In da Club.”

In fact, he would listen to “In da Club” every morning. Jackson was watching the charts and wanted to work on a song with a hugely popular artist, so collaborating with 50 seemed like a natural move. Jackson called up 50 saying he wanted to collaborate on a song with him. 50 recalls Jackson said the song would be the new “Thriller.”

50 couldn’t believe Jackson was actually making this offer. He told MTV News the prospect of working with Jackson made him nervous because Jackson was “different” and “special.” Sadly, 50 didn’t get to work with Jackson in the studio and only added his verse to their collaboration after Jackson’s death. Jackson’s collaboration with 50, “Monster,” appears on Jackson’s first posthumous album, Michael.

How ‘Monster’ performed commercially

“Monster” by Michael Jackson

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According to Billboard, “Monster” didn’t reach the Billboard Hot 100. The song certainly wasn’t as popular as “Thriller.” However, the two songs certainly warrant comparison because they’re both about monsters. In a way, it felt right for Jackson’s first posthumous album to include a song like “Monster.” “Monster” serves as a through-line from spooky songs Jackson released when he was alive to his posthumous releases.

When 50 Cent dissed Michael Jackson

Despite working with Jackson, 50 turned heads by criticizing Jackson. According to XXL, 50 commented on a video of an energetic Chris Brown performance and said Brown was better than Jackson. He also said he’d hate to be an R&B singer and have Brown as his competition. This comment inspired Paris Jackson to compare Brown to her father.

50 Cent in a suit
50 Cent | JC Olivera/Getty Images

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“Superbowl 1993,” Paris wrote beneath the clip. “True legends don’t need to exert outrageous amounts of energy just to grasp your attention. stillness, my friend. stillness. more power in stillness than you can probably understand. And I say this with zero shade to Chris, I love him dearly. This is just for you 50.”

50 responded by saying he “understood” Paris’ feelings and questioned why he was seen as the “bad guy.” The exchange made many of Jackson’s fans angry. Some felt Jackson was simply a better performer than Brown while others did not appreciate 50 comparing Jackson and Brown rather than enjoying them both on their own terms. Regardless, we still have the song “Monster” to enjoy.

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