Re: 8 de noviembre de 2010, ayer se cumplió un año de la mentira llamada "Breaking Ne
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I'm Trapped with a Madman
International Fraud Day
Today marks the first anniversary of what I have no other name for than “International Fraud Day”. One year ago today, a song called “Breaking News” was premiered on Michael Jackson’s official website in a collaboration between Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate. It started off a huge debate that has not been resolved and perhaps won’t in a long time. The song was also released on the “MICHAEL” album, along with two songs from the same recording sessions, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Monster”. The only problem is that Michael Jackson never sang those songs.
Two days after Michael Jackson died tragically because of an incompetent doctor neglecting the standard of care countless times, a set of 12 songs were registered at the copyright office. These songs, “All I Need”, “Alright”, “Black Widow”, “Breaking News”, “Burn Tonight”, “Fall in Love”, “Keep Your Head Up”, “Monster”, “Ready 2 Win”, “Soldier Boy”, “Stay” and “Water”, were supposedly written and recorded by Michael Jackson and two nobodies called Eddie Cascio and James Porte in 2007. Parts of all 12 songs can be found online and they all feature the same voice, but the voice does not sound exactly like the King of Pop. These songs were specifically created to sound like Michael Jackson songs, yet the fact of the matter is that none of them are actually sung by him. None. “What? Are you crazy?” No, I am very serious. They are all sung by an impersonator who calls himself Jason Malachi. His sloppy technique, which includes a really bad vibrato, sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the King of Pop’s vocals, both on his own music and these 12 tracks. To this day, Jason has never personally denied singing these songs, however for some reason many people have posed as Jason online (imagine that, impersonators of an impersonator!) to deny it in his place. Only when his Facebook page was hacked did his manager release a statement saying that Jason had nothing to do with the songs. This is however a clear lie. If you put the Cascio tracks next to some of his songs, you will find a much closer match in vocal sound than Michael Jackson, incluidng an identical vibrato. Here’s part a roundup of how they came to be on a Michael Jackson album.
Sometime around May 2010, a deal was struck between Michael’s Estate and Eddie Cascio & James Porte for the Estate to work on the track. Multitracks of all 12 tracks were submitted to the Estate and they had somebody unknown work on the tracks. The point of this was so they could hand over songs to some big producers, to finish them off and make it possible to include them on the first posthumous Michael Jackson album. At this stage, some of the tracks were augmented with copy-pasted ad-libs from past Michael Jackson songs. This is a fact that has been proven with spectrogram analysis. Why would they do that? To “Michael-up” the tracks, and hopefully further confuse people into believing it’s Michael singing. To summarize:
“Black Widow” features some tiny Michael Jackson ad-libs taken from songs like “Unbreakable”, “Heartbreaker” and at this point unknown, possibly unreleased tracks.
“Breaking News” has some vocal sounds and noises taken from “You Rock My World”, “Invincible” and a track called “Escape” that leaked to the internet in 2002.
“Keep Your Head Up” features vocals taken from Michael’s epic song “Earth Song”.
“Monster” is surely the Frankenstein song of the bunch, with noises taken from songs like “Rock With You”, “Scream” and the “Ghosts” film. Along with that phrases have constructed using a mixture of the impersonator and individual words from the song “Invincible”, sometimes repitched to fit the new key.
“Soldier Boy” features some vocals from “They Don’t Care About Us”.
“Stay” features just one falsetto “you” copy-pasted from “Butterflies”.
When you listen to the tracks, you can’t help but hearing obvious references to Michael’s past work, to make people further think the songs are his.
“Ready 2 Win” is a sloppy rewrite of “On the Line”, with the line “I believe I’m ready 2 win” featuring an almost identical note structure as “Gotta put your heart on the line”.
“Monster” references “Threatened” and “Off the Wall” and rehashes some of Michael’s paparazzi themes.
“Keep Your Head Up” rehashes the main theme from “Keep the Faith”
“Alright” is a straight ripoff of “Stranger in Moscow” music-wise.
“Soldier Boy” draws heavy influences from “They Don’t Care About Us”.
“Black Widow” has some similarities with “Why You Wanna Trip on Me”.
“All I Need” borrows from “You Are Not Alone”.
Finally “Breaking News” rehashes its intro from “Tabloid Junkie”, its guitar from “You Rock My World” and its overall theme again from past paparazzi- and tabloid-inspired songs.
It’s interesting to note that Will.i.am, who worked with Michael in 2005-2006, said Michael was done with paparazzi and media songs at that point. Why would Michael go back to the themes then for only these tracks? Surely they’re not superior to his past attempts to explore those very themes, nor do they go into any new territory. So why would Michael return to this concept? Why would he as an artist that always tried to stay up to date with the latest trends in music resort to rehashing his old stuff?
When the Estate finished pre-mixing these tracks, producers were free to pick out any track of these they wanted to produce. To our knowledge, three people ended up actually producing tracks that were slated at one point to be used on the new album:
Teddy Riley chose 4 tracks: “Burn Tonight”, “Breaking News”, “Keep Your Head Up” and “Monster”. He stopped working on “Keep Your Head Up” because the vocals didn’t sound enough like him, according to a good friend of his and nephew of Michael, Taryll Jackson. His mix of “Burn Tonight” ended up being rejected from the album. The other two tracks were released.
C. “Tricky” Stewart, who has gone on record that the tracks he worked on “sound like Michael Jackson songs to him”, produced “Keep Your Head Up” and “Stay”, the latter of which was also rejected from the album.
Burt Bacharach apparently was given “All I Need” to produce, but his mix was also rejected. The Estate reportedly reached out to him
Some producers that worked with Michael, for reasons that are unknown to anyone with common sense, have come out to say they believe Michael sings these tracks. Perhaps they did not hear all 12 songs, because it’s pretty much impossible to make that claim after hearing all 12 songs, I can tell you that. (Look for them online, you don’t have to take my word for it.) Teddy Riley was the only one of these producers that actually defended his opinion on the authenticity publicly, doing television, radio and newspaper interviews. In one interview he claimed that you could “hear the authenticity in his voice” and that “no one could do a scream like Michael”. All the screams that you hear on the Cascio tracks were copy-pasted from Michael’s past work though, so in a way he was right on that last mark.
Of course, other producers that also worked with Michael came out saying that it isn’t him singing. Nobody in Michael’s entire family believes the vocals on these tracks are his, as far as we know. Teddy Riley lashed out against them, hinting that they didn’t know Michael as well as the producers he worked with, in response. His children, his parents, his siblings, nephews, all of them don’t know Michael’s voice enough? What about the fans, Teddy? One of Jason Malachi’s producers actually stated that the song “Breaking News” was without a doubt Jason singing and detailed how disgusted he was with how Jason could do this. There was even doubt about the tracks’ authenticity before it was publicly reported. In fact, John Branca, co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, had at least one phone call in mid-October with Jason Malachi’s manager, something which was found on that manager’s blog. They were fully aware that these tracks sounded like this impersonator, up to the point where they actually identified the singer before any of the fans pointed the finger at him. Isn’t that an amazingly alarming fact that pretty much confirms that these tracks are fake and the Estate was aware of it? They had people doubting the authenticity on the inside, yet they went ahead with it anyway. It is unclear whether they thought they would get away with it, but whatever judgement they made, they forgot one important fact: Hardly anyone knows Michael Jackson’s voice better than his fans.
The three tracks that were chosen for the album were picked because they sounded the most like Michael, or maybe I should say “the least like an impersonator”. Tracks like “Ready 2 Win”, “Fall in Love” and “Water” sound absolutely nothing like Michael and so Sony has been up in arms about the leaks of part of these tracks. They have even contacted yours truly with a cease and decist e-mail where they made up false claims about how I threatened to leak stuff and reminded me that they could sue me for it. I have been quite the vocal opposer of this clear fraud and this came over to me as if they tried using their scare tactics to shut me up, but of course they could’ve been fed wrong intel. (I don’t even have stuff to leak anyway…)
When the album was announced, fans were worried that the tracks would feature auto-tune, too much processing, heavy editing and would not reflect Michael’s vision that he had in mind for the end result. They were worried the songs would not have Michael’s final touch on them. What they of course couldn’t anticipate was that there would be tracks without Michael’s touch on them at all. Fans worried that with Michael gone, people would come out with all kinds of lies about him, against which Michael would not be able to defend himself. No one anticipated that his own Estate would co-operate in this, by releasing songs he did not record and adamantly lying about their authenticity. These 3 tracks are now forever part of Michael Jackson’s discography, part of his legacy, even though Michael Jackson had nothing to do with them. How wrong is that? Michael once sang that people will do anything for money, I’m sure he couldn’t have imagined the situation would ever come to this. The “MICHAEL” album underperformed primarily because of this controversy. Hardcore fans all over the world boycotted an album they would’ve loved to support but just couldn’t because those 3 tracks are an insult to Michael. One would ask the question “Was it worth ignoring the people that are supposed to buy your product?” to the Estate, and rightfully so.
It’s interesting to compare the fan response to these fake tracks compared to the response to Michael’s death. When Michael died, there was disbelief and then there was realization. In this case, it was the exact opposite: First people realized the tracks were fake. It was amazing to see the fans come together against these tracks at full force. I remember reading hundreds of pages on internet forums of fans saying they did not believe the vocals on “Breaking News” were Michael’s. And this was in the first day! But then the fans backed off, started to doubt their judgement when the Estate stuck by their story despite them not providing any proof. There were no handwritten lyrics, no outtakes, there was no footage of him recording the songs, nothing. They only had Eddie Cascio go on Oprah and state that “that’s Michael Jackson!” along with Teddy Riley. The authenticity was reportedly investigated scientifically and proven by people described as forensic musicologists. No names of these musicologists were ever released, nor their actual research. Yet fans still started buying in to these obvious fakes, partly because of how unlikely this controversy sounds. People might argue that there are so many tracks left by Michael that they wouldn’t have needed to release these fake songs, but we don’t know if there’s actually that many material. We also don’t know what the Estate had access to when they compiled the album, they might’ve hardly had any tracks to work with because they couldn’t strike a deal with some producers. People might argue that Sony & the Estate wouldn’t release these fakes, they just wouldn’t. That still doesn’t change how the vocals sound though. There were also many lies about how the vocal sound, some were blatantly obvious. Here’s a few of them:
Michael did not record the tracks in the shower, like Eddie Cascio claimed. That is just absolute nonsense and doesn’t change anything about the vocal sound other than highlight the low notes and reverberate the voice.
Michael did not record the vocals through a PVC pipe. Some of the vocals on “Keep Your Head Up” apparently were (see bottom), but when has sound traveling through air changed the complete vocal texture? That does not explain the vocals.
The vocals were not Michael just putting down the idea instead of doing a good vocal, he does that on “Fall Again” and that sounds like Michael always has. Eddie Cascio himself stated that they spent long hours working on the tracks, so why does Michael still sound off on every single vocal that Eddie Cascio delivered to the Estate?
The vocals were not altered by audio software called Melodyne and it didn’t result in the weird vibrato you hear. Altering vocals with Melodyne does not alter the vibrato, that is a fact Celemony (the company that produces Melodyne) are quite proud of. Vocal characteristics are not altered by Melodyne. There wasn’t even Melodyne used to begin with, Teddy Riley claimed he used it “to move the stuff up”, yet a leak of the pre-mixed versions prepared by the Estate for Teddy to use reveals the vocals sound the same.
The oddest thing that I ever read was that someone came up with the claim that the “wrong mix” of “Breaking News” was uploaded when it premiered. Then all of a sudden the “wrong mix” was replaced by “a new one” during the next day. No such thing ever occurred, yet some people claimed the “new version” sounded more like Michael! Psychologists would have a field day with this, I’m sure.
The point is that Michael Jackson did not suddenly sound different while recording 12 songs and then went back to his normal voice on “Hold My Hand”, which was recorded just a few months later. So what are these then, you ask? How did Jason Malachi end up on recordings by Eddie Cascio, who was in fact an actual friend of Michael Jackson’s? It was originally thought that these were recorded after Michael’s death, but they were copyrighted 2 days after that. They would’ve had to supply an audio copy of the material in order to successfully copyright it and it’s impossible to record these in two days. The popular theory going around is that these songs were written for Michael by Eddie Cascio and James Porte. They wanted to present them to Michael in a way that he could hear what they sounded like with his voice on it - cue Jason Malachi. When Michael stayed with the Cascio family in 2007, when these tracks were supposedly recorded, the internet was abuzz with recordings of Jason Malachi being passed off as Michael’s, going as far as being reported on TMZ. Would this have reached Michael and Eddie Cascio, prompting Eddie Cascio to go check this guy out to record some quick demos for Michael to listen to? Probably. Like R. Kelly recorded himself impersonating Michael for his demo of “You Are Not Alone” for Michael, Eddie Cascio could’ve recorded Jason Malachi impersonating Michael. But Michael passed away before he could possibly record the tracks.
It is now one year since this controversy hit the fans and to this day, Sony and the Michael Jackson Estate have attempted to sweep this situation under the rug, actual like real corporate thugs. When fans were posting clips that pointed out huge similarities between the singer of these tracks and Jason Malachi, they threatened to sue sites that allowed this. Before that happened, the business manager of JAB ME MUSIC, Eddie Cascio’s publishing company, spent months going through Michael Jackson fan forums each day, taking down all these files sometimes within minutes of them being posted. That of course happens behind the scenes, because on the outside all parties involved continue to pretend like these songs are just like any other Michael Jackson song. Just recently, they tried to include “Monster” and “Breaking News” in the “Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour” production by Cirque du Soleil, which prompted an enormous amount of complaints on the production’s official Facebook page until it was announced the tracks had been removed. (A small part of “Monster” with 50 Cent’s rap still pops up mixed in with “Threatened”, though.) It’s an absolute outrage that they still tried to put these tracks in, knowing full well they sparked huge controversy and pretty much split the fanbase in “doubters” and “believers”. I had been in contact with a spokesperson of the Estate back in April and they told me they were well aware of all the controversy.
The conclusion is this: the Estate messed up and refuse to acknowledge it, instead just praying the problem goes away. They should’ve expected this, after all there were doubts inside the Estate. I hope they realize that time is their biggest enemy. Parts of all 12 of these tracks are floating around on the internet, some embarrassingly fake. Jason Malachi tracks are easy to be found online swell. The amazing analyses that fans made of these tracks are out there too. All the pieces of the puzzle are out there and more and more people are putting together the pieces. This will continue until this fraud is admitted. We will continue debating this controversy until we get it resolved and the only way that’s going to happen is if the Estate admits its mistake. Because there is no way these songs are Michael Jackson. Period.
Some additional facts that I present to end with, from a reliable source:
The breathing and other “aaahs” and stuff were copy-pasted.
The songs were orginally slower in pace.
The are no claps, clicks or footstamps on any of the vocal tracks for these songs (something you can hear on most of Michael’s vocal tracks, going by what can be found online).
The songs were all recorded on various mics.
The original vocals themselves were not recorded badly but properly.
There are tons of takes of vocals, there are several takes used on each line.
There were backing tracks provided with the songs
There are many ghost backing vocals.
The only instance of a PVC pipe being used was on about 4 lines in which they had “Michael“‘s vocals clean and also recorded through a PVC pipe.
One song has a complete MJ beatbox intro made from 7 tracks of looped, copied and pasted MJ vocal tics.
P.S.: A small fun fact - Whenever I see the “MICHAEL” album in stores (and there’s plently of unsold copies, you know that!), I move the copies that are clear in view to the back of the cd rack and replace them with authentic MJ cd’s. It seems terribly childish, but I just want to spare people from further sponsoring this insult to Michael Jackson’s music any way I can.
"Michael Jackson the man that walked the earth and
"Michael Jackson" the name/brand owned by the estate
are two completely different things"