Michael Jackson's Influence on Music

Michael Jackson Remixes
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 29, 2009

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Sample: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” (1982)

Undoubtedly, Michael Jackson changed the music game with the first note to the last dance step. ESSENCE.com takes a look at some of yesterday and today’s artists who keep the King of Pop’s legacy alive through remakes and samples.

This club banger gets the people moving but when the break delivers MJ’s classic “mamasay mamasa” tongue twister, that’s when all party people rush the dance floor.
Listen Now Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded - Don't Stop the Music

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Sample: “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thang)”

This soul brother picked up where MJ left off admiring and complementing the sexy ladies in the world.

Listen Now Carl Carlton - Funk Essentials: Funk Funk - The Best of Funk Essentials, Vol. 2 - She's a Bad Mama Jama (She's Built, She's Stacked)

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “I Can’t Help It”

Some women have such a profound effect on a man that he gets besides himself. So what better way to tell your special lady you’re sweet on her than whispering MJ’s famous lines “when I’m looking in the mirror, nothing’s more clearer” than your addiction to her.
Listen Now Ryan Leslie - Addiction (feat. Cassie & Fabolous) - Single - Addiction

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Human Nature”

The Bronx-bred trio took their ode for eternal love and support to the next level when they explained that their vow to love was simply human nature.

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Philly’s dynamic duo cowrote the song for MJ and they’re production was so tight that Michael sang it exactly as Marsha Ambrosius sung it.

Listen Now Floetry - Floetic - Butterflies

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Thriller”

MJ’s mini horror movie was frightening, but considering all the police brutality in the world, it’s most befitting that this political rap group would use the scariest song to describe some public authorities.

Listen Now Public Enemy - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Public Enemy - 911 Is a Joke

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Smaple: “I’ll Be There”

Packing a powerful eight-octave range made Mrs. Cannon’s remake one that the King of Pop was proud of.

Listen Now Mariah Carey - Mariah Carey: Greatest Hits - I'll Be There

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “The Lady of My Life”

This classic remake does the King of Pop justice as ABS’s soothing vocals talk about his eternal love.

Listen Now Al B. Sure! - Honey I'm Home

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “I Can’t Help It”

The vocal powerhouse blessed the soundtrack of “Meteor Man” with this midtempo love anthem.

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Maria (You’re the Only One)”

The South Bronx-bred lyricist turned MJ’s classic love anthem to pay homage to his mother while sharing a vivid description of his growing joys and pains and how it affected his mother but never stopped her from showing him unconditional love.

Listen Now Fat Joe - Me, Myself & I - Bendicion Mami

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “She’s Out of My Life,”
The Belle of the Ball always adds a depth and soul to this song that tugs at the heartstrings just as much as MJ’s version.

Listen Now Patti LaBelle - Patti LaBelle: Classic Moments - He's Out of My Life

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Billie Jean”

From the moment the classic “BJ” intro drops, Cube whispers a seductive “yeah” that’s joined with the staple West Coast rap symphony and his boasting about how he handles his business personally and otherwise.

Listen Now Ice Cube - Ice Cube: Greatest Hits - You Know How We Do It

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “The Girl Is Mine”

The former first lady of The Inc. borrows the melody and gives the answer as to why any man would want to claim that doggone girl is mine.
Listen Now Ashanti - The Declaration - Good Good

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “I Can’t Help It”

It’s the same rapper-meets-girl story: he’s struck by her beauty and can’t help but try to make her his wife.

Listen Now Ryan Leslie - Addiction (feat. Cassie & Fabolous) - Single

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “I Can’t Help It”

A simple “a-one-two-a-one-two” gives this MJ classic a whole new meaning and feel with these genius backpack rappers.

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”

Perhaps the Harlem rapper tried to send a subliminal message about infidelity to serial cheaters by encouraging them to get it out of their system? An interesting and controversial twist to the MJ classic.

Listen Now Mase - Harlem World - Cheat On You (feat. Lil' Cease & Jay-Z)

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Aint No Sunshine”

The melancholy tribute makes for a perfect symphony for the Wu-Tang Clan member’s street anthem.

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “I Wanna Be Where You Are”

Before there was auto-tune or 50 Cent and JaRule performing rap singalongs, the Puba took a stab at creating a Debarge and MJ harmony, and somehow his off-key rendition was endearing.

Listen Now Grand Puba - 2000 - I Like It (I Wanna Be Where You Are)

Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Human Nature”

There’s something about this rapper saying he’s half-man, half-amazing that is so not human nature, but we believe every verse.
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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thang)”
We can always count on Mr. West to flip the script and make the old and new school live harmoniously in his world.
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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample “I Can’t Help It”

This quartet’s midtempo jam expresses the same sentiments MJ did about the lack of control when it comes to rekindling a relationship instead of simply kissing and saying goodbye.
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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “With A Child’s Heart”

Michael Jackson’s sweet anthem is the perfect backdrop to this truth-or-dare street ode about separating the men from the boys.
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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Human Nature”

Michael Jackson even influenced the jazz world as the late, great Miles Davis presented this classic in raw form, and the instrumental is just as heavenly.

Listen Now Miles Davis - Miles Davis: Super Hits - Human Nature

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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Sample: “Liberian Girl”

This street poet’s heartfelt letter to his future legacy is the perfect combination with MJ’s worldly classic.

Listen Now 2Pac - Until the End of Time - Letter 2 My Unborn

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Michael Jackson’s Top 25 Songs »

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