Spike still released a new mixtape with DJs Spinna and J. Period to celebrate the birthday of the king of pop. We got our hands on a copy and decided to give it a review.
Man Or The Music 2 (MJ Tribute) is the second mixtape Spike released for his event. For the previous edition, J. Period held down the mixing duties by himself. This time he is joined by DJ Spinna, internationally known for his Soul Slam parties, where he plays the best of Michael Jackson and Prince the entire night. Spinna is one of the DJs for the Prospect Park event so it only makes sense that he’s included on the mixtape.
The mixtape kicks off with an into from Soul Train’s Don Cornelius
introducing the Jacksons on one of their many Soul Train appearances. From there it goes into a live performance of “Wanna Be Where You Are”. The real highlight to me is the live performances sprinkled throughout the mixtape. Michael Jackson covers Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” live for a funky upbeat version of the reggae classic. Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving You” live is a classic moment in soul music that solidified Michael’s talent as a child. Stevie Wonder also makes an appearance on the mixtape, performing Human Nature live with his signature harmonica. The Roots and Erykah Badu also cover the Off The Wall classic.
What makes this mixtape so special is that unlike many Michael Jackson tribute mixes, it focuses on more than Michael’s chart topping hits. DJs Spinna and J. Period made sure to dig into the Jackson 5 Motown catalouge, finding many under appreciated jams like 2-4-6-8, Shake Ya Body, and People Make The World Go Round.
They have also unearthed unreleased, never before heard tunes from Michael Jackson, namely Got The Hots and Sunset Driver, which sounds like tracks made in the Off The Wall era.
Besides being DJs, Spinna and J. Period are talented producers. They display these talents on the mixtape, remixing a few Michael Jackson classics. DJ Spinna remixes “Remember The Time”, turning the new jack swing classic into a funky soulful dancefloor killer. J. Period takes Nas’s “It Ain’t Hard To Tell”, which samples “Human Nature”, and lays it over his own hip-hop Human Nature beat.
The mixtape also features outside remixes and covers of Michael Jackson classics, giving a different twist to the hits we all love. They find soulful, Bossa nova remixes to classics “The Love You Save” and “Rock With You”. Grammy award winning producer Mark Ronson contributes a remix of “I’m Bad”.
To top things off they also include a cover of Billie Jean from Brazilian folk singer Caetano Veloso, giving a light and acoustic vibe to the Thriller classic. DJ Spinna also included an exclusive cover of “Can’t Help It”, performed by Foreign Exchange member Yahzarah.
Spike Lee helps bring the mixtape to a close with a quick story on the birth of his oldest son, with the help of the Jackson 5.
We give this mixtape a review of 4.5 out of 5 stars. If your looking to enjoy classic music from Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 and you already own all the classic albums give this mixtape a listen.