Pop King’s planning his return

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[b]Pop King’s planning his return[/b] By Chris Lee, Times Staff Writer MICHAEL JACKSON has kept a low profile of late: He lived in self-imposed exile in Bahrain after his June 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges, then moved to Ireland in May. But now, according to several people who have recently met with him, the King of Pop, 48, has started work on his comeback. Early word is that he’s shifting away from the R&B lite that characterized his last few albums toward a more urban sound. Talent manager Charles “Big Chuck” Stanton traveled to Ireland earlier this month with his nephew, hip-hop producer Ron “Neff U” Feemster — who has worked with Eminem and 50 Cent and is one of the track masters behind R&B phenom Ne-Yo’s hit album, “In My Own Words” — after Jackson sought out Feemster’s services. Not sure what to expect, they say they encountered a musically focused and creatively fired-up Jackson. “He’s ready to take over the world,” Stanton says. “He’s got some hot records. Will.i.am did one, Teddy Reilly. We’re giving Michael a lot of edgy street records. He’s putting melodies to some hard party records.” Raymone Bain, Jackson’s spokeswoman, said Will.i.am and Reilly had not joined Jackson in the studio, although she said it was possible they submitted musical MP3 files for his approval. “Michael is moving very much forward with his new music,” she says. “He is readying to release an album.” In April, Jackson signed an exclusive recording deal with Bahrain-based Two Seas Records with an eye toward releasing an album in late 2007. Last week, however, he dissolved his partnership with Two Seas, putting the fate of his long-gestating Katrina relief single, “From the Bottom of My Heart,” further into limbo. Since March, Jackson has been meeting with a who’s who of hip-hop big shots — 50 Cent’s main turntablist DJ Whoo Kid among them. Whoo Kid recalled eating dinner with Jackson in Bahrain for MTV News. “Mike was like, ‘Whoo Kid, come sit over here,’ ” the DJ says in a high-pitched voice, mimicking Jackson. “I was like poinng! He was supposed to be there for like 45 minutes; he stayed for five hours. We was talking about Eminem. He was like, ‘Is Eminem really retired?’ I forgot that Eminem totally cremated him in one video [‘Lose It’], but [Michael] didn’t even bring it up. Then he started talking about 50.” Later in that conversation, Whoo Kid said Jackson also mentioned a desire to collaborate with Kanye West. According to Stanton, the singer’s child molestation case is off limits. “He doesn’t want to discuss that,” Stanton says, who plans to return to Ireland next month. “He came through it successfully and he says he’s fine. He’s super-focused and we’re still working.” Source: [url=http://www.calendarlive.com/music/cl-ca-fasttracks1oct01,0,7483740.story?coll=cl-music]Calendar Live[/url]

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