L.A. Reid Tells How He Got Caught In Michael & Jermaine Jackson’s Beef
In case you haven’t heard, L.A. Reid is releasing a memoir titled, “Sing to Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next,” on February 2nd and he’ll reveal a bunch of interesting details about his interactions with several enteertainers he and his production partner, Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds worked with throughout the years. On of those enlightening stories is this one that he revealed about a major beef between Michael Jackson and his big brother, Jermaine, that many of us never even knew knew about.
In his book, L.A. explained how he and Babyface got caught up in a long standing battle that the two Jackson siblings had. He said that while he and Babyface were producing an album for Jermaine Jackson (who was signed to their record label, LaFace Records, at that time) they had suddenly received a call from Michael. MJ asked them if they would be interested in meeting with him to discuss possibly working together on some new music. L.A. and Babyface agreed, but decided to not tell Jermaine until after they saw where the convo’ with MJ would lead to.
So they flew to Los Angeles and met up with MJ. After the three of them had lunch and talked about music, they decided to start working with MJ and that work would begin three weeks later. What happened next was what they totally weren’t expecting- Jermaine found out, was furious, and immediately demanded to be released from their label. Needless to say, Jermaine was pissed off big time!
L.A. and Babyface didn’t want him to leave, but they also didn’t want to NOT work with MJ- only the greatest entertainer of all time. So they were in a pickle. They went back to MJ and told him his brother was pissed and something else happened that they were shocked by- according to L.A., MJ gave them the most cold hearted response to the situation with his big bro’:
‘“He’ll get over it,” [Michael said].
‘That’s not really the problem,’ I said. ‘The problem was that he wants off the label now.’
“Did he sign a contract?” asked Michael.
‘Yes,’ I said.
“Then he’ll have to live with it because those are the rules,” Michael said and walked out.
That Michael Jackson was one shrewd man. He was not wrong, but you didn’t expect that from Peter Pan. You expect a little compassion or something. No. Cold as ice.’
And then came the big sit down and eventual Jermaine Jackson DISS RECORD about his brother…yep you read that right- Jermaine put out a diss record about MJ- see what we mean here…
L.A. and Babyface were finally able to get Jermaine to simmer down and work things out with them, but things got really messy when Jermaine told them:
“I want to make a song about my brother. I want to talk about how he’s treated me through the years, like how every time I find producers like you guys, he takes my producers. He doesn’t care about his family or anybody but himself.”
Again, L.A. and Face were in a pickle and were also surprised as all get out that two brothers of soul music royalty will be beefing on the radio like they were on a hip hop mixtape.
L.A. and Face decided to allow Jermaine’s creative expression flow, no matter how much they disagreed with Jermaine’s diss record request. So they produced the song for him and it was released to radio stations nationwide, who all started playing it. That song was titled, “Word to the Badd!”
You know what happened next right? You got it! MJ came calling and was pissed off with all three of them to the highest level of pissivity (I know that’s not a real word, but you catch my drift). He called up L.A.- who was enjoying his day peacefully while chillin’ in his ATL condo- to give him a few choice words for him and Face:
“ ‘You have to stop this,’ he said. ‘You’re the head of the label. You have to kill this. This isn’t good.’ ”
L.A. said MJ and Jermaine met up at their Mom’s house to talk it out, so he and Babyface were under the impression that everything was gonna be all good after that, but NOPE. Two days after the meeting at Mama Katherine’s house, L.A. got two very different phone calls- Jermaine called and said the song is gonna stay on the radio; and MJ called and said ‘You’ve gotta put a stop to this.’
They were right back where they’d started, but L.A. said this is what happened next:
“The record disappeared off the air, as if it had never been there in the first place. I don’t know what Michael did. I don’t know if Michael did anything, but it went away in a flash.”
Check out Jermaine’s diss record about his MJ here:
A guy who claimed to be close to the Jackson family once told to The NYPost that Jermaine’s beef with MJ dates back all the way to their childhood, when they were just the broke Jackson family living in Gary, IN. He said that Jermaine was originally the lead singer of the Jackson 5, but then once Michael was old enough to join the group, he took Jermaine’s spot (that part was confirmed by Jermaine Jackson as well). The friend also claimed that Jermaine felt like he should have been allowed to remain the lead singer, because if he would have, he would have been the one to have the type of success MJ had (I’ve got nothin’ but love for Jermaine, but I don’t know about that one). This friend’s accusations are all alleged, but it does make sense with the type of tension L.A. Reid is explaining in his book.
Another thing that stood out to me about L.A. Reid’s story is that I couldn’t help but think that he and Babyface obviously knew their working with MJ would piss off Jermaine, or else why would they have kept their initial meeting with MJ from him? They probably knew what was up, or had at least sensed some type of tension or competition between them, I’m just sayin.’
What are your thoughts on this ILOSM fam?’
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