You won’t see Drake doing the moonwalk anytime soon. Mostly because he only knows how to do that one Kiki challenge dance, but also because he’s not fucking with Michael Jackson anymore. According to Complex, Drake’s just made a last minute change to his setlist for the kickoff of his tour in Manchester, England this past weekend. Drake won’t be performing “Don’t Matter to Me” off his Scorpion album, which featured “previously unheard vocals from Michael Jackson”. Oops, maybe he can ask the Jackson Estate if he can get his money back.
As Variety and a slew of others pointed out Monday morning, the song was indeed not a part of the proceedings at Manchester Arena, where Drake launched his Assassination Vacation tour with Tory Lanez and Tiffany Calver. The track, co-produced by 40 and Nineteen85, notably did appear on setlists for his previous Aubrey and the Three Migos tour in 2018.
No official reason has been given for the change, but it seems pretty obvious that it has something to do with Leaving Neverland. In addition to a number of radio stations in England, Canada, and New Zealand deciding not to play MJ aymore, Complex says that an episode of The Simpsons featuring MJ’s voice is going into the vault. Maybe it will have an adjoining room with the Disney vault and it can kick it with Song Of The South.
This latest move by Drake is just the beginning of a long and painful process we’re all going to have to go through as we grapple with The King Of Pop’s legacy. It was pretty easy for most people to set Robert Sylvester Kelly’s musical contributions to the culture aside once it became impossible to ignore his alleged criminal behavior. Ignition is a bop and all, but it’s a hill blessed few are willing to die on. However, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for people to distance themselves from the love and respect they have/had for MJ. Need proof, just look out your window and count the dead bodies piled up at the base of Mt. Thriller. Sadly, there are plenty of people still willing to die on that hill.
I don’t think there’s an easy way to get out of this situation either. With Drake, if we ever found out his texting of teenagers was not totally normal and cool, we’d still have the Kidz Bop covers of his music to enjoy. With MJ, the Kidz Bop covers are far too creepy to even consider.