In the wake of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, Michael Jackson has found both detractors and supporters among his musical peers. Count legendary hip-hop producer Pete Rock among the latter. The DJ/producer posted an Instagram photo of the King of Pop in full royal regalia with a caption defending the singer’s tarnished legacy and maintaining Jackson’s innocence.
The caption attached reads: “A True King!! Owned all dat music made you the king of the music industry. They mad at you! Your innocent but even in death they wont leave you alone. The Greatest artist/musician in the world. The King Michael Jackson RIP.” The caption refers to Jackson’s ownership of publishing rights to 251 Beatles songs, including “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be,” and “Yesterday,” after he outbid Paul McCartney for the back catalog at auction from ATV. The purchase caused a rift between the former friends, which was never corrected before Jackson’s death in 2009.
Other entertainers, meanwhile, have been far less kind to the late legend’s legacy. The Simpsons tossed an episode of the long-running sitcom in which Jackson guest starred, while Drake removed their posthumous collaboration, “Don’t Matter Me,” from his live setlist. Radio stations around the world have begun removing his classics from their playlists. Jackson’s overall sales also decreased in the wake of Leaving Neverland, leading many to wonder what would become of their beloved memories of his music. At least Pete Davidson has a creative solution.