Pitbull got a taste of some bad medicine during testimony at a music lawsuit he’s not even a part of. The rapper’s Afrojack 2012 remix of the Michael Jackson hit, “Bad,” was blasted by a music expert who testified at Quincy Jones’ long-running lawsuit against the Jackson estate and Sony Music Entertainment.
According to Billboard, Jones claims that the late King of Pop’s estate owes him millions of dollars in royalties from songs from the chart-topping 1980s albums Thriller, Off the Wall, This Is It and Bad. The legendary producer alleges that several of Jackson’s songs, such as “Billie Jean” and ”Thriller,” were re-edited to cut him out of royalties and a producer’s fee, despite the fact that Jones’ contracts gave him the first opportunity to re-edit or alter the songs, in part to protect his reputation as a producer.
At the trial, Jones’ legal team called AnalogPlanet.com editor Michael Fremer, who testified that some of the posthumously released Michael Jackson remixes that were issued without Jones’ permission ultimately diminished the music producer’s reputation. Fremer told the court that while he personally likes club remixes, the 2012 Afrojack-Pitbull rework of “Bad,” featuring Pitbull, was “inconsistent” with the spirit of the original song.
The judge later excluded the music expert’s testimony from the case, but Fremer wasn’t done talking about it. Fremer told Billboard that he was “so against” the remix of the song with Pitbull and he concluded that many online fans hated it, too.
“Whomever produced it [the Pitbull version] should have said, ‘No,'” Fremer told the music magazine.
“Before the trial, I did some research and the comments online were really negative about that song. People were outraged. It was just a mess and it should have never come out.”
The clubbed-up remix of the Michael Jackson classic was released just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the song. Unfortunately for many fans, Weird Al’s 1988 spoof of the song was better.
Indeed, online reviews when Pitbull’s “Bad” remix first dropped were not kind, with a reviewer for the Guardian describing Pitbull as “possibly the world’s worst rapper,” and musing that after Pit “manages to soil the trademark ‘hee hee'” it “just masks the distant sound of Jackson spinning in his grave.”
Spin magazine also gave the remixed song a thumbs down. The site threw Afrojack and Pitbull a bone, admitting the duo “really had their work cut out for them” with the remake of the Jackson classic, but concluded there were no words to describe just how bad the result really was.
The Afrojack-Pitbull remix of “Bad” peaked at No. 18 on the Dance Club Songs charts and No. 45 on Dance/Electronic Digital Songs. The remix received only 19,000 digital downloads in the U.S.
[Featured Image by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Clear Channel]