Sp: You’ve also worked with Prince? The man has shocked the recording industry, by giving away his new CD in Great Britain for free with a newspaper.
Will.i.am: A visionaire. I performed with him. A few months ago,I was with the Black Eyed Peas in Las Vegas. Prince calls me, he played in a Casino and asks, “You want to perform with me tonight?” Sure, I say, of course! The next day his assistant called me and said: “Prince would like to know if you want to come along this evening too.” Want to? What’s more cool than to play with Prince? Right, to play with him two days in a row! A few minutes later I get a further call: “Hey, it’s Mike, wat are you doing?” Mike? Michael Jackson? Wow! He had changed studios at that time, from Ireland to Las Vegas. I say: “Hey, I’m playing with Prince here tonight.”
“Prince? That is great!”
“You should come!”
“Really? That would be cool!”
“That would be really cool!”
“Okay, I’ll come.” Imagine that: I’m playing with Prince, and Michael Jackson sits in the audience! Holy ish! What chance is there to get a call from Prince and then one from Michael Jackson within ten minutes?
Sp: that chance is zero.
Will.i.am: Right. Okay, I head for the concert in the early evening and – get stuck in traffic! I think by myself, @#$%, this is the worst time to be stuck ! So I jump out of the car and start to run. I make it at the last second into the club. Everything goes smoothly, after three minutes I ‘m back from the stage, Prince still yells in the microphone “Give it up for Will.i.am!” I creep into the hall and sit down to the table of – Michael Jackson. So he really came!
“What did you think of me?”, I ask him.
He answers: “I did not know you rapped.”
Now I ask you? The man lets me fly to bloody Ireland for a few photographs, and he doesn’t even know that I am not only a producer, but also a rapper!
I say: “Have you never heard my music, or looked at my videos? I @#$#%’ am the main rapper of the Black Eyed Peas!” Anyways. Besides Michael Jackson sits the actor Chris Tucker, and then Prince comes down from the stage to us…
Sp: … and sees Michael Jackson sitting at the table with you?
Will.i.am: Yo. He had his bass still strapped on and stops at our table. So there we sit : Michael Jackson, Chris Tucker and I. Prince stands directly before Michael Jackson and improvises on the bass: Slap! He does nothing- nothing! – and says nothing! Simply plays . What a scene! When Prince is again back on stage, Michael Jackson says to me: “Prince played his bass in the middle of my face! What’s up with that?” Now now, I say: “you are finally incognito here! Imagine that Prince would have said: ‘and by the way Michael Jackson is sitting here.’ The people are already excited because of Prince, let alone knowing you’re also here!” Yep, that was it then, the craziest night of my life.
Sp: And when you tell this story, nobody believes you.
Will.i.am: I would not even believe it! But I have to say: It is true. Each word. The next morning I had breakfast with Michael Jackson, we worked a bit on songs together – and that was the last time that I saw him.