Timbaland and J-Roc’s first main track entry on Xscape is Chicago, a dark funk track full of sultry atmospheric pop, telling the tale of an affair with a married woman. Immediately out front is Jackson’s tenor voice laying out hope for love, all while his backup vocals scream of consequences for the way this woman tried to live a double life.
In classic Jackson fashion, the drums drop out at the 3:20 mark as vocals and finger snaps take over. Perhaps in this moment, it was when Timbaland said in interviews that he sometimes felt like he was hearing Jackson’s spirit speak to him in studio.
The 2014 version of Chicago rivals Jackson’s work on the 1991 Dangerous album.