Serving two good causes at once, What's Going On: All-Star Tribute benefits the United Way's September 11th Fund and Artists Against AIDS Worldwide with performances from stars such as Bono, Jennifer Lopez, Destiny's Child, 'N Sync, Lil' Kim, the Backstreet Boys, and Britney Spears. Originally conceived as a way to bring attention, as well as relief, to the victims of the global AIDS epidemic in impoverished regions such as Africa, the EP features nine interpretations of Marvin Gaye's classic "What's Going On." The scope of the EP's charity was expanded in the wake of September 11th's attacks; fortunately, the song is equally appropriate for both causes. Considering that the EP is essentially nine versions of the same song, it's fortunate that producers such as Jermaine Dupri, Fred Durst, the Neptunes, Junior Vasquez, and Moby give this mix a distinctive sound. "The Mick Guzuaski Pop Mix" and "The London Version" are the most faithful to Gaye's smoothly bittersweet original, while Junior Vasquez' dance mix adds an up-tempo, uplifting twist. In all, What's Going On manages to mix pop music and charity in a tasteful and mutually beneficial way.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares