M.J. Rap / Billy Jean Knows You've Got Soul

In 1988, a house music label by the name of T.K.L.S.T. Production issued an unofficial white label featuring a Michael Jackson "Megamix" of several of his biggest songs. Bootlegs like this were not uncommon in the record club days of the 1980s. They'd sometimes include mashups and remixes, which often went uncredited as was the case here. Flip this 45-RPM record over and you'll find a track innocuously titled "M.J. Rap." But don't let that misnomer fool you, as this is not Michael Jackson rapping. In fact, it's one of the most perfect blends ever committed to wax: a mix of Eric B. & Rakim's 1987 single "I Know You Got Soul" and Michael Jackson's 1982 Grammy Award-winning hit, "Billie Jean." How perfectly do these songs align? So much so that eight years later, in 1996, another house music label called Cluedo? Records put out another version of the blend, with the much more descriptive title, "Billie Jean Knows You've Got Soul." While both are absolute body movers, there is a notable difference between the two. Where the first track slows the "Billie Jean" instrumental to match Rakim's vocals, the second instead speeds them up to keep pace with the music. Additionally, the first record was put out by a U.S. label while the second comes from the U.K. As for the DJs behind these blends, your guess is as good as mine. Regardless, both blends are well worth a spin and available via the following YouTube streams thanks to some generous record owners.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Then I find the 3rd label that has released this remix. Dark Star Records.


A label that also released bootlegs. They are from U2, The Police and Bryan Adams.

Same pattern!

Then I found the 4th label on which the Rakim Michael Jackson remix came out.


The record label is called Amplex and their labels say either the records are made in USA or made in UK. All Bootlegs, this time no rock records.

This is all very strange. Until I notice one thing.

The label on the Amplex Records remix version says "AMP 495" as the catalog number. Now look at the picture of the Dark Star records version in the run-out groove where the etchings are. You will see 459 there.


And then I realized the catalog number for both Lounging Records and Dark Star Records is also "AMP 459".

So you can assume that the record lacquer, the mother stamper, with which all these records were pressed was the same. Only the labels where changed to cover up the traces of this bootlegs.

Thats the reason for all this strange information mix ups.

But how can I find out where this was done geographically? Germany, USA, UK... no plan where to put it.

So I'm talking to a fellow DJ who's been around since the 80s about all what I found out and he tells me, that in the 80s there was an large underground bootleg network in Italy that made rock records like this.

Italy. OK.

And he ends up showing me the 5th version of the "Eric B & Rakim Michael Jackson Billi Jean I know you got Soul" Mash up Remix. Thats the version you wrote your post about.



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