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.


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