Meet The Mystery Man Who Rapped On Michael Jackson’s ‘Black Or White’

Sources: Vice – By Jaime Lee Curtis Taete | All Things Michael

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A couple of years ago, I heard the song “Black or White” by Michael Jackson on the radio in my car. When it got to the rap (” See, it’s not about races, just places, faces, where your blood comes from is where your space is, etc…”) I realized that I had no idea who had done the rapping on the song. After googling, I saw that it was credited to someone called L.T.B. who, according to what I could see online, had done nothing before or since dropping that verse.

A friend of mine who I mentioned this to emailed the producer of the song, Bill Bottrell, who is also credited with writing the lyrics to the rap, and asked him for more info on L.T.B.

Bottrell responded the same day and provided a Gmail address that he said belonged to L.T.B. I sent a message to the address asking for an interview, but never received a response.

The mystery of L.T.B. sat in the back of my brain for the next couple of years, rearing its head whenever I heard the song. Each time it crossed my path, I would take to the internet again to try and figure out who the mystery rapper was, but was never able to find anything. Despite the fact that he had rapped on a song that was number one in over 20 countries, with a music video that broke records by being watched by 500 million people on its initial broadcast in 1991, L.T.B.’s internet presence is limited to personnel lists for “Black or White” and unresolved Yahoo Answers threads asking who he is.

Then, last week, after hearing the song again, I thought fuck it, and decided to try hitting up Bottrell again to ask if he’d talk to me about the rap. “I can do that,” he emailed back. “It’s not a long story.”

When I spoke to Bottrell on the phone the next day, he admitted that he was the one who had actually performed the rap, using the name L.T.B. as a pseudonym. He explained that, when my friend had emailed him, he had given us another email address of his with the intention of pretending to be another person named L.T.B. to fuck with us. “I was gonna do a ruse,” he explained, but had backed out when he realized it would most likely fail. “I think there are a lot of people who already know and the joke wouldn’t have worked so well,” he said.

Bill Bottrell in Berlin last year. Photo courtesy of Bottrell

Bill Bottrell in Berlin last year. Photo courtesy of Bottrell

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