Based on a real-life incident in which a woman accused Jackson of fathering her twins (“She says I am the one/ But the kid is not my son”) the song almost didn’t make it onto Thriller because Quincy Jones hated its signature part: the bass line. Thumping and fraught, it feels like the soundtrack to a late-night walk through a bad neighborhood. It successfully makes Jackson sound dangerous, which is no small feat. Amazingly, the video was also one of the first by a black artist ever played on MTV.
Top 10 Michael Jackson Songs
From enlisting Eddie Van Halen for a guitar solo to borrowing the refrain "Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa" from a Cameroonian saxophonist, Michael Jackson's very best songs drew from influences far and wide.