„Girl You Know It’s True“ is a song by Milli Vanilli. Released as the lead single from Milli Vanilli’s European debut album, All or Nothing, and the duo’s American debut album, Girl You Know It’s True, the song peaked at number one on the German Singles Chart, number two in the United States and number three in the United Kingdom, becoming one of Milli Vanilli’s most successful singles.
The song was written by Bill Pettaway Jr., Sean „DJ Spen“ Spencer, Kevin Lyles, Rodney „Kool Rod“ Holloman (often misspelled „Hollaman“ on single/album credits), and Ky Adeyemo, most of whom were members of the Baltimore, Maryland-based group Numarx, who first recorded the song.
Started by DJ Spen and featuring Kool Rod as MC, Numarx was a collective of local DJs who formed a „crew“ in the early 1980s, originally consisting of four members. With the addition of Lyles in the mid-1980s, the group expanded to five. In 1987, with several singles under their belt, Numarx released the single „Rhymes So Def“, which received national airplay at the time. The follow-up single to this minor hit was „Girl You Know It’s True“.
The idea for the song began when local musician/songwriter and one-time Starpoint associate (and future MARZ band member) Marvin Ennis suggested that the group (Numarx) rap about something romantic in Bill Pettaway’s basement in Annapolis, Maryland. Bill Pettaway, an Annapolis resident working as a gas station attendant at the time also wrote songs and played guitar on the side. Pettaway, along with Numarx members Spencer, Lyles, and Holloman continued to craft the
tune. In addition, then-current Starpoint member Kayode „Ky“ Adeyemo joined in, co-writing and co-producing the song with Pettaway. However, the vocalist most prominent on this song is Charles „Ooh Oh Ooh“ Christopher. Charles was friends with Pettaway, Adeyemo, Ennis, and Starpoint keyboardist George Phillips and became the voice that everyone was singing along with. Although the song did not match the success of „Rhymes So Def“ in America, „Girl You Know It’s True“ did connect with audiences on the other side of the Atlantic, becoming a popular hit in the German clubs. It was here that Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian likely first heard the tune.
Meanwhile, Numarx would later include their version of „Girl You Know It’s True“ on their lone album, Our Time Has Come, released in 1988 and featuring a title track penned by Ennis, before fading from public view. An unsung hero for the entire project, Marvin Ennis was also solely responsible for changing a bad contract which was in the form of a „work for hire,“ between Bill Pettaway and Steve Franco, into a contract where Bill Pettaway could earn royalties from his efforts related to the song. Ennis went on to collaborate with seminal go-go band EU (co-writing and producing their #2 R&R/#4 Billboard hit „Taste of Your Love“ and later touring with the group) and later discovered R&B crooner Kenny Lattimore, when he auditioned for the Epic Records group Mainquin at Omega Studios in Rockville, Maryland. DJ Spen and Lyles have gone on to become world-renowned DJs and record executives, respectively, while Pettaway, by way of Ennis and fellow MARZ member Keith Rowel, was later credited with discovering multi-platinum-selling singer Toni Braxton and has gone on to prominence as a session guitarist for Timbaland and other artists.
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