Michael Jackson’s “Scream” was a duet with his sister Janet about his frustration with the media. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis wrote the song with the siblings and it was their first time working with Michael. HIStory : Past, Present and Future, Book 1
was Jackson’s ninth solo album. Jam and Lewis produced the album and “Scream”‘s funk and rock influences complimented Jackson’s angry vocals. The video set new standards for the medium with a budget of $7 million dollars and huge set built from seven sound stages. Mark Romanek directed Michael and Janet inside of a spaceship doing everything from crawling the walls, playing video games and dancing together. The black and white colors added to the song’s intensity and gave both singers a conspicuous glare. “Scream” leaked two weeks early on Los Angeles and Philadelphia radio until Epic Records had their lawyers serve them cease and desist letters. Billboard, The Grammys and MTV’s Video Music Awards acknowledged the clip for “Scream” with multiple awards. TLC, Ciara and Lil Mama have all used the “Scream” video as a prototype for their own videos.