Musical Eduction: Mike Jack

Many messages were passed down generation to generation thru music.

They Don’t Care About Us” is the fourth single from Michael Jackson’s album HIStory. The song remains one of the most controversial pieces Jackson ever composed. In the US, media scrutiny surrounding alleged antisemitic lyrics were the catalyst for Jackson issuing multiple apologies and re-recording the album—altering the lyrics for that particular track. The singer countered allegations of antisemitism, arguing that reviews had misinterpreted the context of the song, either unintentionally or deliberately. Musically, it is an aggressive hip-hop production about social ills.

The song was accompanied by two music videos directed by Spike Lee. The first was shot in a shantytown of Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador where State authorities tried to ban all production over fears the video would damage their image, the area and prospects of staging the 2004 Olympics. Still, the residents of the area were happy to see the singer, hoping their problems would be made visible to a wider audience. The second video was shot in a prison and contained video footage of multiple references to human rights abuses.

Commercially, the song became a top ten hit in all European countries and number one in Germany for three weeks. In the US, radio stations were reluctant to play the controversial composition; it, however, managed to peak at number 30 on the BillboardHot 100.


As part of promotion for “Remember The Time”, a music video was filmed and released. Prior to the release of the video, Jackson’s record label promoted the video by releasing clips, as well as releasing behind the scenes clips of making the video. The nine minute video was promoted as a “short film”.The music video premiered on MTV, FOX and Black Entertainment Television on February 2, 1992.After the video was premiered on MTV, the channel aired a “rockumentary” called “More Dangerous Than Ever” which included glimpses of the making of the video.Jackson’s record label, would not release the videos budget figures.The music video for “Remember the Time” was directed by John Singleton and choreographed by Fatima Robinson; the video was an elaborate production and became one of Jackson’s longest videos with a length of over nine minutes. The video was set in ancient Egypt, and featured groundbreaking visual effects and appearances by Eddie Murphy, Iman, The Pharcyde, Magic Johnson, Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr. and Wylie Draper, who portrayed Jackson as an adult in the made for TV movie The Jacksons: An American Dream and passed away shortly after appearing in this video.


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