119: HIStory 25 Roundtable

Twenty-five years ago, Michael Jackson released what is arguably his most important, and certainly his most personal album, HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I. Emerging from the tumultuous mid-90s era, when Jackson was treated more harshly than ever by the media, the album is an explosion of his rage and frustration. It is the most raw of any of his studio work, addressing the media, race relations, and tapping into his personal struggles in a way he never had before. Despite the fact that the album was reviewed negatively by some critics (primarily those who had written him off after the 1993 allegations), it would go on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time, and the bold messaging of the songs would endure. Ultimately, these iconic tracks feel more relevant than ever today.

To celebrate twenty-five years of this masterpiece, The MJCast brings together a roundtable panel of Michael Jackson experts and mega-fans to discuss this landmark album, analyzing it track-by-track, discussing the short films, and exploring its relevance in the 1990s, and today. This discussion is hosted and moderated by James Alay, and includes panelists Rickey Alexander, Maria Paalberg Musoga, John Cameron, and Samar Habib.

James Alay, host/moderator.
Rickey Alexander, author of “A Track-By-Track Synopsis of Michael Jackson’s History 25 Years Later”.
Maria Paalberg Musoga, creator of a short documentary on the #BlackLivesMatter protests in Sacramento, California.
John Cameron, creator of the #JCsMusicology podcast.
Samar Habib, creator of The Michael Jackson Academia Project.

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If you have feedback on this Michael Jackson podcast episode, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at themjcast@icloud.com or find the links to our many social networks on www.themjcast.com. Keep Michaeling!

2 Replies to “119: HIStory 25 Roundtable”

  1. Camara Jahi Joob

    I enjoyed episode 119, but I disagree with the comment at 3:01:21. When Jackson would do the suitcase/fedora/jacket/sequined glove routine before seducing the crowd with “Billie Jean”, that was a variation on what his idol, James Brown, used to do for Brown’s ”Night Train” routine; a photograph of Brown doing this routine can be found in the booklet that accompanies the ”Star Time” James Brown retrospective album. Just my two cents, keep up the great work!

  2. The Captain

    Re: “Isn’t it funny that they didn’t make him take the N word out?”

    No. It’s not. Can everyone not see the difference between a black man re-appropriating a racial slur used against him, and someone who was not Jewish using an anti-semitic slur? He had cause to use the N-word. He did *not* have cause to use the K-word. Imagine the justified outcry if Justin Timberlake casually dropped the N-word in a track? It really is that simple, and I can’t believe that nobody thought this could be an issue.


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