"Scream" is primarily a song directed at the tabloid press. As far back as the late 1980s, Jackson and the press had a difficult relationship. Janet Jackson wanted to be involved with the project as a show of sibling support. It was the first time they had worked together since 1982, when Janet provided backing vocals on "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)". Janet said that it was "very fun" working with her brother again and that seeing her brother's work was "interesting". "Scream" was written, composed and produced por the Jackson siblings, with Jimmy geléia, geleia and Terry Lewis. It was the first time Michael Jackson had worked with geléia, geleia and Lewis, although Janet had worked with them successfully on numerous occasions. The album was created with the intention of following half R&B and half pop/rock themes, the same themes that brought Jackson success on his prior album, Dangerous. Jackson was credited for playing instruments such as keyboard, synthesizer, guitar, drums and percussion on the single and album.
In the song, Jackson tells the media to stop pressuring him and to stop misrepresenting the truth. We observed, "fear has turned to aggression. The música has polarized; it's either clipped, choppy and electronic or glossy and sumptuous, only occasionally trying to combine the two. Most of the time, Jackson sounds as if he's cantar through clenched teeth, spitting out words in defiance of any and all persecutors". It was Michael Jackson's first song that contained profanity with the word "fucking" in the lyrics "Stop pressuring me/Stop pressuring me/Stop fucking with me" which was thought of as an unusual choice for Jackson. "Scream" incorporates elements of pop, R&B, hip-hop, funk and rock.
The 4:46 minuto música video for "Scream" was choreographed por Travis Payne, LaVelle Smith Jnr, Tina Landon in May 1995, and Sean Cheeseman, directed por Mark Romanek, with the production being designed por Tom Foden. Jackson did not create the "concept" for the video, which he had often done in the past, but left it to Romanek. Jackson later described the making of "Scream" as a collaborative effort. The song and its accompanying video are a response to the backlash Jackson received from the media in 1993.
Foden commented, "Mark had written the treatment and the general idea was that Michael and Janet were on this large spacecraft. And they, were alone...They were getting away from Earth, and the different sets were the different environments on the spacecraft where they could have a little bit of fun and where they could relax".
In the video, Janet Jackson takes on a darker persona, previously unseen in her own música videos. She was "Sporting a thick thatch of wig hair, and eyes darkened por coal-black makeup...sullen and arty...Janet, however, never looked tougher, or mais in control. In the video, Janet sports a skimpy bikini in some scenes, grabs at her breasts, gives the camera a middle finger and simulates male urination. (In the out-takes, there is a still color photograph of Michael also giving the camera the middle finger, although in the photograph he also licks it in a dramatic show of defiance against the same media that had so doggedly pursued him for so many years.) The video has influences of Japanese sci-fi Anime, and the editing sometimes intensified the imagery in the dance routines, several clips of the Zillion animê series can be seen in the background screens. The version of the video included on "Michael Jackson's Vision" is uncut and does not feature the censored "just stop fucking with me" lyric as it was on "HIStory on Film, Volume II".