Because Michael Jackson lent creative direction.
Several inside sources have confirmed that MJ in fact played a big part in composing the music for the game, even though most of his music was removed a couple months before the game’s release. (Rumor has it Michael’s scandalous ways infuriated Sega execs.)
This isn’t really new news, but it’s new to me. I’ll let you in on a little secret: when the Sonic games came out, I took my most prized possession—my cassette tape recorder—and recorded the music from every level. I’d then play it back constantly. I’m sure my mom would recognize this music from the credits of Sonic 3 as being from the franchise…
But wait… Doesn’t that sound like…
As it turns out, Sega left in this one track of Michael’s, which he later used as a base for the song “Stranger in Moscow.”
In case you’re confused, the second video takes the Sonic music and puts it to Stranger in Moscow‘s vocals and some of its beats. It’s essentially the same song.