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Song Stories

“81”

Joanna Newsom | 2010

"81" is the result of Joanna Newsom delving into pop territory and writing a shorter song than her usual ruminative psychedelic folk compositions. "You know, from the beginning, from the very first record, I've always loved great pop music, and I've always held that in my mind as something that would be fun to do, and maybe even something I thought I was doing sometimes, whatever my version of that is," she said. But the singer/keyboard player/harpist admitted she "would do a very bad job if I was really wanting to write a record of pop songs. I don't know if I can approach writing that way."

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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