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Song Stories

“American Boy”

Estelle feat. Kanye West | 2008

Estelle made a successful U.S. debut -- and won a Grammy for it -- when she wrote an ode to more than one "American Boy." The lady from London spanned the States as she celebrates guys from Cali, New York and Miami, but Estelle forgot to slip in a note about fellas from the Midwest. She made up for it, however, by making room for 16 bars by Chicago's own Kanye West. "Kanye basically just brought his own cheeky self to the track, his own sense of humor," Estelle said of West's contribution. "At first he was like, 'How can you rap over a dance beat?' -- and now he's done it!"

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Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

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