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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

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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