Song Stories

“Big Pimpin'”

Jay-Z feat. UGK | 1999

"Big Pimpin'," as a track, is a concoction of cultures as Brooklyn-bred MC Jay-Z and his accelerated flow, teamed with Virginia's own Timbaland, for a track that sampled a Middle Eastern tune, "Khosara" (a lawsuit would follow), and featured Houston's UGK (RIP Pimp C). But, a decade later Jay admits that he's not proud of his ode to pimping. "Some [lyrics] become really profound when you see them in writing. Not "Big Pimpin." That's the exception. It was like, I can't believe I said that. And kept saying it," Jay confessed.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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