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Song Stories

“Cold World”

GZA | 1995

From the Liquid Swords album, GZA's "Cold World" gives a poetic look into the gritty streets of the Brooklyn neighnorhoods of Brownsville and Red Hook. "A lot of dudes write these street tales and they're so gory, 'cause they think gory is visual," GZA said. "I wanted to write something and take it to a level where nobody's done it." Like many Wu classics from that era, the song was created in RZA's basement back on Staten Island. "I remember being there, and some of the beats were running for like two days nonstop. 'Cold World' was one of them."

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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