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Song Stories

“Don't Take It Personal (Just One of Dem Days)”

Monica | 1995

After producer Dallas Austin discovered 12-year-old Monica Arnold in 1991 (while she was singing Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All"), he got her a record deal. For this song, Monica's debut single, he enlisted a slew of writers including LL Cool J and Chuck D, and procured samples of songs by LL and Public Enemy. While this sassy tune about needing space seemed overly mature for Monica, who was 14 when it was released, she said it didn't necessarily reflect her experience. "Sometimes, when an older person writes a song for you, you can learn from the song after you've performed it, because you know what you're singing."

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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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