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Song Stories

“Free Radicals”

The Flaming Lips | 2006

With lines including "You’re not so radical/In fact, you’re fanatical," this track from At War With the Mystics was rumored to be directed at the band’s unhappy tour with Beck, though frontman Wayne Coyne struck that one down. "No! I’d tell you if it was. But he’s not fanatical in any way," he said. "He’s not awake enough. I would love it if he was a freak." Instead, the hard-riffing track offers a freakout of its own amid the album’s blissed-out psych-pop, nodding back at the Oklahoma City band’s noisy early years.

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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