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Song Stories

“Ghetto Superstar (That Is What You Are)”

Pras Michel feat. Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mya | 1998

Pras' post-Fugees debut rode largely on the strength of its title cut, also included on the soundtrack to Warren Beatty's political satire Bulworth. Bolstered by a the addition of Ol' Dirty Bastard (who reportedly gate-crashed the session), the melody of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's "Islands in the Stream" with vocals by Mya and a video featuring Beatty and Halle Berry alongside the recording artists, the song went Top 20, though that didn't protect Pras from critical venom. Even co-producer Wyclef Jean weighed in, calling Pras an "eight-bar superstar." Jean added, "I told Pras, "I don't think it's smart for you to do a second [album] right now," and a notorious feud was officially begun.

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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