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Song Stories

“He Will Break Your Heart”

Jerry Butler | 1960

A lightly swinging Latin-influenced, almost cha-cha groove and close harmonies decorated Jerry Butler's early soul hit "He Will Break Your Heart," delivering a stately warning that his rival would never love his girl like he did. The melody came to Butler as he was driving on the highway from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Philadelphia with Curtis Mayfield, and as Butler told Rolling Stone, "I just sang the melody and Curtis put the chords to it." The song's premise, Butler added, "was something that I'd lived ...The lyric was an experience rather than a revelation. Whereas music is usually a revelation."

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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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