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Song Stories

“I'll Be Missing You”

Puff Daddy with Faith Evans | 1997

Following the death of his best friend, Christopher "the Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, Sean "Puffy" Combs took to the studio for a tribute. Fashioned from a segment of the Police song, "Every Breath You Take" and his own rap, with vocals by Smalls' widow Faith Evans and 112, and a nod to the gospel send-off "I'll Fly Away," "I'll Be Missing You" became the first rap song to enter the charts at number one. But winning Grammy, gold and platinum awards were cold comfort in light of Biggie's murder, still unresolved after 15 years. "I would rather not have this. I would do anything---I would turn the hits into negative hits if I could just be with Biggie again," said Combs at the end of his own notorious year.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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