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Song Stories

“I'm Excited”

DJ Shadow feat. Afrikan Boy | 2011

DJ Shadow puts a lot of thought into his albums, and the process was no different for the Bay Area beatmaker's 2011 release The Less You Know, The Better. The track "I'm Excited," which features U.K. rapper Afrikan Boy as a guest vocalist, was one of the last Shadow wrote, and he considers it to be a "middle finger" to the rest of the album. "At that point, I'm tired of working my ass off and sweating every little split second," he said. "So I make something in a day-and-a-half that totally gets all my emotions out, something cathartic that I can have fun with. That’s what 'I'm Excited' is."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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