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Song Stories

“Jenifa Taught Me (Derwin's Revenge)”

De La Soul | 1989

De La Soul is best known as the clown princes of hip-hop, yet the group spent a lot of time rapping about sex, though in their typically lighthearted style. One of the most notable examples is 3 Feet High and Rising's second single (the flip was the popular "Potholes in My Lawn"), which details a clumsy early hookup. According to De La Soul rapper Dave, "Derwin is a friend of ours who we used to crack on because he never got no girls. He loved the song, of course. It put him on the map."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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