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Song Stories

“Jimbrowski”

Jungle Brothers | 1988

Jungle Brothers sampled, among other things, jazz, James Brown and house music. The New York crew's lyrics were equally diverse but never short on clever wordplay or a playful sense of humor, as exemplified by this song from 1988's Straight Out the Jungle. "The idea for that came at the end of a studio session, with Mike, me, Red Alert and a woman Red was dating at the time," says the group’s Afrika Baby Bam. "Red was flirting with her and kept saying 'Jimbrowski' the whole night. Mike and I wrote the rhymes on the way back from the subway."

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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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