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Song Stories

“Killing in the Name”

Rage Against the Machine | 1992

This opening salvo from Rage set the tenor for the band's career as the song spewed venomously against racism perpetraed by the U.S. establishment. The track's conception began simply, with Tom Morello coming up with the riff while teaching a guitar lesson. It ended up a modern anthem, being covered live by Phish, remixed by Deadmau5 and used by Bill Hicks in one of the political comic's final standup performances before he died. "We were melding hard rock, punk and hip-hop, and I was the DJ," Morello told Rolling Stone. "It allowed me to emulate a lot of noises that I heard on Dr. Dre and Public Enemy records."

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Song Stories

“Stillness Is the Move”

Dirty Projectors | 2009

A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

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