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Song Stories

“Louder Than a Bomb”

Public Enemy | 1988

Gangsta rap was the controversial music of the late Eighties, but Public Enemy were creating waves of its own. “That song was simply about the fact that the FBI was tapping my phone,” Chuck D says of “Louder Than a Bomb.” “My phone would go dead between one and two o’clock in the morning every night, even when I got the phone people to fix it. I was saying, ‘I’m not keeping any secrets because everything I’m saying, I’m saying on the record.’” Even though this was one of Chuck’s favorite PE songs, it’s never been performed live.

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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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