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Song Stories

“Mistadobalina”

Del the Funky Homosapien | 1991

While gangsta rap was dominating hip-hop in the early Nineties, Del -- a cousin of Ice Cube -- found inspiration from quirkier sources, like Sixties bubblegum pop groups. A big fan of the Monkees' TV show, he wrote this song in response to a mostly spoken-word bit by the group titled "Zilch," which began with Peter Tork repeating the name "Mr. Bob Dobalina." "I just kind of conceptualized who Mr. Dobalina would be," Del said, "which is basically somebody who thinks he know what hip, he think he cool, but he's really right off. Like he ain't right on -- he right off."

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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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