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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

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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