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Song Stories

“Monkey Gone to Heaven”

Pixies | 1989

Don't look for too much hidden meaning in the expression "Monkey Gone to Heaven," because according to the song's scribe, Black Francis (a.k.a. Frank Black), "The phrase 'monkey gone to heaven' just sounds neat." Despite his breeziness, the song -- as well as the album -- has heavy overtones, including references to God and environmentalism, subjects not normally referenced in rock songs. Why the heady allusions? As the Pixies fromtman said, "It wasn't like we thought we'd get played on the radio."

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Song Stories

“Vans”

The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

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