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Song Stories

“Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang”

Dr. Dre | 1992

Against a sample of the bass line of Leon Haywood's "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You," this 1992 smash united the rival SoCal cities Long Beach and Compton and, in the process, cemented Dre's status as a major player in music -- and also made Snoop Dogg a household name. The song's impact on pop culture was so massive that it spawned an academic tome of the same name and inspired a Glee spoof on Funny or Die 20 years after its release. "The mastermind on his working methods: 'I sit around by myself in the studio at home, push buttons and see what happens,'" Rolling Stone reported Dre as saying in naming the track one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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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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