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Song Stories

“Oh Boy”

Cam'ron feat. Juelz Santana | 2002

Harlem resident Cam'ron's 2002 single "Oh Boy" featured an instantly recognizable beat courtesy of producer Just Blaze, who used a repeating, high-pitched Rose Royce vocal sample to anchor the song. Released during the heigh of the infamous Nas vs. Jay-Z feud, "Oh Boy" might have gone down in history as a Nas dis, if a planned Jay-Z verse made it onto a remix. Juelz Santana, who made a guest appearance on the original track, explained "[Cam'ron] made [engineer Young Guru] erase the verse," about the rapper's reluctance to include the insulting lyrics. "Cam told Guru, 'You better erase that, I don't ever want to hear that.'"

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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