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Song Stories

“Please Don't”

David Byrne and Fatboy Slim | 2010

When David Byrne read about Imelda Marcos's fondness for disco, he immediately began conceptualizing a disco opera, which became the album Here Lies Love. In writing some of the songs about Marcos (who is the wife of Ferdinand Marcos, exiled president of the Philippines, and a politician herself) Byrne turned parts of her speeches into lyrics. "Some of Imelda's quotes say so much," he said. "They were gifts." In this song, electro-pop artist Santigold sings, "Don't let them look down on us/Like they used to do me"--a Marcos-penned line about her hardscrabble childhood and her country's place in the world.

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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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