.

Song Stories

“Raw”

Big Daddy Kane | 1987

In 1987, Big Daddy Kane — who'd just signed with Marley Marl's Cold Chillin' Records — compared himself to a rap "terrorist" on "Raw," a promo single released to introduce the emcee to the world. The underground hit, featuring a sample of the James Brown classic "Hot Pants," was remixed for his debut Long Live the Kane, but real hip-hop heads (and hardcore fans of the rapper) will always remember the braggadocious original, where Kane spits, "So full of action/My name should be a verb." "I couldn't really see it going too far," he recalled. "I thought we'd have a neighborhood song out, a Brooklyn hit, and that's it."

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com