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Song Stories

“Sabotage”

Beastie Boys | 1994

By the time the Beastie Boys released Ill Communication, their transformation from frat-boy rappers to surprisingly adept funk-rock instrumentalists was complete. But what about fuzz rock? "[Adam] Yauch came in one day with this idea for a song," explained Adam Horovitz, "where the fuzz bass keeps playing, and we would all do these hits and stops to bring, like, suspense and drama." Not only did the song create that suspense and drama but so did its Spike Jonze-directed Seventies-cop-TV-spoof video, complete with car chases, wigs and drooping 'staches.

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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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