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Song Stories

“South Bronx”

Boogie Down Productions | 1986

KRS-One would soon position himself as a teacher, but rather than the empowerment messages the rapper would become known for, this track is a gritty "dis record" aimed at a rival. According to KRS, one of his friends played some demos for Mr. Magic, and the noted radio DJ pronounced them wack. "We was like, 'What? Are you crazy? MC Shan is wack, not me.' And I went home and wrote 'South Bronx.'" The crew then went into the studio and cut the track in two hours for $50 because that was how much money they had.

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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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