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Song Stories

“Space Odyssey”

M.I.A. | 2010

Maya Arulpragasam, a.k.a. M.I.A., is best known for her clanking beats and unusual samples, but she and dubstep producer-DJ Rusko went a different sonic direction on this dreamy piece of head music. According to M.I.A.'s publicist, "The song and video were made Monday night for $100," and it was quickly released via Twitter. Here the singer continues her ongoing feud with the New York Times, decrying the fact that they short-listed her native Sri Lanka as a top place to visit in 2010, even though people there where being shot. The song subsequently appeared on Maya.

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Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

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