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Song Stories

“Still Not a Player”

Big Punisher feat. Joe | 1998

Big Punisher combined his "I'm Not a Player" single with Joe's "Don't Wanna Be a Player" and the result was 1998's "Still Not a Player." The single features Big Pun's claim that "I'm not a player, I just crush a lot" as Joe imitates Earth Wind & Fire's vocal arrangement from "Beijo," and producer Knobody speeds up Brenda Russell's "A Little Bit of Love." "In 1997, my production partner Sean became A&R at Loud [Records], and he played one of my tracks to Big Pun, who was just getting in the game then," Knobody explained. "We recorded Pun's first hit, "Still Not a Player" and that became huge — my biggest record. The album sold 5 million copies."

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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