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Song Stories

“U Can't Touch This”

MC Hammer | 1990

Aided by the video featuring MC Hammer's slinky dance moves and parachute pants, this self-aggrandizing hip-hop song had fans everywhere declaring, "Stop — Hammer time!" Yet, other well-known rappers criticized Hammer for poor rapping. And Rick James hated the song, which sampled his funk classic "Super Freak." "Hell, no, I wasn't impressed with that s--t," he said. James said he would have refused Hammer had he personally requested to use the song — even though it earned James huge royalties and his only Grammy. "After that, I told my people that I didn't want any more rappers using my stuff."

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Song Stories

“Promiscuous”

Nelly Furtado with Timbaland | 2006

This club-oriented single featuring Timbaland, who produced Nelly Furtado's third album, Loose, was Furtado’s sexy return after the Canadian singer's exploration of her Portuguese heritage on Folklore. "In the studio, initially I didn’t know if I could do it, 'cause Timbaland wrote that chorus," Furtado said. "I'm like, 'That's cool, but I don't know if I'm ready to do full-out club.'" The flirty lyrics are a dance between a guy and girl, each knowing they will end up in bed together but still playing the game. "Tim and I called it 'The BlackBerry Song,' she said, "because everything we say in the song you could text-message to somebody."

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