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Song Stories

“Verses From the Abstract”

A Tribe Called Quest | 1991

Although there are bass samples all over The Low End Theory, thus giving the album its name, jazz legend Ron Carter plays upright acoustic bass live on this track. "He was a great guy — We definitely had a good conversation," Q-Tip said. "He was definitely interested in what we were doing with hip-hop, or I don’t think he would have done the track for us." Despite the title of the song, this is one of Q-Tip’s less abstract raps, with vocalist Vinia Mojica also lending a hand on the track. 

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Song Stories

“Road to Nowhere”

Talking Heads | 1985

A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

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