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Song Stories

“Walk This Way”

Run-D.M.C. | 1986

In the early-to-mid-1980s, the line was firmly drawn between rock and hip-hop. But the wall came tumbling down once producer Rick Rubin persuaded Run-DMC to give Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" a rap makeover. "Run-DMC liked the beat, but they didn't want to sing those words," Rubin told Rolling Stone. "I explained that would defeat the purpose. There were still people who didn't think rap was music. The goal was, here's a song you've heard. And our version isn't so different that theirs is music and ours isn't."

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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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