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Song Stories

“You Are a Tourist”

Death Cab For Cutie | 2011

The 2011 album Codes and Keys found Death Cab For Cutie experimenting with layered arrangements and the addition of electronic sounds to their guitar-based indie pop. But when singer Ben Gibbard wrote the single "You Are a Tourist," he wasn't thinking about texture; in fact, he wasn't quite sure what the song was about. “That song is not meant to be a larger statement than it is," he said. "To me, it's just a series of affirmations and positive thoughts. It's somewhat telling that it's a single voice in the bridge underneath, a low register vocal that's almost whispering at you, after you've been shouted at."

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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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