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Song Stories

“Zombie”

Fela Kuti & Afrika 70 | 1976

A zippy, lengthy performance with percolating African rhythms and tight interchange between saxophone, percussion, and call-response vocals, "Zombie"'s basic lyrics depicted mindless murderers. In the context of Fela's long-running conflicts with Nigerian authorities, however, it was taken as a seditious statement against the repression he and other dissidents had suffered, and he and Afrika 70 even needed permission from the government to get the album that featured the track released. "Zombie," he tersely stated to NME, railed "against the kind of mind that takes orders without thinking."

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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