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Tracey Ford


  • Too Close

    Next was formed in Minneapolis when the uncle of Terry "T-Low" and Raphael "Tweety" Brown, who was a gospel choir director, introduced the brothers to Robert Lavelle "R.L." Huggar. Sounds of Blackness singer Ann Nesby groomed the R&B group before handing them over to Naughty by Nature's KayGee, who wrote and produced "Too Close." The […]

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  • Informer

    Inspired by his stint in jail, Snow hooked up with MC Shan and released "Informer." Reggae purists, who didn't buy into Snow's brand of Canadian dancehall, criticized the song. Nonetheless, "Informer "quickly climbed the charts and holds two Guinness world records — as the Biggest Selling Reggae Single in U.S. History and Highest Charting Reggae […]

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  • Still Not a Player

    Big Punisher combined his "I'm Not a Player" single with Joe's "Don't Wanna Be a Player" and the result was 1998's "Still Not a Player." The single features Big Pun's claim that "I'm not a player, I just crush a lot" as Joe imitates Earth Wind & Fire's vocal arrangement from "Beijo," and producer Knobody […]

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  • Closer

    Ne-Yo's dance-pop hit "Closer" marked a musical departure for the singer-songwriter, who's known for a more soulful sound. The risk paid off. "Closer" topped the charts in the U.K. and was featured in episodes of Gossip Girl and 90210. "It was very much inspired by just the vibe of some of these house and techno […]

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  • A Milli

    Lil Wayne's Tha Carter III album sold one "milli" in a week, making Weezy's "A Milli" track applicable to everything he touched in 2008. Originally, "A Milli" producer Bangladesh assumed he'd have to revamp the sped-up 808 drum machine to accommodate the verse/hook/verse/hook format, but Wayne didn't want a traditional beat. "That's the genius of […]

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  • American Boy

    Estelle made a successful U.S. debut — and won a Grammy for it — when she wrote an ode to more than one "American Boy." The lady from London spanned the States as she celebrates guys from Cali, New York and Miami, but Estelle forgot to slip in a note about fellas from the Midwest. […]

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  • In Da Club

    Known as hip-hop's birthday song, 50 Cent's "In Da Club" would serve as the radio-friendly single off his commercial debut. Fans of the rapper's mixtapes were well aware that 50 was more incline to hijack a fellow emcee [see: "How to Rob"] before dancing around in "da club." But, the Queens, New York-bred rapper hopped […]

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  • Funk Diva Kelis Gets "Bossy" on New Album

    R&B goddess collaborates with Too Short, "the ultimate O.G.," on fourth effort

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  • Ne-Yo Releases His "Own Words"

    Mario, Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige songwriter steps up to the mike

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  • Stipe, Bright Eyes Unite for Peace

    Musicians, activists join forces for benefit concert

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