Darius Rucker: Five Songs That Changed The Way I Heard Music

Country hitmaker and Hootie leader recalls the pivotal songs from his past that shaped his world

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"The What," Notorious B.I.G.

It was the 4th of July and [Hootie and the Blowfish] were kicking it pretty hard at this point. It was 1994, I think, maybe 1995. I go to the Blockbuster since I'm home by myself and I'm looking for movies to rent. I get this movie called The Show by Russell Simmons. It's basically a rap documentary with live performances. And I hear the Notorious B.I.G. It blew my mind. I got up the next morning and I was at the record store where I used to work when it opened because I had to buy this Notorious B.I.G. CD. I buy it and start listening and get to "The What." I must have played it 10 times in a row. It was Notorious B.I.G. and Method Man. It's my favorite rap song of all time. The R&B record [Back to Then] I made at the the turn of the century was because of that Notorious B.I.G. record. 

I probably still listen to that song at least twice every week. I'll listen to it before I go onstage because it pumps me up. I'll listen to it when I'm just chilling because it makes me think. It's one of those songs where I always said, 'If I ever get the chance, I'm gonna do it with Method Man." I'd been into rap with Public Enemy, Beasties and all the great ones I love, but that was the one where I was like, "I didn't know rap could be this great."

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