Listen to the darker, original "Born in the USA"

In 1982, Bruce Springsteen recorded this raw, dark demo of "Born in the USA" during the sessions that would spawn his Nebraska album, my favorite of all his releases. "Born in the USA" is about the impact of the Vietnam War on America and the country's mistreatment of veterans upon their return. Of course the familiar version of the song ultimately released in 1984 has been reinterpreted by many as a patriotic anthem because, y'know, who pays attention to lyrics.

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The most self-obsessed rappers, according to their own lyrics

John Lemon AKA Ben conducted a statistical analysis of self-mentions by popular rappers to determine who among them was most interested in themselves. Mr. West doesn't even make the top 5; the winner was Ms. Minaj.

1st: Nicki Minaj (11.5% of all words)

Three albums. 17,665 words. 2026 explicit references to herself A self-reference every 8.78 words 42.87 self-references per song An average of 371.55 words per song On "Right By My Side" she referenced herself every 3.5 words, or 28% of the song Her most word-laden song is "All Things Go", at 718 words, with 67 self-references

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Are pop lyrics getting more repetitive? (hint: yes)

Colin Morris at The Pudding analyzed the repetitiveness of a dataset of 15,000 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1958 and 2017. It's true: pop music lyrics are increasingly repetitive. Read the rest