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The unintended consequences of songwriting

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Or, how Outkast’s “Bombs Over Baghdad” inadvertently became a war anthem:

At a time when some country music fans are protesting Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks for making derogatory remarks about President Bush, Big Boi was in the unusual position of being an artist who could have objected to pro-war forces using the song improperly.

But the veteran rapper (real name: Antwan Patton) has long understood that artists can’t control how the public responds to their work. […]Big Boi, who is joined in OutKast by Andre 3000 (Andre Benjamin), saw what he felt was half-hearted U.S. bombing raids on Iraq in the 1990s as an analogy for a lack of dedication among many artists in the music business.
“There were lots of people making music, but there was nothing real about it,” he says. “We were like saying, make music that has something to say or just get out of the way.”

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About James Russell