THE REEMERGENCE OF WILLIAM BELL by Zach Rabiroff

A familiar hook plays over the opening seconds of Ludracris’ “Growing Pains.” It’s a seven-note guitar riff, repeated twice and capped by a lush minor-key resolution, sounding sultry, sad and funky all at once. On the surface, it might seem out of place leading off a track from a hard-edged hip-hop album produced in the second year of the new millennium...

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