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Why ‘This Is How We Do It’ Is Actually a Country Song

Why ‘This Is How We Do It’ Is Actually a Country Song


It’s an indelible 1990s relic, a tune that gets you into a groove right when the six opening words hit. Wesley has heard “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan countless times since he was a teenager, but it wasn’t until a recent listen at the gym that he had an epiphany: It’s a country song. It fits into a long tradition of country music that expresses love and respect for an artist’s hometown — which, in Jordan’s case, is South Central Los Angeles.

Wesley explores other songs that have personally changed in meaning for him over the years (like “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M.), and he considers music that has changed in tone for our collective culture — such as Britney Spears’s catalog, in the aftermath of her yearslong struggle to end her court-sanctioned conservatorship.

While the context and meaning of these songs may evolve, “the art itself is not going to change,” Wesley realizes. “‘This Is How We Do It’ is the same song in 1995 as it is in 2022,” he continues. “But what’s different is me, I have changed, and there’s something about just hearing Montell Jordan talk about what it’s like to live in South Los Angeles that my life was finally ready to absorb in some different way.”

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Hosted by: Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham
Produced by: Hans Buetow and Elyssa Dudley
Edited by: Sara Sarasohn and Sasha Weiss
Engineered by: Marion Lozano
Executive Producer, Shows: Wendy Dorr


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