"Big Poppa" is a song by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. It was released as the second single from his first studio album Ready to Die. It features a sample of the song, "Between the Sheets" written by The Isley Brothers. "Big Poppa" was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1996 Grammy Awards. It also went on to win at the Billboard Music Awards.

"Big Poppa"
Single by The Notorious B.I.G.
from the album Ready to Die
B-side"Who Shot Ya?"
ReleasedDecember 24, 1994
RecordedJune 1994
StudioThe Hit Factory (New York City, New York)
Songwriter(s)Christopher Wallace
The Notorious B.I.G. singles chronology
"Big Poppa"
"Can't You See"
Music video
"Big Poppa" on YouTube

The single was certified platinum by the RIAA and sold over 1,000,000 copies domestically.[2][3]

There was an official remix released in 1995 featuring Jermaine Dupri, called "Big Poppa (So So Def Remix)" which has similar lyrics, with Dupri replacing Puff Daddy, and Biggie providing a new third verse. This remix appeared as a single.

Background and contentEdit

The title is based on one of The Notorious B.I.G.'s many nicknames. The line, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa" is sampled from his first ever released material, a verse from the "Bad Boy Extended Remix" version of the Super Cat song, "Dolly My Baby" released in 1993. The song also samples the beat from The Isley Brothers' 1983 hit "Between the Sheets." It also makes a reference to the original Bad Boy artist Craig Mack, with the line, "now check it, I got more Mack than Craig in the bed...".


  • "Big Poppa" was used in the 2001 film Hardball multiple times. It was also used in the 2009 biographical film, Notorious. The song was mentioned in the 2009 film, Madea Goes to Jail, as well as being used for the party scene in 2007's Superbad.
  • It briefly played in the 2007 comedy Norbit, in a scene where the title character walks in on his wife having sex with her dance teacher.
  • The song was sampled by The LOX in "We'll Always Love Big Poppa" as a tribute to B.I.G., who was shot dead on March 9, 1997 in the closing track from their debut album, Money, Power & Respect.
  • Omarion sampled the lyrics in his song "Let's Talk". The song was released in Maybach Music Group album, Self Made Vol. 2. (2012)
  • A Spanish version of the chorus was used in a Taco Bell commercial called "Grande Papi" (2013).
  • The American comedy film Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015) used the song in its second trailer.
  • Will Ferrell performed a comedic version of the song in his portrayal of the singer and actor Robert Goulet in an episode of Saturday Night Live.[4]
  • "Big Poppa" was also covered by Mindless Self Indulgence in 2006.
  • The song is featured in the first episode of the 2017 Netflix series She's Gotta Have It, based on Spike Lee's 1986 film of the same name.
  • "Big Poppa" is referenced in the title of the internet meme "Big Floppa", centered on a caracal named Gosha (Russian: Гоша).
  • In 2021, it was ranked at No. 330 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".[5]

Music videoEdit

The music video was filmed in late 1994 and it was released for the week ending on December 11, 1994. It premiered on BET and MTV[6] Mary J. Blige, Craig Mack, Busta Rhymes and Treach of Naughty by Nature make cameo appearances.

Big Poppa track listEdit

12 inchEdit

  • A1 "Big Poppa" (Club Mix) (4:13)
  • A2 "Warning" (Club Mix) (3:41)
  • A3 "Big Poppa" (Instrumental) (4:13)
  • B1 "Big Poppa" (Radio Edit) (4:12)
  • B2 "Warning" (Radio Edit) (2:57)
  • B3 "Warning" (Instrumental) (3:41)
  • B4 "Who Shot Ya?"

Maxi singleEdit

  1. "Big Poppa" (radio edit)
  2. "Big Poppa" (remix radio edit)
  3. "Who Shot Ya?" (radio edit)
  4. "Big Poppa" (remix instrumental)
  5. "Big Poppa" (club mix)
  6. "Big Poppa" (remix club mix)
  7. "Who Shot Ya?" (club mix)
  8. "Warning" (club mix)



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[15] Gold 45,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[16] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[17]
Platinum 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[18] 6× Platinum 6,000,000 
United States (RIAA)[19]
Gold 500,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "The Best 20 Hip Hop Songs of the Mid-1990s". Mixmag. Retrieved 2021-06-12.
  2. ^ "American certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa". Recording Industry Association of America.
  3. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. Vol. 108, no. 3. BPI Communications. January 20, 1996. p. 56. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  4. ^ "SNL Transcripts: Charlize Theron: 11/04/00: The Coconut Bangers Ball - SNL Transcripts Tonight". 2 October 2018.
  5. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2021-09-15. Retrieved 2022-07-18.
  6. ^ "Billboard Video Monitor". Billboard. December 24, 1994. Retrieved January 3, 2022.
  7. ^ "Notorious B.I.G.: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "The Notorious BIG Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Notorious BIG Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  10. ^ "The Notorious BIG Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  11. ^ "The Notorious BIG Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  12. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. Chart History (Canadian Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  13. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Archived from the original on August 15, 2009. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  14. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 1995". Billboard. 2 January 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2021.
  15. ^ "Danish single certifications – The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved February 23, 2023.
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Notorious BIG – Big Poppa". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  17. ^ "American single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa/Warning". Recording Industry Association of America.
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  19. ^ "American ringtone certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa". Recording Industry Association of America.