Hypnotize (The Notorious B.I.G. song)

"Hypnotize" is a single by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. featuring vocals by Pamela Long, released as the first single from his album Life After Death on April 1, 1997. The last song released before his death in a drive-by shooting a week later, it was the fifth song by a credited artist to hit number one posthumously. Rolling Stone ranked the song as number 30 on their list of 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.[1]

Single by The Notorious B.I.G. featuring Pamela Long
from the album Life After Death
B-side"Hypnotize (instrumental)"
ReleasedApril 1, 1997 (1997-04-01)
  • 3:59 (CD single)
  • 3:49 (album version)
The Notorious B.I.G. singles chronology
"You Can't Stop the Reign"
"Mo Money Mo Problems"
Music video
"Hypnotize" on YouTube


P. Diddy (known then as Puff Daddy) produced "Hypnotize" and sampled the beat from Herb Alpert's 1979 hit "Rise" which was written by Andy Armer and Herb's nephew, Randy "Badazz" Alpert.[2] Randy recalled, "I asked Puffy, in 1996 when he first called me concerning using 'Rise' for 'Hypnotize,' why he chose the 'Rise' groove. He told me that in the summer of 1979 when he was I think 10 years old the song was a huge hit everywhere in New York and 'Rise' along with Chic's 'Good Times' were 'the songs' that all the kids were dancing and roller skating to that summer. He had always remembered that summer and that song. When he first played the loop for Biggie, (he said that) Biggie smiled and hugged him."[3]

Randy continued, "Over the years I was approached by Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Vanilla Ice, and maybe another 4–5 artists to use the song and I never said 'yes' until I heard a rough version of Biggie's recording produced by Sean 'Puffy' Combs, D-Dot, and Ron Lawrence. I was sent a cassette from Puffy and when I cranked it up I not only immediately loved it but my gut thought that this could be a number one record once again. The original 'Rise' record climbed the chart all summer and became number one around the end of October; Biggie's version was released and charted its first week at number two and went to number one the second week."[3]

As for the chorus, or "hook", the melody and phrasing is interpolated from a lyrical section of Slick Rick's song "La Di Da Di", and it is also from these lyrics that the title "Hypnotize" is derived. Often misattributed to Lil Kim, Pamela Long from the group Total sang this part.[2]


The song was featured in 1999 movie 10 Things I Hate About You in a dance scene with Julia Stiles. The song features many pop culture references to television and film including Star Wars, Roots, Starsky & Hutch, King of New York, comics and cartoon character Richie Rich, children's clothing Underoos, and the '60s pop hit "Da Doo Ron Ron" by The Crystals. Other references include popular fashion lines Versace, DKNY, Moschino and Coogi.

More recently, the song served as the theme song to the 2009 motion picture Notorious, based on Biggie's life.

Conor McGregor uses a remixed version of "Hypnotize" and Sinead O'Connor's version of the Foggy Dew during his walkouts at UFC events.

On the November 30, 1998 episode of WWE Raw, then known as "Raw is War", Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson used a remix of the instrumental version of Hypnotize.

A racist parody of the song titled "Notorious KKK" resulted in the Moon Man memes.

The song was sung briefly by Sofia Black-D'Elia's character on the Fox show, The Mick.

The song was briefly played in the 2016 film Central Intelligence

In 2017, the song was used in a trailer for the film Baywatch.

The song was briefly played in the 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Argentinian rapper Diablo Rojo released an Hispanic cover of the song in October 2020[4]


The song was a hit on U.S. radio before being issued as a single. On its release, "Hypnotize" entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number two, right behind labelmate and co-writer and co-producer Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs ("Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"). When "Hypnotize" reached number one two weeks later, it made The Notorious B.I.G. the fifth artist in Hot 100 history to have a posthumous chart-topper (see List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones). It also gave back-to-back number-one hits to Combs' Bad Boy Records label. Nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 1998 Grammy Awards, it lost to "Men in Black" by Will Smith. The single reached number 10 in the UK, B.I.G.'s first top 10 hit in that country. Kris Ex of Pitchfork wrote "Big was a master of flow, sounding unforced and unlabored over a bevy of pristine, hi-fidelity maximalist beats that seemed to always bow to his intent."[5]

50 Cent told NME that the song was the one he would want played at his funeral: "I'd just want everyone to have as much of a party as possible."[6]

Music video

The music video was filmed in Los Angeles, California. Directed by Paul Hunter, the video starts off with the caption: Florida Keys 5:47 pm, with B.I.G. and Puff Daddy hanging out on a 60-foot Tempest yacht with some ladies when a bunch of helicopters disrupt their party and attempt to capture them. It then cuts to B.I.G. and Puff Daddy in an underground parking lot, where they spot a black Hummer and a group of men dressed in black riding motorcycles, and attempt to get away from them by driving their convertible in reverse while in the streets. It cuts to a pool party that's set underwater, where swimsuit models can be seen shaking their bodies through the windows, and it ends with B.I.G. and Puff Daddy escaping the helicopters. Intercut throughout the video are scenes of B.I.G. and Puff Daddy behind a sepia background with some female dancers dressed in leather bikinis and B.I.G. dancing behind a black background while pieces of the chorus are captioned below.

Track listing

  1. "Hypnotize" (radio mix) – 4:06
  2. "Hypnotize" (instrumental) – 3:59
  3. "Hypnotize" (album version) – 5:32[7]



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Italy (FIMI)[32]
sales since 2009
Gold 35,000 
United Kingdom (BPI)[33] Platinum 600,000 
United States (RIAA)[35] Platinum 1,200,000[34]

  Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also


  1. ^ Rolling Stone (2017-06-02). "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  2. ^ a b Liner Notes, Liner notes from both Life After Death as well as Hypnotize reference this sample.
  3. ^ a b Quoting Randy Alpert from personal interview,.
  4. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtGOYDB-LZs
  5. ^ Ex, Kris (9 March 2017). "Pitchfork Life After Death review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  6. ^ Haynes, Gavin (October 1, 2015). "Soundtrack of my life". NME. p. 48.
  7. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  9. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. Chart History (Canadian Digital Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 3205." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14 no. 29. July 19, 1997. p. 12. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  13. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  14. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (12.6. '97 – 18.6. '97)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). June 13, 1997. p. 20. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 28, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  16. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  17. ^ "Charts.nz – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  18. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  19. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  20. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G.: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  21. ^ "Official Dance Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  22. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  23. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  24. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  25. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  26. ^ "RPM '97 Year End Top 50 Dance Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  27. ^ "Árslistinn 1997 – Íslenski Listinn – 100 Vinsælustu Lögin". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1998. p. 25. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Single–Jahrescharts 1997" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  29. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1997" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  30. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1997". Archived from the original on June 11, 2009. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  31. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 Decade-End 1990-1999" (PDF). Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  32. ^ "Italian single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved May 4, 2021. Select "2021" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Hypnotize" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  33. ^ "British single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". British Phonographic Industry.Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Hypnotize in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  34. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  35. ^ "American single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External links