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

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Single by The Notorious B.I.G.
from the album Life After Death
Released March 1, 1997 (1997-03-01)
Format CD single, CD maxi-single, cassette single, 7" single, 12-inch single
Recorded 1996
Genre East Coast hip hop
Length 3:59 (CD single)
3:49 (Album version)
Writer(s) Christopher George Latore Wallace, Sean Combs, Deric Angelettie, Ron Lawrence, Andy Armer, Randy Alpert
Producer(s) D-Dot, Ron Lawrence, Sean "Puffy" Combs (co.)
The Notorious B.I.G. singles chronology
"You Can't Stop the Reign"
"Mo Money Mo Problems"
Music video
"Hypnotize" on YouTube

"Hypnotize" is a single by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G. It was released as the first single from his album Life After Death on March 1, 1997 and the last song released in his lifetime, as he was killed in a drive-by shooting a week later. It was the fifth song by a credited artist to hit number 1 posthumously. It was ranked number 30 on Rolling Stone’s 50 greatest rap songs of all time in Hip Hop history.


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.[1] 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."[2]

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 #1 record once again. The original 'Rise' record climbed the chart all summer and became #1 around the end of October; Biggie's version was released and charted its first week at #2 and went to #1 the second week."[2]

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. Pamela Long from the group Total sang this part.[1]


The song features many pop culture references to television and film including Star Wars, Roots, Starsky and Hutch, King of New York, comics/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.


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/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.

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."[3]

Famous World Wrestling Federation (WWF) professional wrestler and then-WWF Champion The Rock once used a remixed instrumental version of the song as his theme song during his title defense against Al Snow on the November 30, 1998 episode of Raw is War.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed in Los Angeles, California in February 1997, a month before The Notorious B.I.G.'s death. 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 an 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 vehicle 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[edit]

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

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Liner Notes, Liner notes from both Life After Death as well as Hypnotize reference this sample.
  2. ^ a b Quoting Randy Alpert from personal interview,.
  3. ^ Haynes, Gavin (October 1, 2015). "Soundtrack of my life". NME: 48. 
  4. ^ "The Rock entrance". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  7. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for The Notorious B.I.G.. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  9. ^ "Charts.org.nz – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  10. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". Singles Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Notorious BIG: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  12. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Notorious B.I.G.. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  13. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for The Notorious B.I.G.. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Notorious B.I.G. – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rap Songs for The Notorious B.I.G.. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  16. ^ "British single certifications – Notorious B.I.G. – Hypnotize". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Hypnotize in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
  17. ^ "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
  18. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 29, 2015. 
Preceded by
"Can't Nobody Hold Me Down" by Puff Daddy featuring Mase
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
May 3, 1997 – May 17, 1997 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"MMMBop" by Hanson