It's All About the Benjamins

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"It's All About the Benjamins"
It's All About The Benjamins.jpg
Single by Puff Daddy featuring Lil' Kim, The Lox and The Notorious B.I.G.
from the album No Way Out
ReleasedAugust 12, 1997
Format
Genre
Length4:38
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie for The Hitmen
Puff Daddy singles chronology
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"It's All About the Benjamins"
(1997)
"Mo Money Mo Problems"
(1997)
Lil' Kim singles chronology
"I Can Love You"
(1997)
"It's All About the Benjamins"
(1997)
" Money, Power & Respect"
(1998)
The Lox singles chronology
"It's All About the Benjamins"
(1997)
"If You Think I'm Jiggy"
(1998)
The Notorious B.I.G. singles chronology
"Hypnotize"
(1997)
"It's All About the Benjamins"
(1997)
"Mo Money Mo Problems"
(1997)
Music video
"It's All About the Benjamins" on YouTube
Audio
"It's All About the Benjamins" on YouTube

"It's All About the Benjamins" is a song by American rapper and producer Puff Daddy. It was released as the third single from his debut studio album No Way Out. "Benjamins" is slang for $100 bills (USD), a reference to Benjamin Franklin's image on the bills. The Notorious B.I.G. used the slang on his debut album "Ready To Die". The song featured an uncredited vocal arrangement by Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott,[1] and featured a signature guitar hook played by Marc Solomon.

History[edit]

The song debuted in 1996 on DJ Clue's Holiday Holdup mixtape. This version of the song only featured Puff Daddy and the rap act The LOX (excluding Styles P who still appears in the video). The song was later added to Puffy's debut album, No Way Out, in a remix, "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)", which added two new verses by Lil' Kim and Notorious B.I.G. Missy Elliot also provided the song with a chorus which the original version lacked. This version of the song also omitted the word "Hebrews" out of Jadakiss' verse; however, the word was left in on the first pressing. Subsequent pressings removed the word. Additionally, when it was released on the Bad Boy's Greatest Hits Vol. I album, it retained the word. This single made it to #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart and its video won a Viewer's Choice award at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards show. Due to the rarity of the obscure mixtape version, the remix featured on No Way Out is often considered the song's definitive version to avoid confusion.

The song samples two pieces of music. The first sample heard up to the end of Lil' Kim's verse is taken from the song "I Did It for Love" performed by the Love Unlimited written by Linda Laurie and Terry Etlinger. The verse performed by Notorious B.I.G. contains a sample from The Jackson 5 song "It's Great to Be Here." This latter sample is exclusive to the No Way Out remix. After the final verse, the song reverts to the first sample and ends shortly after.

In 2008, it was ranked number 32 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Puffy also released a rock version of the song, "It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)". This collaboration, also known as "Shot-Caller Rock Remix" and "Rock Remix I", featured Tommy Stinson, Fuzzbubble, Rob Zombie and Dave Grohl on drums. This remix added guitar riffs and live drums, as well as a more "in your face" approach to the song's chorus. This version had its own music video, directed by Spike Jonze, which was nominated for Best Video of the Year on MTV Video Music Awards in 1998 which was won by Madonna with "Ray of Light".

In 1999, Puffy performed this remix with a live band at Giants Stadium for the NetAid benefit concert. This performance featured Slash on guitar as well as Lil' Cease and Lil' Kim on vocals.

There is also a slightly different alternative to this remix called, "It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix II)." This lesser known version adds Size 14 to the song's already long collaboration line-up.

Both rock remixes of the song were released as edited versions; the explicit versions were only released on promo CDs.

Music videos[edit]

Three music videos were released for the song and two of its remixes. The first music video was directed by Paul Hunter. It featured Puff Daddy, the LOX, Lil' Kim and Biggie (who appears on a television screen, through archive footage of the Hypnotize music video) and took place in a dimply-lit concert venue and in a forest where the rappers are either running (except Biggie) or rapping.[2]

The second music video (for the remix) is mostly the same than the first one, but Biggie's verse and appearances are removed, replaced by a tap dancing battle between Puff Daddy and Savion Glover, with the latter winning.[3]

The third music video (for the "Rock Remix I") is entirely different. Puff Daddy arrives at a high school prom to see a lackluster band (with the band leader being played by Puff Daddy) performing for a bored audience. He goes to the stage and sings a rock version of his song to the pleasure of the audience. He is joined by Lil' Kim and the LOX. Biggie doesn't appear in the video. During his verse, the rappers and the audience are seen running in the high school.[4][5]

Covers, samples, and in popular culture[edit]

In 1999, "Weird Al" Yankovic performed a parody of the rock remix of "It's All About the Benjamins". His version, "It's All About the Pentiums", features himself boasting about the superiority of his computer hardware.

Diddy sampled the song in the remix to "Shot Caller" by French Montana.

The song has also been covered by the Ballas Hough Band who performed the song with rapper Lil' Kim in 2009.

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (from CD MN-5) quoted the song in a February 2019 tweet,[6] which was subsequently criticized as antisemitic.

Commercial performance[edit]

'Its All About The Benjamins' was sold as a maxi-single with the Mase and Notorious B.I.G collab 'Been Around The World'. 'Its All About The Benjamins' reached it peaks of #2 on the Billboard hot 100 on January 3, 1998 and its peak of number 1 on the Hot Rap charts on December 3, 1997.

Formats and track listings[edit]

Been Around the World (Single)
  1. Been Around the World (Radio Edit)
  2. It's All About the Benjamins (Shot-Caller Rock Remix)
Been Around the World (Maxi-single)
  1. Been Around the World (Radio Edit)
  2. It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix I)
  3. It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix II)
  4. It's All About the Benjamins (Album Version)
Single (U.K. and Canada only)
  1. It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix I)
  2. It's All About the Benjamins (Album Version)
  3. It's All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix II)
  4. It's All About the Benjamins (DJ Ming_(DJ) & FS Drum N' Base Mix)

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart (1997) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 18
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 2
U.S. Hot 100 Singles Sales[8] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Singles 1

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[11] Platinum 1,600,000[9][10]

*sales figures based on certification alone

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[12] 19

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Memory Lane: Sheek recalls how Missy Elliot saved his verse on "It's All About The Benjamins"". MissInfo.tv. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2014.
  2. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent. "Diddy's Best Song Ever? A Breakdown of 'All About the Benjamins'". The Boombox. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  3. ^ Bad Boy Entertainment, Puff Daddy & The Family - It's All About The Benjamins (Remix) (Official Music Video), retrieved 2019-01-10
  4. ^ Puff Daddy: It's All About the Benjamins, Version 2 (Video 1997), retrieved 2019-01-10
  5. ^ Bad Boy Entertainment, Puff Daddy & The Family - It's All About The Benjamins (Rock Remix I), retrieved 2019-01-10
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-02-18. Retrieved 2019-02-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1998-01-03). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  8. ^ Inc, Nielsen Business Media (1997-12-27). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.
  9. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1997". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 110 (5): 76. January 31, 1998. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  10. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1998". Billboard. BPI Communications Inc. 111 (5): 75. January 30, 1999. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  11. ^ "American single certifications – Diddy, P. and the Family – Been Around the World". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1998". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2010-08-28.

External links[edit]