Sunday, April 24, 2011

90's Jams #11: The Notorious B.I.G. "Hypnotize" (1997)

Shifting paradigms. In early 1997, "Hypnotize" set the tone for hiphop's next big change, visually evident in the absurdly extravagant MTV videos of directors F. Gary Gray, Hype Williams, and "Hypnotize" director Paul Hunter. By that point, rap was pop - clearly here to stay - so emphasizing street rawness was no longer necessary. By the end of the year, even Wu-Tang Forever reflected some gleam and sheen. Puff Daddy's eletro-bass sample from Herp Alpert's "Rise" resonated as audacious and forward thinking (and resonated entire apartment buildings when played at the appropriate volume), not to mention the perfect backing track for the cool and confident Biggie Smalls: "Poppa been smooth since days of Underroos..." "I still leave you on the pavement / Condo paid for, no car payment / At my arraignment, note for the plantiff / Your daughter's tied up in a Brooklyn basement..." Champagne, jet-boats, Ray-bans, and surrounded by bitches with the titties hangin' out... The man went out on top. (And that's not all he was on top of...)

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