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"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 money, referring to Benjamin Franklin's image on the US$100 bill. 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, and featured a signature guitar hook played by Marc Solomon.

Background

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. 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 rap 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

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 dimly-lit concert venue and in a forest where the rappers are either running (except Biggie) or rapping. 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. 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.

Covers, samples, and in popular culture

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 title in a February 2019 tweet, which was subsequently criticized as antisemitic.


Commercial performance


"It's All About The Benjamins" was sold as a maxi-single with the Mase and Notorious B.I.G. collaboration "Been Around The World". "It's All About The Benjamins" reached its peak of number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 on January 3, 1998, behind the million-selling single, "Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John, and its peak of number 1 on the Hot Rap charts on December 3, 1997.

Formats and track listings

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

Charts



Weekly charts



Year-end charts



References



External links

* {{Authority control Category:1997 singles Category:Sean Combs songs Category:Music videos directed by Paul Hunter (director) Category:Music videos directed by Spike Jonze Category:Bad Boy Records singles Category:Songs written by Sean Combs Category:Lil' Kim songs Category:Songs written by Lil' Kim Category:Posse cuts