Producer: Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie, Ron "Amen-Ra" Lawrence, Sean "Puffy" Combs Album: Life After Death Label: Bad Boy
"Hypnotize" was Biggie Smalls toasting to the good life. The triumphant first single off his double-disc answer to Pac's All Eyez On Me was a bright moment in an otherwise dark and gloomy period in Big's life. The drama with Pac had come to an unexpected, tragic end, and it was time to move on. It was a time to celebrate—but when the album finally dropped we were celebrating the memory of Biggie Smalls.
Yeah, Big was the King of NY, but on "Hypnotize" he brought the rest of the country along for the ride—shouting out players in Detroit, hoes in Philly, and Versace supporters in Miami and DC. Puffy played Big's hype man on the track, lacing him with those now-legendary "take that, take that" ad-libs. He squeezed first and asked questions last, leaving plaintiff's daughters tied up in Brooklyn basements. Sure Big liked to party, but it was always business first. And if the head was right? Well, you know the rest...
This song created a small riot when played during Big's funeral procession through his Brooklyn borough. The visual of Big's fans swinging off lightpoles, jumping on top of parked cars, and dancing on top of newspaper boxes is something we'll never forget. In good times or bad, no matter the occasion, "Hypnotize" still brings people to their feet and gets them dancing 15 years later.