Album: No Way Out
Label: Bad Boy
Biz Markie was once asked which song he would play someone who had never heard hip-hop before, a song that could sum up the music and the culture. His reply? "All About The Benjamins." It may have caused a few angry backpackers to spit out their guava juice in disgust, but it's a valid choice. Hip-hop started out as party music and this track captures the essence of a party to a T. D-Dot slowed down the start of Love Unlimited Orchestra's "I Did It For Love" and laced it with shuffling drums and backspins to create the catchiest head-nodder of the Bad Boy era. When the beat changes to the iconic Jackson 5 break for Biggie's verse, it marks a sign of respect to the park jam era—a nod that was clearly appreciated by original party rockers like the Biz. Even Big Pun had to give it up: on "The Dream Shatterer" he told rival MCs, "I'll even let you rhyme to the 'Benjamin' beat/But it won't matter, your dreams still gone shatter."
Puff Daddy f/ Lil' Kim, the Lox, and the Notorious B.I.G. "It's All About the Benjamins (Remix)" (1997)