Everyone once in a while you’ll come across someone who’s super famous for something they did 10 years ago and before you “oh-so-last-decade them them you have to stop and respect the fact that people haven’t forgotten, that’s gotta be worth something yes? So here’s who I had on my show a few weeks ago (yes backlog backlog I’m trying!) singer-songwriter Shahin Badar known the world over for her haunting alap on The Prodigy epic hit techno tune “Smack My Bitch Up.” (I love that the original title was nothing at all like that, watch and learn!)
1.) As can be expected with a song called “Smack My Bitch Up,” this song caused an uproar as it appeared to promote violence against women. The band took every opportunity to explain that the title is not to be taken literally, and means to do something with vigor and intensity. The Prodigy didn’t shy away from the controversy this song caused, and the resulting media attention gave their sales a boost.
2.) The bass-line and some of the lyrics are sampled from the 1988 track “Give The Drummer Some” by The Ultramagnetic MC’s, where Kool Keith raps: “Change my pitch up, smack my bitch up like a pimp.” According to a review in the New Musical Express, Kool Keith was The Prodigy’s favorite rapper. They certainly helped Keith’s cause, as he and the other Ultramagnetics received a composer credit for their sample.
3.) The music video for this song is very intense and was banned by MTV. It’s shot in a first person point of view style, where we see a person snort cocaine, go to a club and and cause all manner of hell and unrest. At the end of the video we see the person in the mirror, and it’s a girl. Noisemaker-in-chief Liam Howlett told Q magazine June 2009: “The Americans picked up on it and wanted to make out it was a song about violence. We thought we’d have a laugh with it and set out to make an extreme video. That’s the one time we thought we’d be controversial.”