Prodigy’s 1997 cult favorite track “Smack My Bitch Up” turns 19 years old
It’s a well-established fact that instant commercial success is not the only qualification for the success of a track – a cult following can warrant the same. While this stands more clearer for movies such as John Carpenter’s 1988 satire ‘They Live‘ and David Fincher’s 1999 ‘Fight Club‘, a masterpiece of a music production from the 1997 that stands tall to similar claims is British Electronic Music group The Prodigy‘s ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘. Though the track didn’t follow suit with their previous hits such as their stellar album ‘Experience‘ from 1922 or their 1994 album ‘Music for the Jilted Generation‘, the track is widely believed to have developed a cult following unlike any other in the industry. While the album on which the track is featured – ‘The Fat Of The Land‘ – sold 10 million copies across the globe, nothing quite superseded the fame that has carried ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘ towards becoming Mixmag’s 3rd greatest dance track of all time. So here we are, celebrating it’s fame and following 19 years from the exact date of the release.
Kicking off with a very atypical guitar sample, the track builds gradually on a steady beat-work before the Big Beat style beat-work, a Prodigy essential, chimes in. Carrying the track forward is the vocal sample from Ultramagnetic MCs‘ ‘Give the Drummer Some‘, which make up the essential part of the track. At the break we’re introduced to the surreal and soothing vocals from Shahin Badar, who restructures from Sheila Chandra’s music with great aplomb and is arguably the reason that the Prodigy original saw such success. But cult-followers would disagree and claim the startling and interesting official music video (below) to be the reason that the track took off among them. Laced with allegations of sexism (denied by the group) and mired in controversy with TV stations over the course of its journey, ‘Smack My Bitch Up‘ stands strong to represent moreover the commitment that The Prodigy to their production sound and their becoming of the pioneers of the Big Beat genre over the 90s.