The lyrical sample was rapped by noted nutjob Kool Keith in the Ultramagnetic MCs song "Give the Drummer Some" off the LP "Critical Beatdown".

I'm ready
And now it's my turn to build
Uplift, get swift, then drift
Off... and do my own thing
Switch up
Change my pitch up
Smack my bitch up, like a pimp

The Prodigy's use of the lyric out of context in their own music prompted the Beastie Boys to call them misogynists and demand they be kicked off the bill to Reading 1998. Of course, MC Maxim Reality declared that "the way things go, I do what the fuck I want!", the band played the song, and the media turned it into a giant battle.

Of course, the original criticism was ironic coming from a band who used to have caged dancing girls and 20-foot phalluses as stage props. So it goes.
It should be noted that the sample has nothing at all to do with heroin. It is about smacking women; Kool Keith compares his rap dominance over would-be imitators ("any rapper who attempt to wear Troops and step on my path") to a kind of relationship between a pimp and a prostitute. In his career, Kool Keith also has songs that mention bestiality, pedophilia, mass murder, cannibalism, brutal anal sex, smuggling hard drugs, gyncological exams, and jerking off on a bald-headed girl. I'm sure that the great, self-annointed Protectors of Children could find much more objectional material if they knew Square One about any music other than country, CCM, and Top 40. But they don't, so you get protests over a harmless and rather annoying Prodigy track.

I don't have a problem with him singing about these things in a humorous manner; Keith's a genius and a nice guy, and I have all the respect in the world for him. I also understand why some people could have problems with his words. But let's not try to paint the picture rosier than it is, folks. It's about hitting women. Either come to grips with it, or fight it, but don't make up some fake alternate meaning when you've never heard of Critical Beatdown, you think Liam Howlett pulled those lyrics out of his talented ass, you think that owning copies of Brothers Gonna Work It Out and Perfecto Presents Another World makes you some kind of underground electronica fan, and you think that everything can only be bright and sunny in the world while you get your roll on at Glastonbury listening to some DJ you pretend to know. As Keith would say, you wack. Grow up and get a clue. You can follow Keith Flint, you can follow Mike D, or you can follow your own mind. S'up to you.

A song by the group Prodigy, from their LP, The Fat of the Land.

The song's entire lyrics consist of: "change my pitch up / smack my bitch up".

Even though the lyrics are mind-numbingly simple, you can't expect to have a song named "Smack my bitch up" and not piss some people off.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) said the lyrics are a "dangerous and offensive message advocating violence against women". Mind you, the basis behind this statement (while understandable) is only from one phrase of the two phrase song.

Liam Howlett, the band's leader, claims the lyrics are misinterpreted - the song means "doing anything intensly, like being on stage - going for extreme manic energy."

Prodigy's dancer Leeroy Thornhill says, "It's just a hook. That's the only thing behind it. The bitch is the music, not a girl thing. A lot of girls say that's their favorite track. There is no message in Prodigy music, really, it's just an expression of hardness."

Indeed, the lyrics aren't even original; they are sampled from an Ultramagnetic MC track.

I think the most interesting thing about the song is its video, which most believe to be brilliant and groundbreaking. The video corresponds to Howlett's message of living life to the extreme. The video is generally banned as it contains violence and sexually explicit material.

Note, this is bit of a spoiler, and part of the fun is the shock of it all, so if you haven't seen it and would like to, I'd advise you to stop reading right now.

The entire video is done in a first person perspective, following an individual throughout the course of an evening. It begins as he showers, shaves, uses the bathroom, dresses, grabs a drink, does some cocaine, and then goes out.

Throughout the whole video, he's drinking, using drugs, and harassing women. The camera is always swinging around, the cuts are very fast and as the video progresses it gets more blurry, emphasizing his inebriation.

He gets something to eat, then goes to a bar. He gets drunk. He goes to a club and dances. He gets hostile, breaking a chair on somebody's back, choking another. He hassles the DJ.

He vomits into a bathroom sink, breaks down the door of a man on the toilet and then drags him away to shoot up in the stall.

He wanders the street and enters a strip club. He gets a dance, then takes a girl to the back by a car (possibly his). They kiss and fondle, and when he can't open the car then he breaks the window and drives them back to his apartment. They get naked and have sex.

The girl leaves, and as he watches her leave, we see a full length mirror. This is the surprise - as you finally see the person who's been causing the mayhem, you find it's a woman.

Thanks LX: The video was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who has also directed Madonna's "Ray of Light", Metallica's "Turn the Page" and Moby's "James Bond Theme".

"Smack My Bitch Up" is slang, and contrary to many popular beliefs, it has nothing to do with abuse of women. In slang it means to do something intensly, like being on stage, as this is the case. Other references may be to herion use.

Here are some quotes about the song:

”We’re not trying to put messages in about ’It’s cool to beat up women,’ because that’s just pathetic.” – Leeroy.

The band thought its audience was intelligent enough not to take its songs as instructional audiotapes.” – A Prodigy spokesman.

”While the lyric in question was never intended to be harmful or disrespectful to women or any other group and we sincerely regret that it may have been misinterpreted, the possibility that some will be offended or disturbed by any creative work is a risk inherent in any artistic endeavor.” – Warner Bros. Records apologizing for the lyrics.

And besides, what ever happened to freedom of speech? Any artist should be able to put our their own message, just like any regular person can. They also should not be blamed for any kind of crime caused by their listener(s) because of their music. Like the case was with their hit "Firestarter," which apparently caused some to set fire to other people's property.

Reffering to Tom Dissonance's writeup. Prodigy does give credit to this song, and I believe is was Liam Howlett, who later used it in his composition, Dirtchamber.

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