A couple of minutes ago my friend Damon IMed me with a link and the message, “The real shit,” and then promptly went offline. The link went to Puff Daddy’s “It’s All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” video, which probably explains his abrupt disappearance, as linking to Puff Daddy videos is considered a prosecutable act under certain readings of cyberterrorism legislation. Or at least I hope it is.
But snap–watching it was like instant 1997. I’d forgotten pretty much everything about the song and its video, probably because I’ve talked or even just thought about the “Benjamins” rock remix maybe three or four times total since it was in heavy rotation. For instance, I had completely forgotten that the Lox was on the song at all, and that Styles P wasn’t. (By the way the new Styles album, Time Is Money, is pretty decent, with a good Talib/Hi-Tek collabo and an ominous, Scott Storch-produced track that makes excellent use of the late, great Gerald Levert.) I forgot how potty-obsessed the video makes Puffy out to be (foreshadowing!)–he enters the high school gym because he has to “take a leak,” and the cover band led by Puffy in disguise exits the stage for a “bathroom break.” I didn’t remember that Lil Kim completely won the “who got more of the rap cut out by MTV censors” contest, coming in with something like a full 50 percent of her verse axed. And like every other human on the face of the planet, I had completely suppressed any and all memory of the band Fuzzbubble ever having existed. You can find their Web site here, but I have to warn you in advance that clicking on that link will expose you to Fuzzbubble’s music.
The “It’s All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” and Fuzzbubble’s signing to Bad Boy may represent the summit of Puffy’s hubris. Not only did he feel so in charge of the music biz that he could start breaking rock bands — a genre he obviously knew nothing about, since he signed fucking Fuzzbubble — but how much do you think he paid Rob Zombie in actual American dollars just to do that “yeah” thing that he does? To pay Rob Zombie probably enough money to buy a decent car so he’ll grunt “yeah” is to hock a loogey in the face of all that is decent, tasteful, and un-stupid. Which is probably why America loved the former Mr. Daddy so much.
Now, back to the forgetting.