Diddy and Biggie Smalls were the dynamic duo of the 1990s and were arguably the most iconic figures of the entire decade. As a producer, Diddy created some of the most well-known hits, including many tracks from Life After Death. One iconic song the mogul (real name Sean Combs) produced for the late Brooklyn icon was ‘Hypnotise’.
‘Hypnotise’ was the lead single of Biggie Smalls’ posthumously released 1997 project, Life After Death. The track, which samples Herb Alpert’s 1979 hit ‘Rise’, was an instant classic and topped the Billboard Hot 100. As a platinum-certified song, it was only natural that Biggie (real name Christopher Wallace) record an accompanying music video. However, Combs revealed an interesting fact about that day.
In a Twitter space celebrating what would have been Wallace’s 50th birthday last year, Diddy disclosed that he and Biggie both tried ecstasy for the first time while shooting the music video. Elaborating, the Bad Boy founder disclosed, “Ah man, the video was fun. That was like the first time we both tried ecstasy.”
He continued, “I mean, it was an experience, you know what I’m saying? Ayo, Biggie’s 50. Check this out; we have nothing to hide. That was a long time ago… it was the first time. It was just a little nibble. It was all right. It was a little nibble. But we was in extra high, high spirits. Yeah, this breaking news and shit. Fuck it. On his 50th birthday, I wanna let y’all know that.”
The director of the 1997 visual, Paul Hunter, recalled the lead-up to the shoot in an interview with SPIN magazine in 2017, unveiling, “There was a lot of talk because Biggie was really hot and he had [Life After Death] coming out — there was a lot of people who wanted to direct it. I remember hearing names like Michael Bay, and there were a lot of people that they were talking to. I just was relentless on wanting to work with him. I loved the track.”
Although Hunter was there, to this day, he is still oblivious to the fact that the talent he was directing was actually high on ecstasy. Hunter expressed how much he loved working on the video. However, despite all the fun Biggie and Diddy had, the emcee was never able to watch himself back as he was murdered before the final edit.
In sadness, Hunter explained, “Biggie never got a chance to see it in completion. I showed him about a minute and a half in the early rounds, and he was really excited. He smiled like a kid. This big, warm smile. He never got to see the final product. I never thought that people would still be talking about it today. During that time, it felt like I was just pushing, breaking the rules.” You can watch behind-the-scenes footage of the ‘Hypnotise’ music video below.