The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up


“Smack My Bitch Up” is a song by The Prodigy, released as the band’s twelfth single on 17 November 1997. It was the third and final single from the album The Fat of the Land.

The lyrics “Change my pitch up / Smack my bitch up” are repeated through the whole song. The band defended the song, saying that the lyrics were being misinterpreted as misogynistic and the song actually meant “…doing anything intensely…” The song led to a publicised disagreement at the 1998 Reading festival after the Beastie Boys asked the group not to play the track. The vocals are sampled and altered from the Ultramagnetic MCs song “Give the Drummer Some”. The original lyrics, performed by rapper Kool Keith, are: “Switch up change my pitch up / Smack my bitch up like a pimp”. Kool Keith had previously been sampled by the Prodigy in the track “Out of Space”. The female vocals in “Smack My Bitch Up” were performed by Shahin Badar. Badar’s vocals and harmonies are based on “Nana (The Dreaming)” performed by Sheila Chandra. Initially Liam Howlett used a direct sample of Chandra’s song, but later had the vocal resung after sample clearance issues. The track also contains samples from “Funky Man” by Kool & the Gang, “In Memory Of” by Randy Weston, “Bulls on Parade” by Rage Against the Machine and “House of Rising Funk” by Afrique.[4][unreliable source?]

Prior to the release of the single, Liam Howlett was presented with three remixes of the title song, one by Jonny L, one by DJ Hype and one by Slacker. Eventually, Howlett chose the DJ Hype remix to be released on the single. The Jonny L remix was released through a free CD that came along with the January issue of Muzik magazine in 1998, while the Slacker remix was never officially released, although it surfaced on a rare and limited set of white labels. “Smack My Bitch Up” sold over 100,000 copies in the UK through the rest of 1997.