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Meaning of the song ‘Hypnotize’ by ‘The Notorious B.I.G.’

Released: 1997

“Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G., also known as Biggie Smalls, is a quintessential track from the golden age of hip-hop that still rings in the ears of enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. It’s an anthem of luxury, a braggadocious celebration of Biggie’s lifestyle, and the magnetic pull of his personality and lyrics. The song encapsulates the high life of the ’90s hip-hop elite, touching on themes of wealth, fame, and the street savvy that got Biggie to where he was. Let’s decode the genius behind the rhymes and break down what makes “Hypnotize” an unforgettable piece of hip-hop history.

The opening bars set the tone, with Biggie presenting himself as “sicker than yo’ average,” a testament to his unmatched skills and lifestyle. Twisting “cabbage off instinct” refers to making money through instinctive hustling, a nod to his street background. Mention of “pink gators” and “Timbs” paints a picture of the eclectic fashion in hip-hop culture, while also shouting out his loyalty to Brooklyn, his home turf. The lines “Dead right, if the head right, Biggie there e’ry night” suggest his success with women, adding to his braggadocious persona. “Close like Starsky and Hutch, stick the clutch,” uses the classic TV duo to symbolize his tight bond with Puff Daddy (now known as Diddy), and his readiness for swift action, whether it be in escaping danger or seizing opportunities.

The chorus, iconic and catchy, speaks to the hypnotic effect Biggie’s words and lavish lifestyle have on the listener. It juxtaposes the allure of his “flashy ways” against the poverty or average status of others, highlighting why he’s in a league of his own, both financially and in terms of influence.

Biggie name-drops luxury brands like DKNY, Versace, and Moschino, asserting his high-end fashion sense. He questions “Now who’s the real dookie?” challenging anyone to question his authenticity and dominance in the game. Biggie doesn’t shy away from the gangsta rap themes of violence and materialism, but he also intersperses these with wit and a certain nonchalance towards his wealth and status, as seen in lines like “Your crew run run run, your crew run run.”

The verse that starts with “I can fill you wit’ real millionaire shit,” sees Biggie boasting about his wealth and the speedy cars he can afford, further cementing his status at the top. The casual mention of “Escargot” alongside expensive cars and brand-dropping exemplifies the opulent lifestyle he’s narrating. His reference to Persian rugs and having relations at work shows his disregard for conventional norms, reveling in the indulgences his fame and fortune afford him.

In conclusion, “Hypnotize” isn’t just about the flamboyant lifestyle of one of hip-hop’s legends; it’s a masterclass in flow, wordplay, and storytelling that encapsulates the essence of Biggie’s meteoric rise and the dreams he represented. The track stands as a testament to the allure of the hip-hop lifestyle, drenched in luxury, danger, and an unfaltering confidence. Through “Hypnotize,” Biggie Smalls immortalized his legacy, ensuring that his words will indeed keep hypnotizing listeners for generations to come.

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