#ThrowbackThursday: “Victory” by Puff Daddy And The Family Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. And Busta Rhymes
by Sean Smith
Puff Daddy and the Family are reuniting tomorrow (May 20th) for a special Bad Boy Reunion show at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. The show is taking place on what would have been the Notorious B.I.G.’s 44th birthday. It is expected to include performances by Faith Evans, Lil’ Kim, Mase, and many other notable one time or current Bad Boy artists.
While this reunion show was originally billed as a “one night only” special event, Puff Daddy just recently announced that a full fledged Bad Boy Reunion tour will kick off on August 25th in Columbus, Ohio. The tour is scheduled to weave its way across the country with 25 performance dates, wrapping up on October 8th in Oakland, California. Tickets for the Bad Boy Reunion Tour will go on sale tomorrow, May 20th.
News of the tour comes as music to the ears of many older hip hop fans who consider the 1990s hip hop era as one of the genre’s finest, and Bad Boy was one of the most successful labels during that period. For this week’s edition of #tbt here on Clizbeats.com we are going to take a moment to remember a Bad Boy classic with “Victory” by Puff Daddy featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes.
Puff Daddy released his debut solo album No Way Out on July 1, 1997. Though it is officially Puff Daddy’s first album, it also credits “the Family”, made up of the slew of artists signed to Puff’s Bad Boy Records who made appearances on the project. The first four singles released off of the album did extremely well commercially. Two of them, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down” and “I’ll Be Missing You” were number one songs on the Billboard Hot 100. Two others, “Been Around the World” and “It’s All About the Benjamins”, made it just shy of the top spot on the chart peaking at number two. The fifth single to be released from No Way Out was “Victory”. While this single may not have had the same chart success as the four aforementioned songs, it did have another honor. The two verses by Notorious B.I.G. on the track are reportedly the last two verses he recorded before his murder in 1997. The song also features Busta Rhymes rapping the chorus.
Despite being the last single released from No Way Out commercially, the impact the song had on the album’s tone is felt immediately as the album’s opener. It was an important track in presenting the first representation of Puff Daddy And The Family’s sound, and the first offering from an album by record producer/music mogul turned recording artist, Sean “Puffy” Combs. Like many Puffy produced projects from that time “Victory” cleverly uses the art of music sampling to help give the song an extra texture of theatricality related to song’s themes. The track famously samples “Going The Distance” from Bill Conti’s iconic score from the 1976 Sylvester Stallone classic, Rocky.
When it came time to release “Victory” as a single in March of 1998, No Way Out was on its way to selling over seven million copies domestically. It was time for Puff Daddy And The Family to take one final “Victory” lap with the music video for the track. To help do that Puff would take inspiration from another film to create an epic visual for the song. The video, which pays homage to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, The Running Man has Puff playing the character “Contestant Number 5: Code Name PD.” He is seen running through the dark streets of a futuristic New World Order in the year 3002 AD. He is being chased by the armed forces of Chase TV. Finally, he is cornered on a rooftop, where he decides to leap off instead of allowing himself to be captured by the troops. The nearly eight minute long clip directed by Marcus Nispel was a milestone for the art of the music video at the time. It was recognized for it’s cinematic look and feel, and has gone down in history as one of the most expensive music videos ever made, with a price tag of over 2 million dollars. It also features famous cameos from Danny Devito and Dennis Hopper who appeared for free as a favor for Puff Daddy. Thanks to the buzz of the music video, “Victory” proved to be a successful final chapter for his blockbuster debut album. It sold over seven hundred thousand singles, and peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“Victory” would live on beyond No Way Out, through the evolution of Sean Combs’ career as an anthem for Bad Boy Records. In 2004 a Remixed version of the track was released as a single in honor of Bad Boy’s 10th anniversary. That remixed version featured new additional vocals from 50 Cent and G-Unit member, Lloyd Banks, as well as Combs himself. It was included on Bad Boy Records’ 10th anniversary compilation.
So with the news of the Bad Boy Reunion Tour breaking this week, and the first reunion show from the hip hop label mates tomorrow, this week we remember Puff Daddy’s 1998 single “Victory”. Enjoy.
Puff Daddy And The Family Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. And Busta Rhymes
From No Way Out
Bad Boy/Arista Records
Puff Daddy And The Family Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. And Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent And Lloyd Banks
“Victory 2004” (Explicit)
From Bad Boy’s 10th Anniversary…The Hits
Bad Boy/Universal Records