Jadakiss Talks Penning Diddy's "All About the Benjamins" Verse

Jadakiss was once a Bad Boy artist along with his other The Lox members, and Diddy's famous verse on the classic hit was written by him.

BYErika Marie
Bryan Steffy / Stringer / Getty Images

"Now, what y'all wanna do? Wanna be ballers? Shot-callers? Brawlers?" You don't have to be a fan of hip hop to know where those lyrics are pulled from. "It's All About the Benjamins" dropped way back when in 1997, but it's still a relevant hip hop, party jam. The Deric "D-Dot" Angelettie-produced classic had multiple versions that featured Diddy, Notorious B.I.G., Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Lil Kim. Diddy's bars are some of the most memorable from "It's All About the Benjamins," and Jadakiss talked about penning Puff Daddy's lines during a recent visit with People's Party with Talib Kweli.

According to Jadakiss, he was just minding his business, spittin' a few bars when Diddy overheard him. "I already had that rhyme," the rapper said of Diddy's verse. "He heard it and was like, 'Nah, that's me. Let me get that rhyme right there. He took that and put that on 'Benjamins.' Me and [Sheek Louch] didn't like the 'Benjamins.' He almost forced us to record the verses that we have on there. We didn't really understand what that beat...it [didn't] grasp us at the time. We wasn't eager to just record it."

Yet, Diddy had a vision and knew it would be a hit. "That's what makes Diddy Diddy," Jadakiss added. "That really was like, our first commercial and 'hood hit that catapulted us besides the mixtape stuff that we was doing." Diddy's final "All About the Benjamins" verse wasn't how it was initially penned, because Jadakiss also revealed that the rap mogul "did about four versions of it."

Check out what else Jadakiss had to say below, including bits about Mase writing for Kanye and how he felt about being mentioned in Yeezy's 2005 hit "Touch the Sky."


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About The Author
Erika Marie is a seasoned journalist, editor, and ghostwriter who works predominantly in the fields of music, spirituality, mental health advocacy, and social activism. The Los Angeles editor, storyteller, and activist has been involved in the behind-the-scenes workings of the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. E.M. attempts to write stories that are compelling while remaining informative and respectful. She's an advocate of lyrical witticism & the power of the pen. Favorites: Motown, New Jack Swing, '90s R&B, Hip Hop, Indie Rock, & Punk; Funk, Soul, Harlem Renaissance Jazz greats, and artists who innovate, not simply replicate.