I'll Be Missing You

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

"I'll Be Missing You"
Single by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112
from the album No Way Out
B-side
  • "We'll Always Love Big Poppa"
  • "Cry On"
ReleasedMay 27, 1997 (1997-05-27)[1]
Recorded1997
GenreRap rock, soft rock
Length
  • 5:43 (LP version)
  • 5:01 (LP edit)
  • 4:08 (radio edit)
  • 3:29 (short version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Puff Daddy singles chronology
"Can't Nobody Hold Me Down"
(1997)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"Mo Money Mo Problems"
(1997)
Faith Evans singles chronology
"You Could Be My Boo"
(1996)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"How's It Goin' Down"
(1998)
112 singles chronology
"Cupid"
(1997)
"I'll Be Missing You"
(1997)
"All Cried Out"
(1997)
Music video
"I'll Be Missing You" on YouTube

"I'll Be Missing You" is a song by American rapper Puff Daddy and American singer Faith Evans, featuring R&B group 112, in memory of fellow Bad Boy Records artist (and Evans's husband) Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, who was murdered on March 9, 1997. Released as the second single from Puff Daddy and the Family's debut album, No Way Out (1997), "I'll Be Missing You" samples the Police's 1983 hit song "Every Breath You Take" with an interpolated chorus sung by Evans and interpolated rhythm. The song also interpolates the 1929 Albert E. Brumley hymn "I'll Fly Away" and features a spoken intro over a choral version of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings".

At the 40th Annual Grammy Awards, the song won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. The single spent eleven weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one in 15 other countries; it was the best-performing single of 1997 in Iceland, the Netherlands (Dutch Top 40), and Romania. With shipments of over three million copies in the United States and over one million in both Germany and the United Kingdom, the song has become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Composition

[edit]

"I'll Be Missing You" is based on a sample of the 1983 single "Every Breath You Take" by the Police. It also uses an interpolation of the "Every Breath You Take" melody, sung by Biggie's widow, Faith Evans. Combs did not secure legal approval for the sample before releasing the song, and Police songwriter Sting sued, receiving 100% of the song royalties, with payments reportedly going until 2053.[2][3] Police guitarist Andy Summers called the sample "a major rip-off", and told the A.V. Club: "I found out about it after it was on the radio ... I’d be walking round Tower Records, and the fucking thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted."[4] Sting later reconciled with Bad Boy, and performed the song alongside Puff Daddy and Evans in September 1997 at the MTV Video Music Awards.[5][6]

The track uses the melody from the 1929 hymn, "I'll Fly Away".[4] Combs' verses were written by rapper Sauce Money.[7] Combs had originally asked Jay-Z to write the track, but he turned it down and suggested that Sauce Money write the song instead.[7]

Critical reception

[edit]

Tom Sinclair from Entertainment Weekly panned the song, giving it a grade of D and describing it as a "maudlin 'tribute' to the Notorious B.I.G., [in which] the late rapper's former mentor (Puff Daddy) and wife (Faith Evans) team up to say their farewells to the big man on a song that 'samples' The Police's 'Every Breath You Take'. With lyrics like 'Know you're in heaven, smiling down/Watching us while we pray for you,' 'I'll Be Missing You' gives the lie to those who claim hip-hoppers are above self-serving sentimentality."[8] British magazine Music Week rated it four out of five, calling it a "dignified tribute".[9] Also James Hyman from RM gave the song four out of five, noting that "once again, blatant plundering from an Eighties groove forms the basis for an instant pop-rap crossover."[10]

David Fricke from Rolling Stone wrote, "In "I'll Be Missing You", he didn't merely crib from Sting; he took a song about stalking and transformed it into a radiant hymn of brotherly love and a community's loss."[11] Freelance music writer Jeremy Simmonds described it as "somewhat turgid".[12] Ian Hyland from Sunday Mirror rated it nine out of ten, commenting, "Not the greatest rap I've ever heard but this tribute to murdered rapper Notorious B.I.G. is going to be H.U.G.E. In a mish-mash of The Police's "Every Breath You Take" and John Waite's "Missing", the highlight is Faith Evans' amazing voice."[13]

Chart performance

[edit]

"I'll Be Missing You" topped many charts across the world. It reached number one in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Denmark, Flanders, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The song debuted at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was the only rap song by a male artist to do so until Eminem's "Not Afraid" debuted at the top spot, thirteen years later, in 2010. The song spent a record-breaking 11 weeks at number one on the Hot 100, making it the longest-running number-one hip hop song in history, until Eminem's "Lose Yourself" spent 12 weeks at number-one in 2002.

The song re-entered the UK Singles Chart at number 32 on July 8, 2007, 10 years after it had its full physical release, and 10 years after it was number one. As of July 2013, "I'll Be Missing You" is the 22nd best-selling song of all time in the UK.[14]

Music video

[edit]

A music video was made to accompany the song, directed by American director Hype Williams and shot in Chicago. Portions of the video were filmed in the Helmut Jahn designed moving walkway tunnel that connects Concourses B and C in Terminal 1 at the O'Hare International Airport. The hill and motorcycle scene was shot at Sauer Family Prairie Kame Preserve in Elburn, Illinois. The music video was added to BET and MTV on the week ending on May 11, 1997.[15]

Formats and track listings

[edit]
  • CD single
  1. Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 – "I'll Be Missing You"
  • Maxi-single
  1. Puff Daddy featuring Faith Evans and 112 – "I'll Be Missing You"
  2. The Lox – "We'll Always Love Big Poppa"
  3. 112 – "Cry On"
  4. Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112 – "I'll Be Missing You" (Instrumental)
  5. The Lox – "We'll Always Love Big Poppa" (Instrumental)

Charts

[edit]

Certifications and sales

[edit]
Certifications and sales for "I'll Be Missing You"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[81] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[82] 2× Platinum 100,000*
Belgium (BEA)[83] 4× Platinum 200,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[84] Platinum 100,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[85] Gold 45,000
France (SNEP)[86] Gold 250,000*
Germany (BVMI)[87]
Arista USA
3× Platinum 1,500,000^
Germany (BVMI)[88]
Bad Boy Records
3× Gold 750,000
Italy (FIMI)[89] Platinum 100,000
Netherlands (NVPI)[90] 2× Platinum 150,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[91] Platinum 10,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[92] Platinum  
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[93] Gold 30,000
Sweden (GLF)[94] 3× Platinum 90,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[95] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[96] 4× Platinum 2,400,000
United States (RIAA)[98] 3× Platinum 3,100,000[97]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history

[edit]
Release dates and formats for "I'll Be Missing You"
Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref(s).
United States May 20, 1997 Rhythmic contemporary radio [99]
May 27, 1997 CD [1]
United Kingdom June 16, 1997
  • 12-inch vinyl
  • CD
  • cassette
  • Arista
  • Puff Daddy
[100]
Japan July 2, 1997 CD
  • Bad Boy Entertainment
  • Arista
[101]

See also

[edit]

References

[edit]
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