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The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up music video

Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Producer: ?

Rated 8.8 out of 10 based on 637 responses.

Well well, this is the most controversal Prodigy video ever directed by Swedish music video director Jonas Åkerlund. You can't have a controversial single without a similarly controversial video, and this one certainly fits the bill. The video has been all but banned in just about every country you care to mention. It has been put on low rotation, late at night, and it is easy to see why. The video is shot entirely from a first-person perspective of our main character portraying drinking and driving, snorting cocaine, violence, vandalism, nudity and sex. The unedited version also includes a scene of heroin use and a hit and run incident.

It begins plainly enough - having a shower, going about the bathroom, getting dressed and snorting some cocaine. From there she heads out to get something to eat, then on to a dance club where she has a 'few' to drink, feels up a few women, beats up a few guys and trashes the DJ's deck.

From there it's into the bathroom to deposit dinner in a sink. The doorman throws our main character onto the streets, but not after she receives a punch. A very trippy scene follows, lots of swirling images and bright colours, and of her decorating the pavement. Then it's into a topless/strip club where she feels up most of the dancers. She then takes one a stripper (played by model Teresa May) with her.

When they arrive at the main characters car they find out that the keys are lost. So, what other solution is there then to take a brick and smash the carwindow. Then they drive to the main characters house and a full-on sex scene follows. You can see everything. Even a tattoo on the girl's butt in the form of the Prodigy logo (the ant). The real shock comes at the end when everyone thinks it is a bloke, but after they've had sex, the girl leaves the room and we see a mirror. And in the mirror we see our main character... a young, innocent looking girl.

None of the band members will be appearing in the video, which was shot in the BASE CLUB in London's West End. When the Prodigy first saw this video they really hate it! But couple of weeks later when they had talked with they label (XL) they really wanted to release it! It has been banned from terrestrial TV in Britain and many other TV stations have banned the video almost everywhere in the world.

MTV initially said they would not play the video, it has been announced that the station will air an edited version late at night; they call it "ground breaking." The video got its MTV premiere Sunday, December 7th 1997 at midnight during "120 Minutes" and was aired again at 1, 2, and 3 a.m. Although the video is a bit of controversial it still has lots of cool sound and camera effects in it. This is not a typical Prodigy video, but definitely a worth of seeing! MTV still rates SMBU as the Number 1 XRated video around.

Despite the controversy, the video would be nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards, and eventually win Best Dance Video and Breakthrough Video. 8 years later, the full version of the video was aired and voted #1 on New Zealand television show 'U Choose 40', screened on music channel C4 as part of their 'Most Shocking Videos' and 'Top 10 - That's Shocking!' (June 10, 2007) countdowns and voted #2 as part of the 'Banned In The USA!' countdown on August 24, 2007.

Quotes:

Look, at the end of the day, we do what we do because it suits us. Don't you think it's kind of cool to have a band that offends MTV, that puts out a video that real fans have to dig around for, or stay up late to see. The point is to be true to yourself — otherwise you may as well give up.
-Keith Flint

It’s dangerous to make sounds in videos. I see it on TV all the time, where people tries to do it, but the result are often really bad. But in ’Smack my Bitch up’ which is full of sound effects it helps the music. The music of The Prodigy are very strong, but it seems empty on TV, and the sound effects helps the music even further forward – Not on CD, not on the radio, but only on TV. After doing that video, people asked me to do sound effects on their videos, and I tries it on all of them. Sometimes it works, but mostly I remove it again, because it destroys the music. There is a thin line from making the perfect sound-editing and destroying the music.
-Jonas Åkerlund

Download the video
Warning! The SMBU video really contains sexually explicit material and scenes depicting violence, so you may only watch it if you are an adult.

Featured articles:

MTV apologises for early screening of Prodigy video by Jason Deans


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