This is based on a 1975 song by the actress and soul singer Camille Yarborough called "Take Yo' Praise." She released just one album, and this was the last track. It was a very obscure song, but Fatboy Slim found it on a compilation CD and sampled it.
Yarborough was a civil rights activist. Her song is about a particular man, but also a message to Black people in general.
Yarborough's vocal is used throughout. She made much more money on royalties from this than she did on her own album.
Al Gore used this while campaigning for president in 2000. Slim's response: "Thank God it wasn't the Republicans. I would have had to sue."
This was used in a slew of television features about athletes and celebrities. The exposure helped the song gain popularity.
The video that's making bad dancers look good was shot after Fatboy Slim's performance at the Mayan Theatre in LA. It was shot on the lam outside a Westwood theatre, in one take in under 10 minutes. The dancers are from the fictional "Torrance Community Dance Group," the theatre managers and bouncers appearances were unscheduled, as was a break dancing Michael Jackson impersonator (who was cut from the video).
The video is an expanded version of Spike Jonze's (Video Guru behind Weezer's "Buddy Holly," Beastie Boys' "Sabotage," and the Chemical Brothers' "Electrobank") video treatment for "Rockafeller Skank." The treatment was a joke... a video tape of Spike dancing it up on Hollywood Boulevard.
Look for Norman Cook in the video. He's bald, and pops his head in behind choreographer Richard Carfay (aka Spike Jonze) when he's talking about b-boys and posses. Total cost of the video was $800.
Holden - Brussels, Belgium, for above 3
This was featured in the 1999 movie Cruel Intentions.
When British Prime Minister Tony Blair borrowed this in 1999, pundits took exception to the line, "I have to praise you like I should," accusing the New Labour leader of rampant egotism. Slim was unimpressed; "Somehow it's become the anthem of the soft left," he shrugged.