Monday, November 12, 2007

Old School Mondays:: Sir Mix-A-Lot (Backless Edition)

Quick, name your favorite Sir Mix-A-Lot song! On Second thought, don't bother, I know what you are going to say. It's what everyone and the fatty at Wal-Mart would say, Baby Got Back (I'm not linking it here, if by some miracle you haven't heard it, feel free to check out some of the 7160 videos related to it on you tube). Like I'm sure it has a million other times on a thousand other radio stations, Mix-A-Lot's love letter to large lady lumps was played on the local urban station's "way-back playback" (or whatever they call it) during my drive home on Friday. Of course it's impossible not to smile to yourself as you sing along, but it got me thinking. I wonder how Mix-A-Lot feels about being famous for a song about ass?

Long story short, he doesn't much care:

Seattle sold out of my record in just two days," he continues. "Half the people who bought it bought it cause Im the 'Baby Got Back' guy. So, no, I dont regret that song. It bought me my house I am living in now. I use it as a way to reel people in. I reel them in with the hit and then give them the meat."

And I suppose it's hard to blame blame him really. Everyone has to eat, and buy houses, and I suppose there's worse ways to make a living. At least he hasn't stooped to reality shows yet, unlike some people. The ass song has also carved Mix-A-Lot a place in the one hit wonder hall of fame, which is a shame, because he was kind of a big deal back in the late 80's and early 90's. I mean really, he was from Seattle, yet made a name for himself at a time when rap was incredibly NYC-centric, with LA being the only other city to put a number of acts on the hip hop map. That's kind of like some dude from Victoria being named MVP of the NBA. What? Oh, right.

Anyway, at this point, I should probably mention I've never been a huge Mix-A-Lot fan. The only album of his I own is a cassette copy of his second album, Seminar. But I did enjoy him back in the day, and When I think of him now, two other songs come to mind. Those songs would be Posse On Broadway from his debut album, Swass, and Beepers from his 2nd album Seminar. Not familiar with those? Well let's break it down.

MP3:: Sir Mix-A-Lot - Posse On Broadway
You'd think if you were gonna to make a rap song in 1988 that big upped your hometown, you'd perhaps try and steer clear of any references that might confuse your NYC loving rap audience. Well that's why you're simply reading a blog and Mix-A-Lot is having a blog entry written about him. Posse On Broadway is Mix's tale of a typical night cruising the streets of his native Seattle, the main street they hit of course being Broadway (I know what you're thinking, has someone traced the route they travel in google maps? Yes they have, you can see it here. This of course led to confusion for many fans and the belief that Mix-A-Lot was talking about NY. Well he wasn't, but that didn't make the song any less awesome. I loved this song back in the day, I bought this nutty compilation because I couldn't find Mix-A-Lot's debut album and wanted to bump the song in my walkman. I pretty much still love it this day - the unapologetic keyboard & 808 beat, Mix's crazy delivery, the sing along chorus, Larry the white guy, stopping at Taco Bell for some Mexican eatin', eating at Dick's instead, spraying punks with mace, a def posse vs. a bunch of dudes, the classic lines about local places in Seattle that made it sound like the coolest hood going, and Posse Up!. It really is a classic to me. Have yourself a listen if you've never heard it and re-live some memories if you feel the same way as I do.

MP3:: Sir Mix-A-Lot - Beepers
Looking back, I probably should've found a spot for this jam on my top 10 hip hop gimmicks list. I don't know where I would've put it though, perhaps a new category for rapping about shit you own. Even if it was a gimmick, I loved this song. Although I was in grade 8 when it came out and had no idea what one would need a beeper for, I still enjoyed it. Listen to it for yourself, it's catchy. The sampled Prince guitar riff from Batmandance or whatever that song was called should probably get most of the credit for the catchiness, but there's also something hypnotic about the beeper sounds. For me, this one hasn't held up quite as well as Poss On Broadway, but I still enjoy it. It also contains one of the verses from the 80's that I have an in-ordinate amount of love for:

(Yo come on black you gonna tell her about me, what's up with that?)
That's Attitude Adjuster, my homey
Huggin more girls than Bela Karolyi
Gettin 'em sprung, bustin 'em out
Rollin up dames, cause he's got that clout
Pullin young females, yank 'em on the stage
One fell prey when she called that page
(*numbers dialing sound*) called his beeper
Sweetie got sprung but he might not keep her
He never called back, so she called me
(Where's Attitude at? He was supposed to meet me)
I don't know but I'm wishin you luck
How does Attitude Adjuster hook up?

Why did I love that line so much? Was it because Mix-A-Lot had a friend, nay, homie, named Attitude Adjuster? Was it the mention of legendary gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi? At this point I can no longer remember, but I still enjoy it. Anyway, if you listen to this and it isn't your favorite beeper related rap song, I'll be shocked.

Video:: Sir Mix-A-Lot - Posse On Broadway

Video:: Sir Mix-A-Lot - Beepers

Posted at 3:18 PM by naedoo :: 9 comments

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At 6:16 PM, Blogger some guy from new jersey did sayeth:

Great, great post. The links to the google maps of the posse's trail is one of the many reasons I love the internets.
The mere mention of the line "I got a def posse, you got a buncha dudes" makes me laugh out loud, for real.

But I must point out that the only other song, besides the ass song, that comes to mind (after the brilliant classic Posse's on Boradway) is th eone and only "My Hooptie".
listen here ;
"Hit my brakes, out slid skittles
Tinted back window with a bubble in the middle"

Love this blog, man. great work.


At 8:15 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Thanks for the kind words, this was a fun one to write.

And you're right, when I listened to Seminar again for this post, I did enjoy "My Hooptie" more than Beepers. In fact, the Skittles (a Skittles ref! When was the last time you heard Skittles mentioned anywhere?) line alone almost made me post it instead. But I clearly remember having an irrational love of Beepers back in the day, so I had to go with that one.

Thanks for checking out the hill!


At 8:44 AM, Blogger Biggie did sayeth:

Came across your blog from The Hype Machine. Great post.

"We all look kinda swass, the crew you can't forget, the Mix-a-Lot posse cold rippin up the set."

As a white kid from the suburbs who was the only kid in my class who was into rap in the mid-80s, I actually rented a beeper from the local video store on weekends cause beepers were cool. Not sure who I thought was going to page me.


At 9:19 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

"I actually rented a beeper from the local video store on weekends"

That's just very, very excellent. Thanks for stopping by to share that, certainly makes writing Old School Mondays worthwhile.


At 2:28 PM, Blogger steve did sayeth:

i remember having two pagers, on for friends, and one for " friends ". Then i upgraded to the first cell phones, those clamshell motorola's that had the leather sock on it. It was so big that it looked like a piece of bondage gear that fell off the gimp. Those were the days.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger viperfunk did sayeth:

My Lord, while i still bump mix-a-lot tunes to this day, you gotta sit back and laugh at 'Romantic Interlude.'
Did that even get a mention? Ha ha! Good!


At 4:41 PM, Blogger bo142 did sayeth:

nice post but people forget about the albums before swass I remember songs like Im a freak,electro scratch,Im a trip,lets G what about those songs those where the hits


At 10:18 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

I think I've heard Electro Scratch and I'm a Freak, but OSM is usually about memories Ack and I have about classic jams. As far as I can rememeber, my intro to Mix-A-Lot was seeing "Posse On Broadway" on Soul In The City (Mike Williams, holla!), and so that will always be my favorite jam of his.


At 10:57 AM, Anonymous jillybean did sayeth:

I just came accross this site and it brings me back to the day when me & my best friend AJ would dance in my room to Sir Mix A Lot our favorite was Buttermilk Biscits maybe becaue we live in Virginia Beach. I'm 36 now with two teenage daughtes and I have them listen to the good old school stuff. They like it but really joke me & AJ when we sing Buttermikl Biscits


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