Sir Mix-A-Lot :: Mack Daddy :: Rhyme Cartel/American Recordings
** RapReviews "Back to the Lab" series **
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

There's one reason most people own a copy of "Mack Daddy" so let's just get it out of the way right now. Sir Mix-A-Lot won a Grammy for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1993 for this song. The video got played more times than clips of Britney with no panties or 'The Hoff' acting drunk. That's right - the one and only quintessential ode to the glutteus maximus - "Baby Got Back."

"I like big butts and I can not lie
You other brothers can't deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist
And a round thing in yo' face you get sprung!
Wanna pull up tough, cause you notice that butt was stuffed
Deep in the jeans she's wearin, I'm hooked and I can't stop starin
Oh baby! I wanna get wit'cha and take your picture
My homeboys tried to warn me
But that butt you got makes 'Me so horny!'
Ooh, Rump-o'-smooth-skin
You say you wanna get in my Benz?
Well, use me, use me
Cause you ain't that average groupie!
I've seen her dancin, to hell with romancin
She's sweat, and wet, got it goin like a turbo 'Vette
I'm tired of magazines, sayin flat butts are the thing
Take the average black man and ask him that
She gotta pack much back
So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the butt? (Hell yeah!)
Tell her to shake it! (Shake it!) Shake it! (Shake it!)
Shake that healthy butt - baby got back!"

L.A. face with the Oakland booty, L-L-L-L.. {*coughs*} sorry, back to the review. We all know the song, we all love the song. It's an over-the-top, unapologetic celebration of a woman's natural and healthy beauty. It's a rallying cry that thin is NOT in, a statement that the skinny posterior is naturally inferior, and a tribute to BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY EVERYWHERE. This is all to the good but the unfortunate side effect of this song's success was that Sir Mix-A-Lot's acumen as a rapper and producer got completely overlooked. Many people mistakenly believe that Anthony Ray was a one hit wonder, failing to realize he had two gold albums prior to "Mack Daddy" which spawned rap classics like "Posse on Broadway" and "My Hooptie" which showed Mix-A-Lot's intriguing mix of humor and street credentials. One could even in fairness argue that Sir Mix-A-Lot put Seattle's rap scene on the map in a way no one had done before and very few people have done since. A closer look at "Mack Daddy" reveals many facets of Mix-A-Lot's style and persona not evident in "Baby Got Back," including (and this may REALLY surprise some people) social protest on "One Time's Got No Case":

"The police think I'm movin them ki's
They trip cause I clock much D
They pull a gat an' they yell out 'Freeze!'
I'm whippin out my ID
My gat sits under my seat
The cops throw me out in the street
They found my gun like thieves
Officer Friendly has got a new beat
So I show him my gun permit
I told him I roll legit
Give me a test to see if I'm drinkin
They claim my breath was stinkin
They had me walk on the line
I walked backwards stopped on a dime
My female just reclines
Cause she knows I know the time
I'm hip to the cop procedure
They get ya everytime they see ya
They stop ya, they cuff ya
They roll ya an' they rough ya
They ask what I do for a livin
Should this information be given?
This is what keeps me driven
Some cops want a brother in prison
So I got me a few attorneys
Just in case a cop wanna burn me
They protect me from the state
Cause one-time's got no case"

Tagged as a one-dimensional rapper solely obsessed with fine rear hinds, Sir Mix-A-Lot is anything but on "Mack Daddy." A lot of Mix-A-Lot's material does tend to play the comedy role such as his diss of counterfeit clothes on "Swap Meet Louie" or preaching against the dangers of falling in love with pussy via "Sprung on the Cat," but tracks like "The Boss Is Back" have a rugged and rough beat and lyrics so hard they could chip a diamond:

"Last week you's a stick-up kid
And this week you're in showbiz
Standin on stage, another black wannabe
Wanna get paid, so you're as balck as you gotta be
Throw up a peace sign, fakin the rhymes
Run out of lyrics, scratch in a Malcolm X line
Hypocrite, your hits break the bits
The boss of brain lays pain when I spit
Criticized, cause I'm takin the dares
And now you're tryin to tell another brother what to wear?
Come off that tip, you know how it goes
Another brother gets shot and punks blame it on gold
Gold ropes? Naw, that ain't your problem
The job of a rapper is to find 'em and solve 'em
Now you're cryin 'bout what a brother owns
King died so you could buy your throne
I ain't got time to take steps in reverse
You or the KKK, who's worse?
You told me to stay low in my ghetto
And so did the Klan, so wake up bro!
Why do you think brothers is sellin dope, fool?
America, boy, the bankroll rules!
Play that hard role and say you ain't with that
And every day you're cryin bout money on your contract
Talked about me bad, it's time for the payback, black
The boss is back!"

It's quite remarkable to examine all 13 tracks of "Mack Daddy" when you realize that Mix-A-Lot wrote, arranged, produced and recorded the entire album by himself; especially back in 1992 when it wasn't exactly commonplace for rappers to be a one-man show. Many people have underestimated or ignored Anthony Ray's talent and the music industry hasn't heard from him since 2003 but there's question that by any standard you want to measure - talent, record sales, or a long-lasting effect on the music industry - Anthony 'Sir Mix-A-Lot' Ray has had a Hall of Fame career. The next time you pull "Mack Daddy" out of your collection skip "Baby Got Back" and listen to tracks like "A Rapper's Reputation" and "No Holds Barred" to see what Mix-A-Lot is REALLY all about.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10

Originally posted: February 19, 2008