On this day, August 12, in hip-hop history…
1963: Today is the birthday of Seattle rap pioneer, Anthony Ray, better known to the world as Sir Mix-A-Lot. The man behind such hits as “Posse On Broadway,” “Swass” and “Baby Got Back” turns 50 today.
For the vast majority of music fans, Sir Mix-A-Lot is known as the derriere-praising, big butt enthusiast from his Billboard number one single, “Baby Got Back” but Sir Mix-A-Lot’s legacy is much more than one chart-topping single. Mix-A-Lot was an important figure in breaking rap out of the Pacific Northwest as he was the founder of Seattle-based hip-hop label, Nastymix and a platinum-selling artist. In 1990, his debut album, Swass, went platinum, selling over a million records behind the classic single, “Posse On Broadway.” It was the first major record to break from the Northwest and Mix-A-Lot became Seattle’s first certified hip-hop star.
In 1992, he released Mack Daddy which sold two million records behind the strength of the instantly anthemic “Baby Got Back.” On the song, Mix-A-Lot would comically declare his love for over-sized buttocks and would be fondly remembered for its iconic opening line, “I like big butts and I cannot lie.” The song would go on to win a Grammy Award and become the second-highest selling single of the year behind Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” in 1992.
Although, Sir Mix-A-Lot never reached the popularity of that single again, XXL recognizes Mix-A-Lot’s overall contributions to the world of hip-hop as his opening the doors for Seattle artists can be felt today in the success of artists such as Macklemore , Jake One and Shabazz Palaces from the Rain City.
Happy Birthday, Sir Mix-A-Lot!