Sir Mix-A-Lot was a big deal to my group of friends in high school. Whether we were all piled into my car or Brent’s, there was always a cassette (and later CD) copy of Swass on hand to blast out the windows as we rapped loudly along with Mix. We were all excited when Seminar came out the following year, but it never caught on with the crew as a whole. I loved “Beepers” and “My Hooptie”, but for the most part we stuck with Swass as our high school years came to an end.
When we saw Mix perform live a year or so ago I was excited that he played both these tracks from Seminar. Generally speaking I prefer his wittier and funnier rhymes, and both of these tracks fit the bill. To be clear, Sir Mix-A-Lot isn’t some kind of comedy rap act – he’s no Bobby Jimmy & The Critters. But he did bring us songs about biscuits, square dancing, and swap meet Louis Vuitton, so he definitely has a sense of humor.
Which brings me to this great 12″ of “My Hooptie” I scored on a recent business trip to Chicago. I actually started on the B side so I could hear “Society’s Creation”, a track that I don’t believe ever appeared on a Mix album. The beats and scratching in the intro have an almost industrial feel to them, followed by dry snappy snares coming in when Mix starts to rap. The society that hates the man / Made the man. This is more serious social commentary about society reaping what it sows, with inner city poverty and lack of opportunity resulting in violence. It’s hardly gansta in approach, simply a matter-of-fact explanation of how things got this way.
Side A is a 5-minute remix of “My Hooptie”. And my friend, if you can’t get down with “My Hooptie” I don’t know if I can be down with you.
My hooptie rollin’, tailpipe draggin’
Heat don’t work an’ my girl keeps naggin’
Six-nine Buick, deuce keeps rollin’
One hubcap ’cause three got stolen
Mix and the crew are rollin’ in the ’69 Buick because his Benz is in the shop, and shenanigans ensue.
I ain’t really fazed, ’cause I pop much game
Rolled up tough, ’cause I got much fame
“How ya doin’ baby, my name is Mixalot”
“Mix-A-Lot got a Benz boy, quit smokin’ that rock”
This is Mix-A-Lot at his storytelling finest – witty and exaggerating, but with doses of harsh reality.
Tank on E, pulled into Arco
Cops on tip for Columbian cargo
We fit a stereotype, that’s what he said
Big long car, four big black heads
Cops keep jockin’, grabbin’ like ‘gators
‘Bout stereotypes, I’m lookin’ nuthin’ like Noriega
Cop took my wallet, looked at my license
His partner said “Damn, they all look like Tyson”
“My Hooptie” still sounds as good to me today as it did 30 years ago. (♠) It makes me want to get in the car, roll the windows down, and let ‘er rip.
(♠) Wait, what? What??? 30 years ago?????