This god-damn, motherfucking song.
If you hang around any karaoke bar for long enough, you will endure some drunk girl clamoring through this monstrosity. It is an ode to ass. Sweet, glorious ass. And every so-called “enlightened” person in the bar will roll their eyes and scoff. At surface level, it’s pretty much the most misogynistic thing ever created, a beast made of libido, a harbinger of the “pimps up, ho’s down” mentality that would fuel hip-hop for the better part of two decades.
But that’s because most of us only remember the 1st verse.
I shit you not, Sir Mix-A-Lot actually wrote a feminist anthem, and he did it perched atop a booty mountain.
The first third of the song is pretty straight-forward. Dude LOVES fat asses. I don’t blame him. I do. You do. We all do. But then it starts to deepen:
“So I’m lookin’ at rock videos
Knock-kneeded bimbos walkin’ like hoes
You can have them bimbos
I’ll keep my women like Flo Jo
A word to the thick soul sisters, I wanna get with ya
I won’t cuss or hit ya
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna *fuck*
Till the break of dawn
Baby got it goin’ on
A lot of simps won’t like this song
‘Cause them punks like to hit it and quit it
And I’d rather stay and play.”
We’re looking at a different thing altogether now. Mix-A-Lot is a model for what a man should be: Honest, upfront, respectful of women and disdainful of those that would abuse them. That’s not a misogynist. That’s not a lecherous douchebag. My God, that’s a guy I want to be. He is unaffected by social pressures and ideas of what “beauty” is. Mix-A-Lot knows what he likes, knows what a real woman should look like, and how they should be treated.
I’ve discussed this theory with a lot of people, and they try to point at his repeated sexual advances as emblematic of something less than noble. I disagree. He wants to get laid, but he’s not trying to swindle anybody. He’s laying his cards on the table. ”Look, you get my motor going, and I want to get with you. But I also want to ‘stay and play’.” He’s not ruling out a relationship. He’s interested in moving past a one-night stand.
My absolute favorite part of the song is this, though:
“Some brothers wanna play that “hard” role
And tell you that the butt ain’t gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to retrieve it.”
“Some knucklehead tried to dis
‘Cause his girls are on my list
He had game but he chose to hit ‘em
And I pull up quick to get wit ‘em.”
It is in this passage that Mix-A-Lot takes on another role: A cautionary tale. He is the good man waiting in the wings to save the women we, as men, mistreat. To exalt them as goddesses, to treat them as they deserve to be treated. He is the price of our failings as men.
Essentially, Sir Mix-A-Lot is a sexual boogieman living in our proverbial closet. And if you treat a woman like shit, he’ll sneak out and fuck her right out from under you.
Strap in, this next part’s gonna get a little racist sounding.
White men, on some genetic level, are sexually terrified of black guys. Maybe it’s the wealth of “big dick” stereotypes floating around, maybe we just feel bad about…something. I don’t know, did we do anything bad to black people?
Regardless, this verse plays on that fear. But rather than reading it as a threat, I read it as a call to arms. Mix-A-Lot does not need your woman. He has plenty of his own. Enough to populate the buttcheek forest he seems to live in. But, if necessary, he will do what he must. It is his duty. He is a mythological beast, a Cock Ness Monster, if you will, who roams the land and punishes those who would harm ladies by slipping their girlfriends some anaconda. And we, as men, should take that as a call to arms.
Is this saying that women need to be validated by a man? No. But men certainly need to be held accountable to something, and if decency is not enough, maybe a funky-ass soul brother who is long, strong, and ready to get the friction on will be.
Be good to your woman, or she’ll call 1-900-MIX-A-LOT and kick those nasty thoughts.