Sir Mix-A-Lot Interview
It’s been seven years since Sir Mix-A-Lot has graced the hip-hop world with his genre of comedy rap that spoofs as much as it attacks. But the original pimp of the nation has returned with a new album and a message to the ever-angry hip-hop community. “I don’t know where we got this thing that Black people don’t smile,” Mix says. “I don’t know where that came from, but I have always smiled.”
“Daddy’s Home” is Mix’s sixth full-length record and it finds the big man eagerly dropping track after track of rhymes about booty and the game.
“What feels good about this record is that I’m doing music again because I love music,” Mix says. “It’s not about a paycheck anymore, because I’m solid financially.”
The new record blasts open with a brutal self-titled bass breaker that just attacks everything in Mix-A-Lot’s path. “I fell out of love with hip-hop in the late ’90s,” Mix says. “I was irritated and embarrassed. Something just wasn’t right and I just left. I wasn’t one of these guys that was going to change, and start carrying a pistol and acting like a gangsta to sell records, so I just got out of it.”
In the meantime, Mix was paying attention, watching television and taking notes. He saw the latest breed of rappers claiming to be pimps and ballers and was shocked. “I thought it was cool, but it was a borrowed image.”
On Daddy’s Home, Mix pounces on one unnamed rapper who dabbles with young girls. “You damn near 35, knocking chicks in high school… If your girlfriend’s underage then your convoy is fake… You fell in love; you never shook her, you fucking pedophile,” Mix-A-Lot takes no prisoners, but also claims that the attack is not on R. Kelly, who is facing years in jail for allegedly raping an young fan.
“I wrote that song way before that whole R. Kelly thing happened,” Mix says. “It’s a guy I know, who is on the fringe of the business, and runs around trying to impress little high school girls with the fact that he is a rap artist and has a cool car. I can’t stand cats that are in my position, and use what we have to manipulate 17 year old kids.”
Game Don’t Get Old is an ode to the industry that made Mix what he is today, and what he has sacrificed to be in the game. “I’ve got no kids because of it/I’ve got no wife because of it/But I got this life because of it/The game don’t ever get old.”
“The reason I wrote that song is because the need to succeed sometimes outweighs logic,” Mix says. “We keep putting off what we need to be doing for what we feel has to get done. It’s a song about everyone, pimps, hoes, writers, editors, all professionals. Guys who make money have a tendency to put off life so that they can get a little more money. You wake up one morning and you’re 45, and you have no kids, no wife, but you have a whole lot of money.”
Mix-A-Lot admits that at age 39 he doesn’t have a wife and kids, but he doesn’t live the extravagant life that his modern contemporaries live. “The average guy with a big platinum chain hanging chain, and a bunch of half naked chicks – He envies the guy with the six-year-old kid who wants to be just like daddy.”
Mix-A-Lot did not have the same perspective at 21.
Early in life, Mix spent his days running call girls from Seattle to Canada, a so-called gorilla pimp. “I wasn’t out there on the street corner, beating peoples’ ass to get bread,” Mix says. “But the [brothel] was right across the street from my apartment and this was when I was 11.”
Mix spent his afternoons watching the pimps of the day work the streets. “It was right in my face, and I thought there were pimps and hoes everywhere. We didn’t look at pimps and think they were gods – We thought they were hilarious. We had one guy that had a Rolls Royce and he wore a cape that two hoes would hold. That’s the kind of shit I grew up looking at. We laughed at it.
With his own view of the pimp lifestyle in mind, Mix began writing rhymes that glorified the comedic side of pimp royalty, eventually releasing the hit Posse on Broadway in 1987, when he was 24.
After two quiet efforts, Mix broke big in 1991 with his third record “Mack Daddy” featuring the hit single and homage to the booty Baby’s Got Back. The catchy and comedic song gained him notoriety and a spot on the MTV blacklist (the video was only aired on prime time). “At the time, we worshipped heroin addicts, these waif thin chicks who looked like they were about to die. Now we’ve got it in perspective with the J Los and Halle Berrys. Although I think Shakira has to be the ass of asses. I saw her on SNL, and her and Beyonce are coming in neck and neck.”
With the subsequent “Chief Boot Knocka” and “Bumpasaurus” Mix expounded on his love for booty and low-end bass, but brought in few new followers. “I thought I was the king of the bottom end – I’d shake your windshield out of your car,” Mix says.
Mix returns to the rap world on September 9, with the release of “Daddy’s Home,” and the big guy makes it clear that he is doing it for fun, not for numbers. “I often ask myself, ‘Why did I make this record?’ I didn’t need to, but I still live music,” Mix says. “I use to not under stand why Michael Jordan came back, but I think I understand that now.”
“I’m not trying to be the big boss and go number one… Hell no, that would scare the hell out of me,” Mix says. “I just want to get in, have some fun, make some noise and keep the fans happy.”
So does Mix’s posse still hang on Broadway in Seattle, or does it extend beyond Broadway?
“We had to leave Broadway. Broadway’s demographic has changed. It used to be, you would get your car cleaned up, and you would roll onto Broadway to meet chicks. Now you clean up your car to go out there and meet guys. I’m freaky, but I don’t go that far.”