Despite all the lyrical and thought-provoking conscious rappers who have come on the scene since 1992, there are few lines in Hip Hop that have become as iconic as “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
It seems like only yesterday that Sir Mix-A-Lot was pushing back against the trend of “flat butts,” and now we’re living in a world where women like Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé are admired as the most beautiful. What a pioneer.
The track, which spent five weeks at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and eventually won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, came out in May of 1992, exactly 25 years ago, which has surely left Sir Mix-A-Lot in a reflective mood. He spoke to Billboard about the impact of the song.
“‘Baby Got Back’ was originally supposed to be a slow, serious song, and that sucked. That didn’t even raise Rick [Rubin]’s eyebrows. So I sped it up and did it again. When I sent it back to him, he put an exclamation point behind one of his comments and wanted me to take the music out [during] the punchlines, because that’s what was going to last forever. Boy, was he right.”
“When I released it, gangsta rap was pretty big. I wasn’t talking about shooting or killing nobody. I was just talking about something we all could agree on, or at least most of us. It’s a little harder now to make something sticky. ‘Baby Got Back’ is a brand unto itself. I used to not want to accept that, but ‘Baby Got Back’ is bigger than Sir Mix-A-Lot.”
Check out the video above.