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The hit song "Baby Got Back" and Sir Mix-A-Lot go hand in hand. He created a classic tribute to women with large buttocks into hip-hop immortality. Before he stuck gold with that song, Sir Mix-A-Lot was one of rap's great D.I.Y. success stories. Starting in Seattle, which doesn’t really have a hip-hop scene to speak of, Mix-A-Lot co-founded his own record label, promoted his music himself, produced all his own tracks. Mix-A-Lot was a platinum-selling album artist with a strong following in the hip-hop community even before "Baby Got Back,” His sound is known for bouncy, danceable, bass-heavy tracks indebted to old-school electro. However, it took signing with Rick Rubin's Def American label -- coupled with an exaggerated, parodic pimp image -- to carry him into the mainstream. Perceived as a one-hit novelty, he found it difficult to follow his breakout success, but kept on recording, and even toured as part of a rap-rock supergroup called Subset, a collaboration with the Presidents of the United States of America.
Sir Mix-A-Lot born name is Anthony Ray and he came into the world on August 12, 1963. He was actively rapping in the early '80s, and co-founded the Nastymix record label in 1983 with his DJ, Nasty Nes, who also hosted Seattle's first hip-hop radio show. His first single was 1987's "Posse on Broadway," which referred to a street in Seattle, not New York; it became a local hit, and paved the way for his first LP, 1988's Swass. The video for "Posse on Broadway" landed some airplay on MTV, and became Sir Mix-A-Lot's first national chart single in late 1988. Swass found itself on the Top 20 of the R&B album chart, and by 1989, it had sold over a million copies! Also in 1989, Mix-A-Lot released his follow up album Seminar, which produced three charting singles in "Beepers," "My Hooptie," and "I Got Game”. All performed well on the rap singles chart, and helped Seminar become Mix-A-Lot's second straight platinum album.
Tough financial disputes with Nastymix resulted in a fierce court battle and ended Mix-A-Lot's association with the label. Fortunately, Def American stepped in to offer him a major-label contract. Mix-A-Lot had long mimicked (and mocked) the pimps he'd watched while growing up in Seattle, and adopted their visual style with Rubin's, the head of Def American, encouragement. He debuted for Def American with 1992's Mack Daddy, whose first single, "One Time's Got No Case," was a critique of racial profiling by police. It went virtually unheard, but the follow-up, "Baby Got Back," became a pop phenomenon virtually from the moment MTV aired its provocative video (which was eventually consigned to evening-hours only). The song sparked a cultural debate that addressed women’s beauty standards at the time.
After “Baby Got Back”, the label virtually ignored any more music he created, which led to a disolvment of the partnership. After that, he managed to hook up with the similarly frustrated members of the grunge/novelty band the Presidents of the United States of America. Mix-A-Lot had long been interested in rap-rock. Eventually, they adopted the name Subset, and worked on some material in the studio; they also mounted a small-scale tour in 2000, but subsequently went their separate ways, partly owing to musical differences and partly to a lack of enthusiasm for the process of putting out a record. Solo again, Sir Mix-A-Lot signed with the small Artist Direct label and released his sixth album, Daddy's Home, in 2003; the lead single, "Big Johnson," was a satire of men who exaggerated their manhood, written at the behest of female fans who wanted equal treatment in Mix-A-Lot's sex rhymes.