Sir Mix-A-Lot aka the JR Ewing of Seattle does not always get his just do for his contributions to Hip Hop. For many he’s simply the guy who did the pop, fun-loving anthem ‘Baby Got Back’. The reality is Mix is pioneering figure in West Coast Hip Hop.. He was one of the first to come out and put Seattle on the map. His career was built on and independent label he co-founded called Nasty Mix.. His deejay at the time Nasty Nes was one of the first people in the country to do a Hip Hop radio show..He was one of the first to have his own TV series ‘The Watcher‘.
When Mix’s first single Square Dance Rap dropped, many immediately thought he was a new artist from LA or down south.. It was later discovered that Sir Mix A Lot was from Seattle and what appeared to be a gimmick type song was actually the first stone in a long career that has gone over 25 years..
In our Hard Knock Radio interview we talked with Sir Mix-A-Lot about what it took to make it in music and how he’s managed to keep himself on top. He offers up keen advice for artists just getting in the game. We talked to Mix-A-Lot about the way the industry is changing and what he finds exciting about it.
He talked about the success of Seattle’s latest star Macklemore and his relationship to the indy artist. They are good friends. Mix-A lot talked at length about the importance of being independent and what that meant when he started vs what it means now with respect to an artists like Macklemore. He gives a nice history lesson about how rap especially in the West Coast was always about being independent. He noted that there was no other way for folks to get on but to put out music on an indy label.
We talk to Mix-A-Lot about the story behind his landmark songs Posse on Broadway and Baby Got Back.. He says both were homages of sorts.. Posse on Broadway was tribute to all the cities that have a Broadway where folks gather to show off their rides and check out the scene. It was initially inspired when he visited Arizona and saw they had a Broadway similar to what was in Seattle..
In Baby Got Back, he said he wanted to have a fun and respectful way to let women know it was ok to have curves and show them off. he explained at the time of him doing the song, many women were being told to slim down and hide their curves, especially if they wanted to ‘make it’ in Hollywood or the world of modeling.. Sir Mix-A-Lot’s song changed the perception as he intended. He said his song has stood the test of time, because it had a bit more substance and wasn’t exploitative.
Lastly we talked about Mix-A-Lot’s other career and love which is high-tech.. Many don’t know that before he started rapping Mix-A-Lot was into high-tech on the hardware side and that he even had his own computer store. He noted that he’s always been good with his hands and his soldering iron game is ‘sinister’. He also noted that he makes frequent trips to the Bay Area and spends quite a bit of time in Silicon Valley. Currently Mix-A-Lot is working on a new venture that will help artists who wish to enhance their own music studios. He talks about that new project in our interview..
Mix A lot will be performing at Yoshi’s in San Francisco this weekend..
Sir Mix-A-Lot ‘Posse on Broadway ‘
Sir Mix -A-Lot ‘My Hooptie’