This song is about women with big butts, and the men who love them. Mix-a-Lot got the idea when he was watching the Super Bowl on TV. A Budweiser beer commercial came on with models who were way too skinny for his taste.
In the October 28, 2016 edition of the Tacoma Weekly, Sir Mix-A-Lot talked about the deeper meaning behind this song. "It was a lot more serious than a lot of people thought it was," he said. "The song is really talking about the lack of acceptance by Hollywood of the African-American body. I'm talking Serena Williams kind of curves. Back in that era, what they did with women of color was they either played prostitutes or maids. They were usually seriously overweight. They picked the worst example they could find cosmetically, and they'd throw that in front of us. I wanted to talk about it, and that's what 'Baby Got Back' is really about. Now, because the body is not only accepted, it's expected, I'm not sure that the song would make the same impact it did in '92."
This started a trend of rap "booty" songs. Wreckx-N-Effect had a hit soon after with "Rump Shaker," and rappers have been singing the praises of "the bubble" ever since.
The video was directed by Adam Bernstein, who also did "Hey Ladies" for Beastie Boys and "Love Shack" for The B-52s - if you wanted a video filled with irreverent fun around this time, he was your man.
According to Bernstein, casting the video was one of the strangest experiences of his professional life. Since it was the butts they were interested in, he and his crew took photos of the applicants' fundaments, which they sent to Sir Mix-A-Lot for evaluation.
The outrageous video was briefly banned by MTV. This added to the song's popularity, as Mix-a-Lot played up the controversy. Years later, many rap videos featured dancers with big, healthy butts. The dancers in modern hip-hop videos usually have bigger rumps than those in "Baby Got Back," since in 1992, it was a lot harder to find models with a juicy bubble.
This song opens with two Valley Girls disparaging a black woman with a big butt. It was the first successful Valley Girl integration since the Frank Zappa song "Valley Girl."
This brought Sir Mix-a-Lot national fame; previously he was locally popular in Seattle. After trying to follow up with other butt-related songs, he fell into obscurity as a performer, but did have another hit as a songwriter: he wrote the Pussycat Dolls hit "Don't Cha" with Cee-Lo Green. Despite having just this one hit, he is still a big part of rap history - his old mixer is on display at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.
Speaking with TMZ in 2014, Sir Mix-A-Lot said that Jennifer Lopez was the inspiration for the song, particularly during her time on In Living Color as one of the show's Fly Girl dancers.
Cameron Diaz dances to this in the movie Charlie's Angels. It has also been used in the movies Happy Feet, Jackass: The Movie, Shrek and Shark Tale.
A young and nervous Ytossie from the reality TV show Temptation Island I was one of the bootie-shaking performers in the video for this song.
Mix-a-Lot wasn't the first to use the phrase "Silicone Sisters" to refer to surgically enhanced women - Bruce Springsteen used it in his first single, "Blinded By The Light."
The sketch comedy show In Living Color did a parody of this by "Trail Mix-a-Lot" called "Baby Got Snacks." In this version, the front man (Jamie Foxx) raps about being into obese women.
Suggestion credit: Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
A cover of the song was sung in the Glee episode 'Sadie Hawkins,' which aired on January 24, 2013 in the US. The Fox TV show's version was borrowed from an interpretation by singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton, who was more than a little miffed not to be acknowledged. "It sounds like it actually uses the audio from my recording - not the vocals obviously, but the instruments sound EXTREMELY similar," he wrote on his blog.
Coulon added: "They got in touch with my peeps to basically say that they're within their legal rights to do this, and that I should be happy for the exposure (even though they do not credit me, and have not even publicly acknowledged that it's my version - so you know, it's kind of SECRET exposure)."
In 2005, this was used in back-to-school commercials for Target with the lyrics changed to "Baby Got Backpack."
This song has been covered by Throwdown, a heavy metal band, and by Agent Felix, a pop-punk band.
Suggestion credit: Logan - Bellevue, WA
Sir Mix-A-Lot kept performing this song decades after it was released. In the '10s, he developed a 10-minute version that he would perform "if the crowd is into it."
Country star Joe Nichols transformed the song into a country shuffle for his 2017 Never Gets Old album. "Baby Got Back" started as a joke on Nichols' band during a live show. Once they perfected their take on the tune, Nichols and his musicians started performing it regularly. After including it for years on the set list at his shows, the Nashville singer decided to put his version on disc, due to popular demand.
"At one point in the show a couple of years ago, I would start playing a song with just me and a guitar," Nichols told Billboard magazine playfully. "Sometimes, the band would come in, and finish it out with the last verse and chorus, and sometimes they wouldn't. I just figured I would do something a little bit off the wall. I just hit a D chord, and went into it. It was a country version, more like a shuffle. My band wasn't shocked at all, they just joined right in and picked it up, so the joke was very much on me.
But, each time we played it, the crowd would go crazy. I think the country demographic now is very familiar with early '90s pop and rap. So the song was familiar to everybody, and the shock of it sounding so country put it over the top. Having a few years of playing it live, and it going over so well made us think 'What the heck?'
We cut it, and the musicians were laughing and having a good time with it. It's just a fun track, a little off the wall, and definitely a little goofball-ish, but it's definitely a light moment for the album."
Nichols' interpretation features an introduction by comedian Darren Knight, known to millions of Facebook users as "Southern Momma." Knight's "Southern Momma" character revamps the iconic spoken-word parts of Sir Mix-A-Lot's original song.
The music video for Nichols' version features Sir Mix-A-Lot making a cameo appearance as a judge who's unimpressed by several failed versions of the song. However, Nichols wins over the rapper with his rendition.
John from Portland, MeAny English speaking person who needs the meaning of this song explained to them probably fits the legal definition of mentally retarded.
Katie from Niceville, FlI'm a skinny white girl and I love this song. Hahahah
Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiThis song was on an episode of motormouth on vh-1. It had this guy singing baby Got back and here he is getting fast food restaurant food and singing Baby Got Back.
Kandyman1028 from Palm Beach Gardens, FlLyrics..."I was lookin' at rock videos, knock-kneed bimbos walkin' like ho's"...so I guess he's saying the white girls in rock videos are unattractive bimbos who walk like hookers...and somebody described this as "intelligently written"?? Um, right.
Rahul from Chennai, Indialol.... damn funny song.... but people flinch wen they play this in public.....
Michaela from Ellsworth, KsLuv this song it was played at my sisters wedding and everyone got funky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha ha lol
Diverdriver from Petaluma, CaThis song was used as the opening credits music for Scary Movie 4.
Marissa from Akron, OhWedding DJ guy (Aaron): I know exactly what you mean. And at school dances when that God-awful song "My Humps" was popular, it was always the girl who had no breasts and no "junk in the trunk" who would request that song! And I actually have curves, and I hated that song, but I do like "Baby Got Back" just because it's funny. I remember blaring it at my tenth birthday party.
Breba from Albuquerque, Nmlol, this guy in one of my classes sang this song to me. That was fun
Terra from St. Louis, MoI absolutely LOVE this song (and Rump Shaker)! I'm a white girl with a big butt (2 pants sizes larger than my waist!) and these songs make me feel good. I'm proud to have a little junk in my trunk!
Doug from Oakland, CaAll those sisters out there who look FINE at 20 with those big butts look a WHOLE lot different when they are 40 and their nickname is Wagonass!
Mandie from Port Royal, Paall men know weather they admitt or not that they cant help but stare if she got a big booty and the curves to go with it
Eric from Milltown, Ingreat song, lets not forget it was in Jackass The Movie during the "Sweaty Fat F**ks" skit
Tony from Topeka, KsThis song is quite possibly my Kryptonite. I can sympathize with Aaron on this one; it is unfortunately a staple of high school and college dances. As Murray Head once said, I get my kicks ABOVE the waistline, sunshine.
Terry from Northampton, EnglandMake no mistake,women with big butts are so (deleted).To all those lovely black women out there i say,"keep shakin that booty"
Blue from New York City, NyI have this song on my MP3 player and everytime I listen to it, I have to say amen to Sir Mix-a-lot. Every word is the truth (Every word). All the ladies that have big butts should send a video, slide-show, photo montage or anything that shows them shaking their booty to this song. (Just an idea, but a good one I think ;-])
Patty from New York City, NyOh Goodness this song is off the heisy i love it cause i have a big butt so the song makes me feel a whole lot better i just luv that song so much
James from Vidalia, Ga"Donkey" (voiced by Eddie Murphy) sings a version of this to a dragon (with a big butt) in Dreamworks' film Shrek.
I like em big myself! Comment from Mr. Obvious: People who take this too seriously are not the intended audience anyway. Turn it off if you're hopelessly drawn to tiny butts! :p
Marlow from Perthi remember this guy had a song called square dance rap in about 85.. no it wasnt a big hit..im a whitey who likes a lovely tight ass.. sorry girls no fries with your big mac today!
Sarah Floyd from Bloomingdale, Ilwell i like this song. and i got to admit i do have a big butt!! and i like this song. and i dont know why guys like big butts and the chest area of the girls. maybe the guy thinks he can get something out of the woman.
Whitney from Hazelhurst, GaI pesonally love this song!! I weigh 142 pounds so my booty is gigantic. Well sorta normal but that is beside the point. Great song Great rapper great idea.
Kristina from Houston, Txhaha what a song!
Anna from San Francisco, CaWhen one of my best friends and I listen to this song, we just sing to the lyrics and laugh while singing.. It is such a funny song.
Whitney from Sallisaw, OkI love this song because i have a big butt and it makes me laugh!! Not all songs are ment to educate or touch a life, some are just to entertain! Ease up on the guy and just enjoy it!
Steve from Keene, Nhjeeze, another pointless song, yes songs are made for entertainment, but as far as pop, and most newer rap, it's pointless, mindless drivle. please give us something that has some meaning, or make some yourself. please people that have gifts and abilities to write meaningful music, don't deprive us of it.
Max from New York, NyAlso, I think there is more to this song that meets the eye. "Now cosmo says your fat. Well I ain't down with that." It's a message that's telling girls to stay the way they are no matter how much rich, anorexic, flat chested white girls say they're fat. "So ladies, yeah, ladies, yeah, keep that healthy butt. Baby Got Back."
Max from New York, NyActually Mix-A-Lot didn't nessecarilly recede into one hit wonder land. He actually started his own record label in and it's fairly succesful, but thats why he never followed up.
Homer from Versailles, IlMy favorite use of this song was the episode of Friends where the only way Ross and Rachel could get Emma (their baby daughter) to laugh was to sing this song. Watching Jennifer Aniston sing this song is a hoot!
Matt from Millbrae, CaI'm a white boy, and even white boys got to shout baby got back.
Alec from Sewell, NjVery nice song to appreciate the women with the larger bottom packs.
Of course, this wasn't the FIRST song to cover girls with big butts. There was "Fat-Bottomed Girls" by Queen (one of my favorites), and of course, the song from Spinal Tap, "Big Bottom".
Big bottom, big bottom, talk about bum-cakes, my girl's got 'em...
Stephanie from Calgary, Canadai love this song..... i have a big butt :) hahaha
Amanda from Mineral Ridge, Ohi like big butts too (just kidding) but this is a good booty shakin song
Sandy from Mckeesport, PaMy sister and all of my friends say that this is my song. everytine when we go out and this song comes on, they all make a circle and make me get in the middle.
C.j. from Tunkhannock, Pathe beauty part of this song, other than the fact it's about asses, is that before this, mix-a-lot was making politically charged activist rap. last person i would think to make an activistic song.
Tom from Alma, GaAhhh, another well thought out, intelligently written, and respectful rap song.
Caitlin from Sailsbury, Ncwe were in french class and it was the last day and the teacher told everyone to name my theme song and this was the #1 theme song besides for yous a hoe and slave for you.( ppl say i have the biggest but for a white girl)
Ok...next... from Somewhere?, EuropeThere is a metalcore/rapcore cover of this song by Throwdown... And it's great..
Brittany from Philadelphia, Pai love sir mix a lot he is so so so so i dont know what to say he is a great singer
Aaron from Algonquin, IlI'm a wedding Dj, and every wedding I do, WITHOUT FAIL the skinniest white girl in the party will ask for this song.
Matt from Albuquerque, NmPlayed mercilessly and incessantly at karaoke bars worldwide.
Rosie from Waco, TxThis is a great song that me and my friends dance to all the time, plus, I have also mastered the bird(haha). Anyways if you haven't heard this song yet, go download it!
Jared from Norwalk, OhThis is a great song. One of my favorite songs of all times. The part when they used "Me So Horny" (the famous line from the hooker from Full Metal Jacket).