Words by Jesse Serwer—
Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 single “Baby Got Back” is many things—a song everyone still knows the lyrics to, more than 20 years later; one of the biggest rap hits of its era—but its most notable legacy is a cultural one. The brown girls/big booties vs. white girls/flat asses debate has probably been discussed behind closed doors for as long as African and European people have been living side by side. But the Seattle MC’s homage to bubble butts brought discussion of the relationship between race and derriere proportions out into the open, and the mainstream. Not only did Mix-A-Lot’s tribute challenge social norms (“I’m tired of magazines! Sayin’ flat butts are the thing!”) when it comes to women, race and body type— you could convincingly argue that it altered them.