☝️ The Original Version
☝️ The richard cheese cover
Want to play it yourself?
In case you weren’t born or were under a rock in 1992, here’s a little history lesson for you. This is the original, Sir Mix-A-Lot 90’s classic, Baby Got Back. Here are 3 fun facts about this song that I’ve collected for you:
1. 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.
2. 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.”
3. It 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.
Of all the covers, I like the Richard (Dick) Cheese one, shown here. He also does Radiohead and a lot of other stuff in a lounge style, with his pianist Bobby Ricotta but the whole band is called Lounge Against the Machine.
It’s been used in films and covered on YouTube by many people including; Joe Nichols (country, feat Sir Mix-A-Lot), Michael Hightower (Gilbert & Sullivan), Jonathan Coulton (country) , Throwdown (metal), Uncle Leon and the Alibis (country), Vanilla Ice (like original), Grasshopper Takeover (metal), PH8 (metal), and finally, Sung By the Movies (Cassetteboy style). Jonathan Harris thinks this is all unnecessary and so, he made a Spotify playlist with 13 Covers.
Other places Baby Got Back pops up:
In the movies; Cameron Diaz dances to it in ‘Charlie’s Angels’, Happy Feet, Jackass: The Movie, Shrek and Shark Tale.
On TV, a cover was on Glee ‘Sadie Hawkins,‘ aired January 24, 2013 in the US. Similar to Jonathan Coulton’s, but not acknowledged. He blogged: “It sounds like it actually uses the audio from my recording – not the vocals obviously, but the instruments sound EXTREMELY similar”. “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, have not even publicly acknowledged that it’s my version – so you know, it’s kind of SECRET exposure).” A 2002 Friends episode ‘The One with Ross’s Inappropriate Song’ Ross (David Schwimmer) sings it to his baby daughter and makes her laugh. When Mom, Rachel, (Jennifer Aniston) is unimpressed. “If you think about it, it actually promotes a healthy body image,” he defends. “It turns out the baby will only laugh to ‘Baby Got Back.'” Rachel: “Nothing else works, the girl is all about the ass”.
If you feel you want to have a go, here are the ukulele chords for Baby Got Back.