Happy Birthday Sir Mix-A-Lot! 5 of the Rapper's Biggest Moments

Sir Mix-A-Lot 1986
David Corio/Redferns

Sir Mix-A-Lot performing at Wembley Stadium in London on July 19, 1986.

Sir Mix-A-Lot turns 51 today, and to celebrate, we're taking a look back at his long career -- which includes a lot more than just an abundance of healthy butts.

The Seattle rapper, though best known for his iconic 1992 single "Baby Got Back," helped put the grunge-centric city on the hip-hop map. Since 1983, he's been making party-ready rap tunes that are uniquely Northwest -- check out some of his biggest moments below.

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1. "Posse On Broadway" Becomes Sir Mix-A-Lot's First Hot 100 Hit

No, not that Broadway -- the Emerald City-specific ode to Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood peaked at no. 70 on the Hot 100 back in 1988. The song was the second single off Mix's platinum-selling debut Swass, which he released independently on his own Nastymix Records.

2. "Baby Got Back" Scandalizes...and Sells

The rapper's 1992 single off his major-label debut Mack Daddy exploded on the charts, in spite of (or maybe because of) its unflinching lyrics about Mix's preference for kickin' curves. Though not particularly salacious by today's standards, the song (and accompanying butt-themed video) was viewed as inappropriate, and even banned briefly from MTV.

In the end, it was the second-best selling song of 1992 (behind Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You"), and in the process, became a cultural touchstone.

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3. Sir Mix-A-Lot Collaborates With Seattle Rockers

Mix always had a finger on the pulse of local music, even after "Baby Got Back" brought him into the mainstream. In 1993 he collaborated with Seattle grunge stalwarts Mudhoney on a soundtrack cut called "Freak Momma," joking in the song that he "just lost his street credibility."

After leaving Rick Rubin's Def American label, Mix went out on the road with beloved Seattleites Presidents of the United States of America, as a rap/rock group called Subset. Though they never recorded officially, some bootlegs from their late '90s shows have made the rounds on the Internet.

4. "Baby Got Back" Gets the Symphonic Treatment

Last year the Seattle Symphony gave the classic song its concert hall debut -- with a little help from the maestro himself, Sir Mix-A-Lot. Watch aspiring twerkers join the orchestra below.

Sir Mix-A-Lot Performs ‘Baby Got Back’ with Seattle Sympony: Watch

5. "Baby Got Back" Takes Over

The song has been a part of countless pop culture moments, from Friends to Nicki Minaj's (Mix-A-Lot-approved) "Anaconda" -- see some of the highlights below.

Happy Birthday, sirmixalot! 5 times #BabyGotBack inspired pop culture!

Posted by Billboard on Wednesday, August 12, 2015


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