The Passion of the Weiss

Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick. But most of the time, I don't rhyme.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Revolution Apparently Was Televised



1991 was a much simpler year. We had just taken care of Sadamn and the Iraqis with the world celebrating our succesful multi-lateral invasion, a little movie called the Addams Family dominated the box office fueled by a much-loved MC Hammer song creatively titled "Addams Family Groove," and on television, a show called Home Improvement debuted and people soon discovered that there indeed was an audience for people who thought that Bob Villa needed a sitcom. And somewhere out in Los Angeles, a man called the Dude struggled with Jesus, white russians and a pair of nihilists who kept on mistaking him for "the other Lebowski." Simply put, it was a much simpler time in those pre-Internet days.

But more importantly, another landmark event happened in 1991, one infinitely more culturally relevant than a man who perhaps correctly entitled his show "Tool Time." 1991 marked the debut of the watershed rap song, "Baby Got Back," by then little known rapper, Sir Mix-A-Lot.

I don't need to do a history lesson for you guys. Provided one had a pulse it was was impossible not to be titillated by Mix-A-Lot's risque video that had MTV up in arms and pledging not to show it before 10:00 p.m. each night (these being the halcyon days when MTV actually showed music videos). The song snared a Grammy award for Best Rap Solo Performance, insane amounts of media attention and millions of album sales as Mix-A-Lot's album shot to the top of the charts despite the inescapable fact that its content could be explained by the two-word title: "Mack Daddy."

The video shown above, speaks for itself. It has a lot of "babies" who have a lot of "back" and not much else, other than shots of Sir Mix-A-Lot trying to pretend that he hadn't stolen Run from Run DMC's outfit and entire look. In many ways, the non-astute observer would instantly dismiss it as merely another crude music video focusing on the female posterior. Such critics are wrong. In fact, "Baby Got Back," was a milestone in the aesthetic tastes of the white man. What am I babbling about, you ask? Simply stated, prior to the video for "Baby Got Back," the white man had no concept of what most 20-somethings reared on hip-hop would refer to as, "ass."

Black culture had certainly had an appreciation for an ample female backside well prior to 1991. In fact, the tradition of black men celebrating "ass," began with the blues, at least as far back as Howlin Wolf's 1960 rendition of the song, "Backdoor Man," in which the inimitable Wolf declared his love for being a back door man, in which the men didn't know, but the little girls sure understood. Being merely an amateur fan of the blues, I'm sure there are dozens more of blues songs solely dedicated to girls' asses.

Yet while a curvy woman was a much-desired asset (pun intended) in the black community, this was not the case in white America, a fact evidenced by Mix-A-Lot's mention that when catching glimpse of a girl stacked like the one in his video, "even white boys had to shout." Indeed white boys didn't have to shout prior to 1991, as to that point the concept of prioritizing a girl's backside barely came into mind for white people. Sure, Al Bundy might've made a stray comment or two about a women having "nice buns," but this was qualitatively different from what Mix-A-Lot was talking about. Prior to 1991, men in white America seemed to be consumed by one thing: how skinny a woman could be while still maintaining large breasts (often facilitated by the help of silicone implants).

Still don't believe me. Then watch the famous video to the 1989 Robert Palmer hit, "Simply Irresistable," in which dozens of model-type women cavort in various seductive poses, showing off ample amounts of cleavage, yet very little "ass." These are the woman that Mix-A-Lot disdains, the ones that he sees when he's looking at a rock video watching "knock-kneed bimbos bimbos walking like hos." While Mix-A-Lot might want to keep his women looking like Flo-Jo, Palmer did not and neither did the rest of white people. After all, the video has about 12,000 cleavage shots and maybe two shots of the models' rears, shots that would not impress Mix-A-Lot or the average black man who wants his girl to "pack much back." Keep in mind, this video was widely celebrated in its time for the number of hot girls packed into each frame.



One can view Palmer's video as the epitome of white people's pre-Mix-A-Lot attitude towards "ass"as a cursory glance clearly reveals the minimized emphasis placed on the concept. Similar to Jackie Robinson opening the doors of baseball to people of all different races, so Sir Mix-A-Lot opened the doors of "back" to the white man. As millions of impressionable rap-loving white youths watched this video in their suburban homes, a revolution was in its incipient stages. The prior stick-figured ideal of beauty that had been venerated in white American culture for years was shattered by the impassioned declarations of a Seattle rapper who would follow up "Mack Daddy," with two even more poorly-titled albums called "Chief Boot Knocka," and "The Return of the Bump-A-Saurus," (which I imagine was not about a penchant for cocaine use).

You might be thinking, well just because Sir Mix-A-Lot had a song about "back" how can you be sure that all of White America was been converted to the merits of a fine posterior. After all, what about white America's seeming love of Paris Hilton? A fine point certainly, but one easily answered. On paper, Paris Hilton would seem to epitomize of white culture's celebration of rail-thin blondes with few curves but the truth is anything but. No self-respecting white person with taste finds Hilton attractive, her fame being generally the by-product of clueless journalists pandering to what they think the public finds interesting, vapid sorority girls who don't know any better and gay men who find her "fabulous." And I don't even need to mention what the average black man thinks of Hilton. As I have found from many an informal survey, most black men think that "Paris Hilton? She ain't fine. She's got no ass." And they're right too.

One needs to look to other iconic female figures of American culture to see the change that Sir-Mix-A-Lot wrought. Such curvy sex symbols as Beyonce, J-Lo and Jessica Alba seem to prove that both white and black America have converged in their admiration of "ass." Or take Britney Spears. Before she devoted her life to a diet of Cheetos and Red Bull, Spears was undeniably hot to all men on earth and seemingly embodied the new preferred body image ushered in during the Mix-A-Lot revolution. Or perhaps as a commenter of mine suggested, take a look at Vida Guerra (nsfw), perhaps the latest modern sex symbol to benefit from Mix-A-Lot's prophecy. It is these women that the modern caucasian male typically lusts after, certainly not Paris Hilton.

The media constantly tries to portray black and white relations in this nation as an ever-widening divide, but its nice to know that at least in some ways our two cultures are converging. And for that, we only have Sir-Mix-A-Lot to thank. That and red beans and rice. Right now, I can only imagine that Sir Mix-A-Lot is wearing a big smile while lounging in a palatial estate on Lake Washington, for he knows that while he may have become a punchline to some people, he won the war after all. Because in the America of 2006, we live in Sir-Mix-A-Lot's world. No longer are the bean-pole babe's in the magazines, "it," miss thing.

16 Comments:

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous a white boy who loves ass said...

You definitely came correct with this one, man. There's nothing less appealing to me than a chick with a body like paris hilton and nothing hotter than a fine woman with a booty like beyonce or JLo. You should put a picture of model Vida Guerra on this post. She epitomizes sexy and has the best ass i've seen.

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

A good call. I will do that edit right now.

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Joey said...

This shit rocks.

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have won the awesome award for writing this post. Any man today (white or black) that isn't into ass is either a total fag or over age 40.
Even white boys like Bubba Sparxx, Eminem and let's not forget Kevin Federline jumped on the big booty bandwagon this year with songs like "Miss New Booty" (a complete title rip off Mos Def's "Miss Fat Booty," which by the way is the best song ever), "Shake That Ass" (in which Eminem and Nate Dogg are "looking for a girl...with applebottom jeans and a big ol' butt") and K. Fed's Popo Zao (which we all know is Brazilian for "girl with a large posterior")

But overall I think Mike Jones said it best with "I'm looking for a dime, that's top of the line; cute face, slim waist and a big behind."

 
At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Sandro the Conqueror said...

I can see you're putting that Oxy history degree to good work.

 
At 8:39 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Just think of it like Smith's history class if it had extended past 1945.

 
At 10:22 PM, Blogger Nate said...

Great post, J. This was a glorious post in so many ways. I'm sure I was one of the many black men that have been heard saying that Paris Hilton "ain't fine". Cuz she really isn't.

Anyhow, I must say that although many a whiteboy has acquired a taste for a nice ass, there are still tons of white guys that still think that women like J-Lo or Beyonce are fat. As well, there are tons of whiteboys that mistake a wide ass for a fat ass. An error in so many ways. Just like black men that think it's okay to date a fat white chick because she has a nice ass. Wake up call: she doesn't have a nice ass...she's fat. Most Latino (especially those with african lineage) and most black women have been blessed with a nice butt. I always feel bad for those of them that can't claim such a blessing. A black girl without an ass is like growing up poor and Jewish. You're totally bitter because you feel like you're missing out on what you were entitled to.

 
At 10:28 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

You make a valid point, I have had friends tell me that Beyonce had thunder thighs. Yet I think I'm speaking for the not-so-silent majority on this one.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Ian said...

This really brings up two things that happened to me in college. First, there was this RA who told us she preferred to date black men because they could "appreciate a woman with curves." She was most certainly 20 pounds overweight. It goes back to the Chris Rock sketch- "if you wanna take her off our hands, fine. I don't know what we were gonna do with her."

Also, I had a class with a football player named Rashard Roberson, who was famous for two things. The first was telling my friend, "yo, me and shorty need the shower for 30-45 minutes" and the second was telling me, "what y'all white ma'fuckas see in Faith Hill? She ain't got no ass!"

Oh, and I'm definitely a white boy who is scared by Beyonce's thighs. Maybe it's due to the fact that I tend to date girls I hook up with, but I'm a little more wary of cromulent T&A...I'm thinking long term, and that shit don't last. And god knows the point of life is to not end up with a fat chick.

 
At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Tim C. said...

Passion, I normally don't make comments on blogs but wanted to address one of your readers:
IAN: I can see your point about not wanting to date a fat chick 20 lbs. overweieght who refers to herself as "curvy" when she is really just straight fat. But you have to understand that there is a HUGE difference between fat chicks with wide asses (like nathaniel jones pointed out) and hot chicks with nice round asses like Jessica Alba and the pre-Federline Britney Spears. This elite group of sexy women I like to call "skinny curvy." There's nothing hotter than a petite woman with a nice flat stomach who has curves in all the right places, especially the booty.
Passion, great blog and kick-ass post.

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Passion of the Weiss said...

Thanks Tim, appreciate it. The Skinny Curvy is indeed a rare species and highly sought after species, worthy of a Hall of Fame blog unto itself. With Alba prolly the current #1

 
At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 10:48 PM, Blogger David M. said...

It's David here:

I love you Jeff! First off, anyone who knows me well, knows that "Baby Got Back" is my favorite song of ALL TIME! I know all the words by heart & even did drunken karaoke to it at a ghetto bowling alley w/ a bar where every other person in there was either a "bloods" or a "crips", & I became a star over there in minutes, lol. I love ASS myself, & while nice tits are always a good bonus, ASS is much more important, & I agree that Paris Hilton has no Ass, & that a girl like Vida Guerra is one of the hottest girls in the world! "Don't want none unless You got BUNS HUN"!

 
At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(In reference to Tim C.'s earlier post where he refered to an elite group of women known as the "skinny curvy".)

I have heard many black men refer to black women with slim waists and comparably dramatic curves as "slim thick". An icon for this group of women is a woman featured in many rap videos who goes by the name Buffy The Body. If Passion, could provide a link to a page with her picture, the rest of the readers of this blog can see another example of an ideal "skinny/curvy" or "slim/thick" woman.

 
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