Seattle, United States (1963 – present)
Born Anthony Ray in Seattle on August 12, 1963, Sir Mix-a-Lot is a Grammy Award winning rap artist known as a champion of north-west-coast hip hop and for his mainstream break-out in the early 90s. Where there was previously no scene, he helped create it with fun, bass heavy tracks relying on booty shakin’ just as much as a playful sense of humor. His first album, ‘Swass’, featured him humping the Space Needle to show his commitment to the Seattle scene and went platinum. After hooking up with producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin, Mix-a-Lot hyped a new, in-your-face image culminating in the booty shakin’ anthem “Baby Got Back”, a groovy cut about thick booty that topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and signaled the high point of his career.
The track, which earned him a Grammy Award, has continued to be a success, with VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop’ including it in 2008. As trends in gangsta rap and other shifts of hip-hop culture took place, Mix-A-Lot kept on releasing tracks to a cult fanbase before going more into production and studio work. Other notable fan favorites include “Posse On Broadway” (rapping about a street in Seattle, discussing local landmarks, with success that proved his first hit with some MTV airplay), “Testerossa” (a comparison of his lyrical power to the cars’ horsepower), and “Swap Meet Louie” (a comical look at counterfeit goods such as Louis Vuitton items being sold at swap meets and night markets).