Seattle rapper’s iconic song was released 25 years ago on May 7, 1992. Here’s a timeline of milestones, parodies and other references.
Sir Mix-a-Lot’s most famous song, “Baby Got Back,” turns 25 this year. The Seattle-based rapper’s song was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks in 1992, and artists still reference it in their work today. Here is a look at some of the song’s milestones, parodies and pop culture references since 1992.
Feb. 4: ‘Mack Daddy’ album release
Celebrating 25 years of "Baby Got Back"
Sir Mix-a-Lot’s album, “Mack Daddy,” was released on Feb. 4, 1992. “Baby Got Back” was released on May 7, 1992, as the second single off the album, after “One Time’s Got No Case” received little attention.
April 11: ‘Baby Got Back’ hits No. 1
“Baby Got Back” debuted at No. 75 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 11, 1992. Twelve weeks later, it reached No. 1 and stayed there for five weeks.
June 18: Video banned from MTV
After receiving complaints from viewers and cable operators, MTV banned the music video to after 9 p.m. starting on June 18, 1992.
But Sir Mix-a-Lot and his label’s publicist weren’t discouraged by this ban. Instead, they saw it as an opportunity.
“All of a sudden it went from being that song you got sick of on the radio to being pushed out by the system,” Sir Mix-a-Lot told Seattle Met in 2012. “It was no longer a novelty. It wasn’t cute. It wasn’t simple. Somebody didn’t like it. Elvis was wiggling his hips again.”
Oct. 25: Jamie Foxx as Trail Mix-a-Lot on ‘In Living Color’
Jamie Foxx starred in a parody of the song on “In Living Color” on Oct. 25, 1992. In the parody song, titled “Baby’s Got Snacks,” Foxx sings about “scooping up chips and hot wings / eating up cookies and ice cream” as Trail Mix-a-Lot.
Feb. 24: ‘Baby Got Back’ wins a Grammy
On Feb. 24, 1993, Sir Mix-a-Lot won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for “Baby Got Back.”
Oct. 8: Bill Nye the Science Guy
Each episode of “Bill Nye the Science Guy” included a science-related cover of a popular song. In an episode about buoyancy on Oct. 8, 1993, the show parodied Sir Mix-a-Lot in a song called “Bill’s Got Boat.”
April 27: Classical music in ‘Futurama’
The animated TV show “Futurama” tells the story of Fry, a man who wakes up in the year 3000 after being frozen for a thousand years. In an April 27, 1999, episode titled “A Fishful of Dollars,” Fry listens to “Baby Got Back” before Leela tells him, “You can’t just sit here in the dark listening to classical music.”
Cameron Diaz dances in ‘Charlie’s Angels’
In the 2000 film “Charlie’s Angels,” Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz) dances to “Baby Got Back” in her bedroom.
Donkey sings karaoke at the end of ‘Shrek’
At the end of the home release version of “Shrek” (2001), the characters sing karaoke songs. Donkey, voiced by Eddie Murphy, sings “Baby Got Back” while the dragon dances along.
Nov. 14: Ross and Rachel sing to their daughter on ‘Friends’
In the season 9 episode of “Friends” called “The One with Ross’s Inappropriate Song,” Ross and Rachel try to make their baby laugh. The episode aired on Nov. 14, 2002 — 10 years after the song’s release — but “Baby Got Back” still does the trick.
On a record player in ‘Shark Tale’
In the 2004 animated film “Shark Tale,” Sir Mix-a-Lot’s song plays on a record player in the office of a great white shark voiced by Robert De Niro.
In an old mansion in ‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’
In the 2004 movie “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed,” Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo go to a suspect’s mansion. Shaggy finds an old record player, which plays “Baby Got Back.”
August: ‘Baby Got Backpack’ in back-to-school Target commercial
In August 2005, Target advertised their back-to-school products using a parody of the song with the opening line, “We like backpacks and we cannot lie, with a cell phone pocket on the side.”
While many viewers noted the irony in using the song to advertise products to children, others said it was an effective way to reach their parents’ generation.
“It’s either deliciously offensive, or, as some experts say, brilliant marketing,” one wrote.
Jonathan Coulton and ‘Glee’
In 2005, Jonathan Coulton released a folksy cover of “Baby Got Back,” bringing harmonies and acoustic guitars to the hip-hop classic. The stars of “Glee” sang a very similar version during the “Sadie Hawkins” episode on Jan. 24, 2013, which led to criticism from indie music fans.
‘Scary Movie 4’ introduction
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At the beginning of “Scary Movie 4” (2006), the fourth film in the horror parody franchise, James Earl Jones narrates over footage of bacteria, “No one believed, in the early years of the 21st Century, that our world was being watched the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures in a drop of water.” The bacteria then dance to “Baby Got Back.”
Washington Mutual lenders at a company retreat
According to Politico, Washington Mutual lenders sang a version of the song called “I Like Big Bucks” at a 2006 company retreat in Kauai. The performers threw play money into the crowd while singing, “I like big bucks and I cannot lie / You mortgage brothers can’t deny.”
Nov. 5: Sir Mix-a-Lot on ‘The Simpsons’
In “Treehouse of Horror XVII,” an episode of the “The Simpsons” that aired on Nov. 5, 2006, Homer turns into a giant blob and eats everything in sight. Sir Mix-a-Lot sings a parody titled “Baby Likes Fat” as Homer eats people.
‘Baby Got Bacne’ parody ad
In the 2008 teen movie “Another Cinderella Story,” Jane Lynch plays stepmother and pop singer Dominique Blatt. In an advertisement for body wash called Baby Got Bacne, Dominique sings, “I like clean skin and that’s the truth.”
Burger King’s SpongeBob Squarepants ad
In 2009, Burger King parodied the song while promoting the SpongeBob Squarepants toys included in their kids meals. The ad’s first line is, “I like square butts, and I cannot lie,” and it concludes with Sir Mix-a-Lot nodding in approval. As they had with the 2005 Target commercial, many parents said it was an inappropriate way to advertise to young children.
Tomas Holmstrom and the Detroit Red Wings
The DJ for the Detroit Red Wings, T. Campbell, played songs for specific players after they scored goals in the Joe Louis Arena. Former left wing Tomas Holmstrom often backed into the goalie in order to block his view of the puck, so his song became “Baby Got Back” during the 2010-2011 season.
In the 2010 movie “Yogi Bear,” two bears named Yogi Bear and Boo Boo try to save their home, Jellystone Park, from being logged. In one scene, Boo Boo turns on a boombox and Yogi Bear dances to “Baby Got Back.”
June 23: Viral video on ‘Are We There Yet?’
On the June 23, 2010, episode of “Are We There Yet?” titled “The Viral Video Episode,” a video of Suzanne dancing to “Baby Got Back” finds its way online.
“I love dancing to that song,” Suzanne, played by Essence Atkins, says before realizing she is the star of the video. “But who would record it and put it on the Internet?”
March 8: Betrayal in ‘Dragon Age II’
In the role-playing video game “Dragon Age II,” released on March 8, 2011, players rely on building relationships with other characters. When one character, Isabela, is offered her own pirate ship in exchange for betraying the main character, she says, “I like big boats, I cannot lie.”
July 30: Delta on Twitter
On July 30, 2013, Delta tweeted a photo of the back of a 737 plane with the caption, “Baby got back! We like big jets and we cannot lie, this 737 is ready to fly.”
June 6: The Seattle Symphony’s orchestral cover
On June 6, 2014, Sir Mix-a-Lot performed “Baby Got Back” with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall. Composer Gabriel Prokofiev was invited by the Seattle Symphony to compose an orchestral piece based on one of Seattle’s musical icons, and he chose Sir Mix-a-Lot.
In a blog post, Prokofiev wrote that composing an orchestral piece inspired by a hip-hop artist had “the potential of being an embarrassing ‘cross-over’ rail-crash between two musical worlds” that rarely mix.
“But I think these risks need to be taken,” Prokofiev wrote. “Many musical innovations have been made in hip-hop music that can bring new energy, sounds and rhythm to the classical world.”
June 16: Brian Williams on ‘The Tonight Show’
On June 16, 2014, Jimmy Fallon turned footage of Brian Williams into a “Baby Got Back” cover. Fallon had previously manipulated clips of Williams to make him sing songs like “Rapper’s Delight” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
Aug. 4: ‘Anaconda,’ by Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj sampled “Baby Got Back” extensively in her song, “Anaconda,” which was released on Aug. 4, 2014. Sir Mix-a-Lot’s line, “My anaconda don’t want none unless you got buns, hun,” makes up the chorus of the song, and the female speaker at the beginning of “Baby Got Back” is heard throughout. The instrumentals are also heavily borrowed from the 1992 song.
Aug. 19: ‘Baby Got Class’ in a back-to-school parody
On August 19, 2014, the Holderness family published a back-to-school parody called “Baby Got Class.” The parents in the video, Penn and Kim Holderness, sing about making healthy lunches, the burdens of school supply shopping, and parents’ lack of a real summer vacation.
“This one goes out to all the teachers, bus drivers, administrators, and support staff who teach and love our children,” they wrote in the video’s description. “Thank you for all you do!”
April 23: Teen Titans learn about being cool
In an episode of “Teen Titans Go!” on April 23, 2015, Cyborg, Starfire, and Beast Boy want to learn how to be cool. They go to Cool School, where a teacher sings about mixing attitude and confidence to the tune of “Baby Got Back.”
September: Sir Mix-a-Lot faces lawsuit
In September 2015, a DJ named David Ford claimed he helped Sir Mix-a-Lot write “Baby Got Back” and therefore deserved royalties from both the original song and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.” A judge ruled that the only author listed for the song was Sir Mix-a-Lot, and he ordered Ford to pay Sir Mix-a-Lot’s attorney’s fees.
May 17: Blake Lively on Instagram
On May 17, 2016, Blake Lively posted a photo of herself on Instagram with the caption, “L.A. face with an Oakland booty.” The post led to criticism on social media, and many people said Lively was appropriating a song meant to celebrate African-American beauty. Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian had both previously referenced the song on Twitter and Instagram without such criticism.
April 4: The Ragtime Gals on ‘The Tonight Show’
On April 4, 2017, Jimmy Fallon’s barbershop quartet performed a cover of “Baby Got Back.” The Ragtime Gals have also covered Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” and R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix).”