Review Revue: Sir Mix-a-Lot – SWASS

You know, there’s a lot of great rap and hip-hop here in Seattle these days, but it wasn’t always like that.  I don’t know how many cities would be easily able to point to a record and say “this is our first hip-hop album,” but here we have it (at least according to KCMU DJs at the time, and who would be in a better position to know?):  Seattle’s first hip-hop album, Swass, by our hometown hero Sir Mix-a-Lot.  Four years before “Baby Got Back” would cement his name in minds across the nation, Mix-a-Lot made a pretty solid impression with “Posse on Broadway,” which has become something of a Seattle (or at least Capitol Hill) anthem.  (Oh, look what I just found!  A map of all the locations mentioned in the song!  Man, I love the Internet.)  Never having eaten at a Dick’s restaurant, I’ve always wondered at its popularity, and now I wonder if Sir Mix-a-Lot’s rapped tribute to the place 20 years ago might have had a hand in keeping the local chain in business?  Just a thought.

Well that’s enough preamble, let’s get to the goods.  How did the KCMU heads react to “Seattle’s first hip-hop album”?

“Yep, this is it: Seattle’s first hip-hop album.  Side 1 is solid.  Every cut is playable with ‘Buttermilk Biscuits’ and ‘Rippn’ being the highlights.  Side 2, however, leaves a lot to be desired.  2.1 is a red dot [A rapper swearing?  Oh my!], 2.2 is weak, 2.3 is mean-spirited and obnoxious (although when I’m feeling that way I kinda like it).  2.4 is old (but still worth a few spins), and 2.5 is pathetic.  Play it for your friends as a joke, but please don’t play it on the air.  Sir Mix-a-Lot is not a Sensitive Man [Again, I am shocked!].  Still, play the first side and 2.4.  These songs would’ve made one jammin’ EP.”

“That’s the Lake City Dick’s on the back.”

“‘Posse on Broadway’ refers to Capitol Hill here in Seattle – I found it mildly amusing.”

“I found it mildly amusing PLUS.”

“And I’m glad this album has arrived.”

“Maybe Dick’s will get some national recognition now.  ‘Posse on Broadway’ is amusing.”

“Their address is on the back 4 times.  Wow.  Yates rock!”

“This is SWASS and belongs in HotHeavyHard HuHuHAH PLEEZE!”

“You know… what is swass?”

“It’s ‘def,’ ‘ill,’ ‘fresh.’  That’s what ‘swass’ means.”

“SWASS is Some Wierd [sic] Ass Silly Shit.  That came from Sir Mix-a-Lot himself.”

“Don’t kid yourselves people.  Yates had it pretty much right.  This is average w/only a few good tracks.”

“This is Seattle, Mark.  This is a fresh sound for Seattle.  THIS IS NOT BIGFOOT ROCK, not a rut, but H material.”

“Looks like the Wallingford rules to Ma DC”  [OK, I can’t read that one, but that was my best shot.]

“The most requested artist by far on Shock Frequency.  At least a dozen requests a week.”

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One Comment

  1. Marc D. Chapman
    Posted October 3, 2008 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    This was a trip down memory lane. A good portion of my Junior High life was to the sound track of this album. Somehow, SWASS made a big splash in Bismarck, ND

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