Anthony Ray - AKA Sir Mix-a-Lot - was born in Seattle, Washington. Coming from a city with a virtually non-existent hip-hop scene, Mix-A-Lot co-founded his own record label, promoted his music himself and produced all his own tracks.
Sir Mix-a-Lot was already actively rapping in the early '80s, when in 1986, he and his DJ, Nasty Nes founded the Nastymix record label. His first hit, released in 1987, was the single "Posse on Broadway," whose title referred to a street in Seattle's Capitol Hill district. It became a local hit, and paved the way for his debut album, Swass, which was released in 1988.
Swass featured two singles: "Square-Dance Rap" and a hip hop cover of the Black Sabbath song "Iron Man" backed by the band Metal Church. In 1990, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified Swass platinum for selling a million copies.
|Photo by Anthony Ray|
In 1992, Sir Mix-A-Lot debuted on the Def American label, which also bought the rights of his previous albums. His album, Mack Daddy, featured the single "Baby Got Back" was a number-one hit that went double platinum and won the 1993 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. MTV aired the video for "Baby Got Back" - a gonzo tribute to women with large buttocks - only during evening hours because of its sexual nature.
Undaunted, in 1993, Sir Mix-a-Lot collaborated with Seattle-based grunge group Mudhoney for the song "Freak Momma" on the Judgment Night soundtrack.
Low label promotion of his 1996 album Return of the Bumpasaurus led Sir Mix-a-Lot to leave the American label. During the three year break, Sir Mix-a-Lot worked closely with another group, The Presidents of the United States of America under the group name "Subset" with a combination of rock and rap music, but nothing was ever officially released.
Sir Mix-a-Lot signed with the independent Artist Direct label for his 2003 album Daddy's Home with "Big Johnson" as its lead single.
In 2010, Sir Mix-a-Lot announced his next album, Dun 4got About Mix. The lead single "Carz" was released to YouTube in November 2010. By June 2011, the video had over a million views, although no release date for the album has been set.
In 2006, Sir Mix-a-Lot appeared as himself in the second season episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor, "My Big Cups," in which he raps the jingle for Tom's latest commercial enterprise, a store that sells big cups. He also appeared as himself in The Simpsons episode Treehouse of Horror XVII singing a parody of his song, "Baby Got Back." titled "Baby Likes Fat."
Sir Mix-a-Lot provides narration and commentary in Wheedle's Groove, a 2009 documentary about the Seattle 1960s and 70s funk and soul scene.