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Behind the (Baby Got) Back with Sir Mix-a-Lot

Sir Mix A Lot - Baby Got Back (1992)

Over at Vulture they have a awesomely throw-back oral (heh, ironic) history of the ground-breaking and rump-shaking music video classic from Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Baby Got Back."

Director Adam Bernstein: I concocted the visuals based around the giant ass. Dana and I leafed through a book about Jean-Paul Goude, a French fashion photographer who happened to be ass-obsessed. So the shape of the butt was inspired by his work. Then we talked about what color to make it, and we settled on gold, because of the line in the song [“Some brothers wanna play that hard role/And tell you that the butt ain’t gold”]. It was made of pencil-steel, which is what aircraft frames are made of, and fiberglass. We shot it at the Chaplain, a big studio near A&M Records off of La Brea, between Sunset and Hollywood Boulevard.

Besides offering a glimpse into the past for production, the interviews also chronicle the adjustment that a very independent artist (an area where Mix never gets enough credit for being a trailbazer) has to make when jumping into the structure of a major label. There is so much more, including quotes from Rick Rubin, guns being pulled over wardrobe disputes and the renting of a giant inflatable ass. The whole post is definitely worth a read.

Doug Stern writes music video treatments and avoids wearing all brown.

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