Forgotten Classic: SWASS

Posted by Brandon |

I just finished downloading one of the greatest hip-hop albums to ever come out of the Pacific Northwest. Now granted, there haven't been very many hip-hop albums to come out of the PNW, but still, Sir Mix A-Lot's 1998 debut SWASS is a forgotten classic that deserves a spot in everybody's collection.

SWASS opens with Buttermilk Biscuits, one of two songs (the other is track 11, Square Dance Rap) featuring a high pitched, comedic sounding Mix A-Lot that originally pigeonholed him as a joke rapper but was a fun and different sound that got people interested.

But then you move on to a straight forward, old school rap song - Posse On Broadway, arguably one of the greatest songs ever written about Seattle and still to this day an anthem for all of us kids who grew up in and around Seattle. It gave me, an Olympia boy who wasn't very familiar with the big city other than the Kingdome, a quick tour around the town and introduced me for the first time to Dick's Drive-In.

Track four is the title cut SWASS which is a simple, boastful song that has the hook "don't you wish your boyfriend was SWASS like me?" This hook has been resurrected this summer with the Pussycat Dolls awful Don't Cha, but instead uses the lyrics "don't cha wish your girlfriend was fun like me?" The great thing about the Mix A-Lot song was we had no freaking idea was SWASS was. I still don't. That's what makes it so damn good and the Pussycat Dolls rip-off so offensive.

The next track is Rippin' and that's exactly what it does. This is Mix A-Lot at his rhyming and rapping best. Farther along in the disc comes Bremelo, and for anybody who has ever known anyone from Bremerton or even been to Bremerton, this song is a blessing giving us something to laugh at them about for the rest of our lives.

SWASS has a couple of stinkers and there is no doubt that, especially today, some of Mix A-Lot's rhymes sound corny. But every song has its own personality and quirks and each song conveys what Mix A-Lot was all about. Having fun, clocking dollars, wearing gold, Dick's hamburgers and ripping on Bremelos. What more could you ask for?