Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1992 Hip Hop Record "Baby Got Back" & Its Socio-Cultural Impact

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases Sir Mix-A-Lot's 1992 Hip Hop record "Baby Got Back" with a special focus on how that record influenced society's views on women's bodies. A video of that record is showcased in this post along with selected comments from that video's discussion thread.

Warning- This video contains sexually suggestive lyrics & visuals but no profanity and no explicit sex. As is the case with many YouTube comment threads, a great deal of profanity and sexually explicit language is found in this video's discussion thread.

Click the closely related pancocojams post entitled The "Clean" Meaning of The Name "Becky" In African American Culture

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Sir Mix-A-Lot for the significant and perhaps unexpectedly positive impact that "Baby Got Back" has made in the United States and elsewhere. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

"Baby Got Back" is a hit song written and recorded by American artist Sir Mix-a-Lot, from his album Mack Daddy. The song samples the 1986 Detroit techno single "Technicolor" by Channel One.

At the time of its original release, the song caused controversy with its outspoken and blatantly sexual lyrics about women, as well as specific references to the female buttocks which some people found objectionable. The video was briefly banned by MTV.[1] "Baby Got Back" has remained popular and even anthemic[2] since it was originally featured on the album Mack Daddy in 1992.

It was the second best-selling song in the US in 1992, behind Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You", with sales of 2,392,000 physical copies that year.[3] In 2008, it was ranked number 17 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.[4]

The first verse begins with "I like big butts and I cannot lie", and most of the song is about the rapper's attraction to large buttocks. The second and third verse challenge mainstream norms of beauty: "I ain't talkin' 'bout Playboy/'Cause silicone parts are made for toys" and "So Cosmo says you're fat/Well I ain't down with that!". Sir Mix-a-Lot commented in a 1992 interview: "The song doesn't just say I like large butts, you know? The song is talking about women who damn near kill themselves to try to look like these beanpole models that you see in Vogue magazine." He explains that most women respond positively to the song's message, especially black women: "They all say, 'About time.'"[5]

In the prelude that opens the song there is a conversation between two (presumably) thin, white valley girls, where one girl remarks to her friend, "Oh, my God, Becky, look at her butt! It is so big [...] She's just so ... black!", to which Sir Mix-a-Lot, representing the African-American subculture's view, says: "You other brothers can't deny" and "Take the average black man and ask him...".[6] However, Sir Mix-a-Lot admits in a later verse that it is not only African-American men who are attracted to curvy women with the lyric "even white boys got to shout", an aspect which was referenced in a retrospective two decades later.[7]"...
"Anaconda", a 2014 record by Trinidadian-born American rapper Nicki Minaj samples "Baby Got Back". Whether Minaj's effort was done well or not is a topic of considerable debate in the discussion thread for the Sir Mix-A-Lot video that is found below (and I'm sure elsewhere.)

Warning- This video contains sexually suggestive lyrics & visuals but no profanity and no explicit sex. As is the case with many YouTube comment threads, a great deal of profanity and sexually explicit language is found in this video's discussion thread.

Sir Mix A Lot Baby Got Back Best Quality

CHRISONSLOW, Uploaded on Sep 18, 2009
Back" here means "booty" (butt). "Baby got back" praises Black women who have big butts.

Click for the full lyrics to this song.

As of 4:38 PM when this pancocojams post was being written, there were a total of 8,111 comments to this Sir Mix A Lot "Baby Got Back" video's discussion thread. This compilation documents a very small number of those comments which I think are representative of most of the comments in that discussion. I read a lot of the comments, but not all of them. A number of those comments contained profanity (used as curse words and not as compliments) and/or sexually explicit language. None of those comments are included below, at least not with their full spelling.

These comments are given in relative chronological order based on the year that they were published, with the oldest comments given first (except for responses). However, these comments may not be in consecutive order. I've assigned numbers for referencing purposes only.

I'm most interested in comments that address any socio-cultural impact or implications of the "Baby Got Back" record, including comments about whether this song is racist or objectifies women. I've added a brief editorial comments after a few of these comments.

1. PinkButterfly2020
"this video is about 20yrs old....and it was really a positive confirmation from a black man appreciating how we are naturally shaped....growing up looking at Vogue, Cosmopolitan,Elle magazines etc...those magazines are great but they promoted white women and white shapes...we don't look like that...for the black women who had shapely butts we were told we were fat...and needed to lose weight...we have been told negative things about being black all throughout American history...from the ends of the strands of our hair to the bottom of the souls of our feet..negative things have always been taught about many, many shout outs to Sir Mix a Lot....and even today King Magazine and others,for celebrating black women with our natural God given shapes....."

2. vanteesomeone
"I forgot all about the start of the video. I love the white girl lip syncing a black girl's impression of a white girl."

3. Jibriltz
"This is actually quite a good song for a lot of women to boost their self-esteem. Hear me out - he raps about Cosmo calling women with curves fat and how he is apparently not down with that. Neither am I. And if you were wondering if my girlfriend has the butt - Hell yeah!"

4. mechanoid2k
"Yeah believe it or don't many hip hop songs from the early days had positive messages"

5. hehustle2009
"We all have that one song that brings out our emotions. As soon as we hear it, everything in our mind, spirit, and soul just pours out. These songs have meaning and they have an impact on our very being. With that being said (I'm very emotional right now), thank you for your contribution to society Sir Mix-A-Lot........*wipes tear*"
I'm not sure if this commenter is being facetious or not. Be that as it may, I think that Sir Mix-A-Lot positively impacted society with the song "Baby Got Back".

6. CelciaSnow
"Funny how this is a lot cleaner than today's rap music videos... and back then they considered THIS obscene!"

7. Forza Huskers
"Isn't it amazing how a song that was fairly risqué in its day seems pretty tame by today's standards? Clever video, too. I love the Josephine Baker reference."

8. greasedog
"It wasn't too long ago when white folks called the oh so many black and Latina women with ample butts fat. They did it cause most white women don't have it so they dogged it. Sistas have always had bangin bodies to go with their beautiful faces. Thanks to modern surgery and padded pants, white women are trying to have it too."

9. cinnamonstar808
i think alot of white-hispanics get butt jobs. America still prefers the hourglass shape. so many white women will go for more that balance look

White girls do have natural big butt but it all depends where in Europe they are from. Your tribe kinda determine your butt size. the same goes with Africa and Asia people.

Any country that touches the Mediterranean sea or North Africa.. chances are you're gonna have an ample backside.
italy, greece, algeria morocco.. israel etc etc"

10. Reply
"I'm white, and I work to get my butt round! In high school even a few of my black classmates told me, "You got a black girl's booty." It may not come naturally for me, but with exercise and eating high protein"

11.greasedog [2014]

Notice that I said "most" white women. I never said "all". Just like there are "some" black women and Latinas who don't have any ass. There are exceptions to everything. In general, among white women a plump ass is rare. Among black women and Latinas it's common. Get it? I got one!"

12. Manga Man
"When white girls start hating about being flat in back"

13. visa422978
"Such a popular song when it comes to karaoke here and the majority of guys who rap to this are white boys while the white girls enjoy and twerking to this song :D"

14. Reply
Milos Pinstripe
"It is such a silly song. My neighbors uncle had a karaoke setup for parties and I remember his drunk brother-in-law loved doing this song. We enjoyed watching him too."

15. Annie McKinnon

16. randomer24700
"The start xD (black guys' stereotype of white girls)"

"The Greatest 1 Hit Wonder ."

18. Reply
"This wasn't Sir Mix A Lot's only "hit". "Posse on Broadway", "My Hooptie", and "Beepers", while nowhere near as commercially successful as "Baby Got Back", were still considered hits on urban radio formats where rap was predominantly played back in the day. He had a huge fan base before "Baby Got Back" crossed over and sold more albums independently than most rappers on major labels sell nowadays."

19. Vahan Nisanian
"I heard Amy Dorsey does vocals on this song.

Does anyone know how she looks like and does she appear in this video?"

20. Reply
Ryan James
"Not sure. Was this Amy Dorsey Sir Mix A-Lot's girlfriend? I do know that the intro to this song was in fact spoken by Mix A-Lot's girlfriend at the time. She was a Black/Puerto Rican woman and she was the one who says the "Omg, Becky look at her butt" line. The white girl in this video was just lip synching. "

21. Ryan James
"Most people who seen this video also think Sir Mix-A-Lot is praising both black women and white women, lol."

22. Keyser Soze
"Well back when it came out, no, he wasnt praising white women. But ever since the late 90s somehow white women magically started having ass. Some of the best ones ive ever seen have been on white women. Thank god for all the bovine growth hormones theyre putting in food, or whatever the hell it is thats doing it!

23. Gi Burns
"I remember despairing when I was growing up, because the trend in the 70's was designer jeans and a FLAT PANCAKE ASS. No diet would starve that thing down. The fashion world still lags behind modern tastes - still poisonous to believe a model's proportions are what the world finds beautiful. There's room for us all."

24. teamoutrage1
"the 90's started the big butt krazz"

25. LrsLzk
"If someone did a song celebrating characteristics or cultures of white people then it would be deemed racist."

26. Michelle J.
"Oh please. The characteristics & culture of white women are celebrated every single day. Just look at fashion magazines, advertisements & television. White women have been put on a pedestal for years & told the are beautiful, pure & delicate while Black women have been told the exact opposite. One song celebrating the sistas and yall wanna start clowning."

27. Grind Master
"+troodon9999 Oh yea? That was racist? Well this video is clearly, racist, saying white girls don't have butts and blacks have, no how can this be racism right cause only whites can be racist. Yes, I am white and I am proud of it, why should I be ashamed, I didn't choose to be white but still why the f&&k* should I be ashamed."
"troodon9999" may have been an earlier screen name for "LrsKzk" or may have been another blogger whose comments was deleted.

*This word is fully spelled out in the comment

28. LrsLzk
"+spoonabeats She uttered no facts. All just cited off conjecture based purely on her own subjective outlook. Are black people not in magazines, too? Of course they f&&king* are. The only reason that there isn't equal proportion of black/white people in said magazines is because there are more white people living in the west, so naturally there'll be more. Defensive paranoia being spurted to a guy who has nothing against black people what so ever. Good job."
*This word is fully spelled out in the comment.

29. babyEroose
"+LrsLzk Honey in 1992 black people weren't on magazine covers that didn't have a large black consumer base, and for many of the major FASHION magazines (which is what's referenced) it's still a rare occurance when a black woman is on the cover. Sir Mix-a-lot is saying as a black man that he appreciates the body of a fuller figured black woman and doesn't abide by what mainstream America AKA white people find to be a beautiful woman or a beautiful woman's body).

The west (white/european culture) has strongly influenced how we look at each other. They colonized the world and the impact of that is felt in several ways including beauty. Black women today have their looks very seldom celebrated and in many non-white cultures a woman is considered more beautiful when she has "whiter' features. All the "beautiful" hispanic women you see celebrated for their appearance according to the mainstream have lighter skin & light straight hair, even though hispanic people come in all colors. The most popular cosmetic surgery among east Asians is to have their eyes opened wider, and the biggest Asian stars are usually fair skinned. In India Aishwarya Rai is considered this major beauty because she is a Indian woman with light skin and green eyes. There people can be very dark, darker than many black people in the U.S. and that is considered unattractive. One of the most common plastic surgeries for Middle Eastern women is to get nose jobs so that they have thinner smaller noses. And with black American women, who are considered the great beauties here? Halle Berry (half white) , Tyra Banks, Beyonce, Rihanna, Zoe Saldana, Kerry Washington, Nicki Minaj (and that is pretty much the whole list) and what do they have in common? Light skin, light eyes, long silky hair (or weave) or they are biracial so what is inherently beautiful about these women are the features that many black women don't have. When that one dark skinned short haired black actress got People's 50 most beautiful, there was a lot of blow back.

Conversely there are non-black celebrities who are celebrated for having features that are seen on most black women that are extra beautiful b/c its a white lady, light skinned lady with exotic features. The most glaring example of this is Angelina Jolie. Practically every black woman has full lips but somehow that makes Jolie one of the prettiest women ever b/c she is a white woman with big lips.

(p.s. a big ass is not a black feature or characteristic. There are plenty of latin women out there with ass and plenty of country white girls or German girls with booty, but white women were shamed for having bodies like this, especially in the era it was made, again the rationale for this song!) "

30. Reply
"+babyEroose You really do have a chip on your shoulder, don't you? I mean typing out a comment that long on a Youtube video titled "Sir Mix A lot Baby Got Back" is both impressive and worrying. Beauty is just a matter of opinion and as the cliché goes, in the eye of the beholder, so don't worry about it. You're mainly talking about how you think ethnic minorities aren't appreciated in the white West (meaning Europe and America), well, perhaps white people aren't found as attractive in the Middle East and Africa etc, where white people are the minority. It's like saying American football isn't very popular/appreciated as much in Europe yet it is loved and revered back in the US.
Anyway, I still think you're being defensive and worrying over nothing. The way you are going on you make it sound as though every black person in the West is single and thought of as universally ugly no matter what; this is of course no where near true."

31. Reply
"+LrsLzk You say chip, I say educated with my eyes open. Yes I left a long comment b/c I naturally talk a lot and you spent a lot of time and comments defending your position I think you've written just as much. You used comments like black paranoia and that black people are all of over magazines forgetting that when this song was made blacks were NOT as prevalent in mainstream media, nor were they considered (or have ever been considered) the fairest ones of them all. I never said that black women were all single, I said that they seem to only be widely seen as beautiful the less "black" they look. Who decides what bodies and faces are the most beautiful in the U.S.? So yes that is what you are naturally going to see the most of. Completely not defensive but it seems like you are back pedaling a little because maybe in my long comment you realize that I have a point.

I wasn't responding to what's going on in the video I was responding to you and your inability to see the obvious and real discrepencies when it comes to race and beauty and how it is perceived in the U.S. It only took 15 min of my day to write that."

32. Reply
"+LrsLzk Your original statement was "If someone did a song celebrating characteristics or cultures of white people then it would be deemed racist." First Michelle told you that white women were celebrated everyday then +babyEroose took the time to explain in more detail. You concede and say well its only because Whites are the majority. So basically your original statement has been refuted, at the very least. Rather than admitting so, you just keep on bit&hing* and attacking character."
*This word is fully spelled out in that comment.

33. Reply
"+spoonabeats Well then let me rephrase my original statement:
If white characteristics were explicitly and specifically celebrated directly, it would be deemed racist (not in a theoretical, inexplicit and symbolic way that others are stating as being fact, which in itself is debatable). But I do apologise from my heart if I was not clear, English isn't all of our first language, you know?"

34. Reply
João Luiz
"He likes big butts and he can`t deny it, that`s just that."

35. Reply
Dave Keays
"Is it a coincidence that all the women with small and unattractive (to him) butts are white in this video? A coincidence in the same way as the divide between management and the black race means nothing. Please decide if those kinds of relationships should be paid attention to or ignored by everybody- don't just dump blame on one race."

36. Reply

37. Reply
"+0LolaLola What's your point here? Showing me Naomi Campbell on the cover of 1993's Vogue issue when this song came out in 1992 doesn't contradict the lyrics of the song or my original comment, which was that it was a rare occurance that black women are on the cover of major magazines. In '93, Vogue had been out for over 100 years and you could count on 1 hand how many black women had been on the cover. Just google 'how many black women have been on the cover of Vogue' and you will see several links talking about how uncommon it is. Last, it still brings back my point in my original comment that looks of black women are usually only widely seen as beautiful when their features are considered "less black". Naomi Campbell is mixed race."

38. Reply
92 93 who cares it's 1 year difference rollingeyes lol You said there were no black models on covers. Which wasn't true. There were several black Vogue models and at that time only a very small number of models appeared on the cover of Vogue anyhow. Do your research hun, is always a good idea

And Naomi Campbell largely identifies herself as black, as do other black people.

There were tons of black women on covers prior to that. 70s was full of black models on covers and in magazines.

You're welcome rolleyes"

39. babyEroose
"Read my original comment lolalola. I say that black models were rare and using the same model over and over doesn't count as "plenty of black models" on their covers. Show me the "plenty" btn 1974-92. This originally started with a rap song that came out over 20 years ago talking about how black women aren't shown on major fashion magazines which for the most part was certainly true. You counting the last 20+ years where there has been more diversity doesn't discount the era in which this song was made. I lived through it and I'm telling you black women were poorly represented. You will see twice as many articles discussing the lack of diversity in fashion magazines than you will see diversity on the cover. Black women come in all colors and shades but using the green eyed, straight haired, Campbell as a reference was poor judgement on your part and didn't help your argument. Oh and the rolling eyes thing....stop it that's childish. "

40. Reply
"+babyEroose In the 90s there were only a few models who graced the covers of Vogue, it was mainly a rotation of largely the same models. So there wasn't a broad variety there to begin with.

In the 70s black models were not rare.
If one wants to go the route of black models being rare, I think it's interesting to look at a broader picture, not just 90s onwards.

You said there were no black models on Vogue covers in 92 - I took that as early 90s - but there were. I was responding to that.

Everything else is irrelevant to me, as modelling in itself has changed."

41. Reply
Lunar Rabbot
"+0LolaLola praise the lord! One black-ish model!!! Man what a majority! How many other black models were there during that time? And how many other mags did they sport compared to the white models back then? I'll wait.
She said they were rare not nonexistent, there is a reason they're called tokens."

42. Reply
GinaR AtlantaRealestate
"It was being celebrated... in magazines, movies, TV, which is why he wrote this song to give props to what HE considered attractive. Now, the rest of the world has caught on since plastic surgery is available."

43. lat woods
"+babyEroose Brilliant!!!!!!! great points Sister, I am 45 years old and I remember when Sir Mix A Lot release "Baby Got Back" back in 1992, I was a senior in college. I am one of those Brothers who love seeing a beautiful Sister with a big round shapely Booty, you are correct the concept of beauty back then was a white woman with a flat ass and no curves. While most Black men perception of a beautiful woman is a curvy body with a small waist and a big round booty. Videos back then generally used white models, and dancers wish did not appeal to most Brothers, so Sir Mix A Lot decided to make a rap about the beauty of our curvy Sisters, which showed his love and appreciation for our beautiful Black Woman.
"Digg That""

44. Reply
"+lat woods "brothers" "sisters"
For damn sake man, talk properly! "

45. Reply
"LrsLzk Look man the only reason why you have black appreciation is because were underappreciated I'm sure the commenters made that clear to you. Do you really want your history regulated to a month or one channel named after your race? White appreciation in a majority white country is as redundant as it sounds."

46. Reply
Darnell Hendeason [2015]
"Umm, magazine's like Cosmo and ...well, all of them have be promoting thin, white and blond since forever! They never show a thick dark woman in Cosmo."
That comment is the end [to date] of that sub-set of that discussion.

47. Why Patterns?
"This video may or may not be racist. But it is certainly SEXIST. Picking apart a women's body and dehumanizing women in this way is pretty nasty. Yet this is the logic of capitalist society. People are not human, but rather a collection of commodifiied attributes. Black, Fat, Thick, Busty, Tight, Thin whatever. This has all seeped into our animalistic brains, by which the cynical PR masters have pushed our buttons for a very long time now... I dont want to be a debbie down though, this song has nostalgic appeal for me. Lets call it for what it is, sexist trash."

48. Reply
"So just because a man admits he himself likes big butts, it's sexist? He's talking about how magazines are the ones who dehumanize women and illustrate a false sense of beauty. He's saying a woman who is curvy is beautiful too not FAT. Being skinny is healthy but just because a woman is curvy, she's fat. If anyone is sexist it's Nicki Minaj's version. She's telling women, who are skinny, aren't good enough for men. As if ALL men want women who are big and curvy in the right places. If a woman was making a song about men's penises and that she liked them in whatever size, is that considered sexist?"

49. shaariq jackson
"shes just so black..... wow a little bit of history there .... i finally get this song... sir mix alot wast trying to just describe how he loved a certain part of a females body... he was trying to defend black women.... #Thingsthatmakeyougohmmmm"

50. JonnyTainment
"Ever since that song came out, a black woman's big butt has become an official symbol of black pride!"

51. Jeannia Powell
"to the beanpoles dames in the magazines, you ain't it miss thing, give me a sister, I can't resist her, red beans and rice didn't miss her.. oldie but goodie"
"Give me a sister, I can't resist her, red beans and rice didn't miss her" are lyrics from "Baby Got Back". "Red beans and rice" are a favorite African American dish (particularly in Louisiana and other parts of the South). "Don't resist her" means that the food doesn't resist being eaten by the sister (i.e. the Black woman).

52. Deep Night
"This was 1992? 1993? Back then it was in the midst of the Kate Moss "waif" look. Very skinny models were making all the covers of the fashion magazines and extreme dieting was all the hype. I think he was speaking out against having to be very, very thin to be attractive. "

53. Holly varley

54. Reply
"Whitest girls ever!"

55. Reply
"+asnaes lily white..xD"

56. Jason Murray
"Alot of feminists are saying this is a bad video and objectifies women but when you think of it, he is saying that its ok to have a nice and average body because thats what most men like. He actually says, "screw what cosmo says about them flat butts, take the average black man bet he'll say she gotta pack much back". So yeah......."

57. HoneyT W
"Today those black dancers asses would be considered small. Big, huge and fake is hot now...
I guess i am old because nicki minaj did not "bring me here". Lol, you guys are young if you havent herd this song before nicki minaj"

58. 662chillin
"Mix just did an interview with Vlad a few days ago explaining why those women were so small. He had much thicker women but the label only kept 3 that he choose.

"Put Em On The Glass" has thicker women than this video (probably his raunchiest video lol) "

59. bluestrapsify1 year ago
" So Cosmo says you're fat, Well I ain't down wit that" Bravo !!"
This comment (with the exception of the word "Bravo") is part of the lyrics to this song.

60. Eggscape
"Becky wants that glorious ass she's glaring at it so hard xD"

61. miap
"The opening part with the two white girls is so priceless, love the commentary, just cracks me up!"

62. John Hart

63. Lindsay J
"God forbid there be an ode that compliments and pays homage to the naturally beautiful figures of black women. Some will never understand the difference between white supremacy and black power. One represents reigning supreme over another race while the other represents uplifting one's own race. This is not racist. Although this song is a bit chauvinistic, I like it because 1. it's funny and 2. it reassures black women that mainstream beauty is not the only beauty there is. Of course white women are beautiful and many of them have gorgeous figures; it just so happens that this song isn't about them. 2:09"

64. costin saceanu
"feminists be like: triggered!!"

65. Reply
"+costin saceanu Why would feminists dislike a song telling women not to listen to Cosmo propaganda to be a thin rail?"

66. Reply
nitelite 9
"+strawberryseason Can't understand that either. Maybe they spent too long starving themselves. They need to go get some red beans and rice!"

67. BeastBoyYesLeviNo
"So Nicki completely ripped this off? Nicki, wowwww...."

68. Reply
Fernanda Castillo
"she actually asked for permission and he let her. he's actually making profit too"

69. Esiana Turner
"Becky just mad because she ant got back."

70. green_ fling
"hen he said 36-24-36 i was like those numbers are way different these days lol 😂
" 36-24-36" are measurements for what was considered then the ideal women’s body – an hourglass figure.

71. Reply
"Back when asses look natural and weren't pumpd full of silicone or hard as a rock with glass. Nice bubble butts that if you have a little weight, squats will work out for you"

72. Reply
James Laidler
"And he managed not to swear, and I could understand him, and he was quite entertaining."

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1 comment:

  1. May 20, 2016- Sir Mix-a-Lot's 1992 record "Baby Got Back" is in the news:

    Sir Mix-a-Lot Defends Blake Lively's Controversial 'Baby Got Back' Reference With Passionate Op-Ed
    by Sophie Schillaci, May 20, 2016
    ..."The "Baby Got Back" rapper is defending Lively's controversial Instagram post from Cannes, in which she posted a side-by-side image of her front and backside in a curve-hugging gown. The caption, a reference to Sir Mix-a-Lot's 1992 hit: "L.A. face with an Oakland booty."

    "I liked it," Sir Mix-a-Lot writes in an op-ed published by The Hollywood Reporter. "I like stuff like that."

    The 52-year-old admits he was "surprised at the criticism" Lively received from the post, especially considering previously well-received references to the same line used by Katy Perry (in 2012) and Khloe Kardashian (in 2015).

    "I wrote this song not as a battle between the races. I wrote the song because I wanted Cosmopolitan, I wanted all these big magazines to kind of open up a little bit and say, 'Wait a minute, this may not be the only beautiful,'" he writes, pointing to an unrealistic "waif-thin, borderline heroin addicts" standard of beauty in the '90s. (He's also quick to point out that his drug reference isn't meant to be taken literally. "I mean the look," he clarifies.)

    "What I meant by 'L.A.' was Hollywood. In other words, makeup or whatever it took to make that face look good, they do it in L.A. But, as much as you can throw makeup on something, you can't make up the butt," he continues. "That's what L.A. face and Oakland booty meant. You can put makeup on that face and make it look beautiful, but a butt is a butt, a body is a body."...

    He also cautions fellow African-Americans against being too quick to criticize the actress.

    "I think we have to be careful what we wish for as African-Americans, because if you say she doesn't have the right to say that, then how do you expect her at the same time to embrace your beauty?" he writes. "That song was written with African-American women in mind, but trust me when I tell you that there are women out there with those curves everywhere, and they were once considered fat. And that's what the song was about. It wasn't about some race battle."...