Sir Mix-A-Lot

Chief Boot Knocka

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of interviewing Sir Mix-a-Lot can tell you that he's extremely intelligent. The Seattle rapper can spend hours talking about political and social issues, and his best sociopolitical offerings are in a class with anything that Public Enemy, KRS-1, and Ice-T have done. But Mix was never marketed as a hip-hop intellectual or a hardcore rapper; listeners usually think of him as the quirky, goofy pop-rapper who gave us "Baby Got Back" and "Posse's on Broadway," and Mix gladly went with the flow because fun, escapist tunes are what earned him the big bucks. Chief Boot Knocka, Mix's second album for American and fourth album overall, doesn't pretend to be a Public Enemy release -- this is pop-rap that must be judged by pop-rap standards instead of hardcore rap standards. And when those standards are applied, the album is a winner. While fun, frivolous numbers like "Let It Beaounce" and the hit "Put 'Em on the Glass" didn't get much respect from hip-hop's hardcore, there is no denying how infectious they are. The fact is that there is good pop-rap and bad pop-rap; like Salt-N-Pepa and Young MC, Mix knows how to provide material that is commercial but still has some bite. The Seattle resident does get into serious topics on "Take My Stash" (which was inspired by his problems with the IRS) and "Don't Call Me Da Da," but, overall, this is very much a party album. Is it regrettable that someone who is capable of writing sociopolitical gems like "National Anthem" and "Society's Creation" has neglected his more hard-hitting side? Absolutely. But that doesn't make Chief Boot Knocka any less effective as party music.

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