After exchanging some old war stories about the days at Nastymix (such as the way Mix-A-Lot announced to both staff at the label and to the rest of the world — through a bold double-paged ad in Billboard Magazine — that he was leaving to launch his own Rhyme Cartel enterprise), it was time to get caught up on the present.
In one more quick war story though, Mix recalled our own relationship, and the first time I criticized one of his songs — the title track to his debut album Swass. "Glen was always real nice about telling me something sucked," Mix laughed. "'Swass' was the song I wanted to push, but Glen wasn't hearing it. He was all about 'Posse On Broadway,' and he was right."
Just as I was soaking up this unexpected praise from my old friend, however, Mix nailed me cold. "The only thing is, when The Pussycat Dolls used part of "Swass" (for their mega-hit "Don't Cha'"), that's what paid for this house." I guess even the Shockmaster can get it wrong every now and then.
In fact, artists like the Pussycat Dolls and movies like the Charlie's Angels remake (and Cameron Diaz's famous scene dancing to "Baby Got Back") are exactly what has kept the Sir Mix-A-Lot brand fresh in the minds of music fans for all these years — ever since the 1993 smash became that year's second-bestselling single (Only Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" outsold it).
Always an astute businessman, Mix-A-Lot's choices about how that brand is marketed and represented have always been paramount. He says he's been blessed too many times over the course of his life and career to chalk it up to mere chance. Which is why these days, Mix-A-Lot takes nothing for granted — especially the brand.
"The main thing is I have to have creative control. And don't think I haven't been offered reality shows," Mix-A-Lot said. "But when we did the Burger King ads, that was the first thing they said — it's a good thing you didn't do those reality shows, or we wouldn't be here. But Burger King was great to work with. They left me alone and let me do my own thing. Target was the same way."
What Sir Mix-A-Lot wants more than anything else these days, however, is to be recognized for his talents outside of the limelight — producing and working with other artists. To that end, he has relaunched his Rhyme Cartel label and is working with a group of artists, including rapper E-Dawg, hybrid rocker/rapper Outtasite, and neo-soul singer/songwriter Tomeka Williams.