“Hoopties” were commemorated. Big butts were shaken on command. And jersey-clad Seahawks fans blew off steam hours before they completely lost their minds watching their favorite team annihilate the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48.
Anthony Ray, a.k.a. Seattle rap legend Sir Mix-A-Lot, oversaw the best Super Bowl pre-funk party imaginable Saturday night at Jazzbones, a sold-out show that was cause for jubilation by itself. Mix had been away far too long, his cameo last year at the Tacoma Dome with New Kids on the Block aside. He may live just up the road in Auburn, but his last full-blown Tacoma performance was way back in 2008 at Jazzbones in support of longtime hype man Mike “Outtasite” Singleton. And, frankly, we kinda missed the guy.
Tacoma rapper Mr. Von and the Staxx Brothers got the crowd warmed up, with funky tunes and lots of pigskin-themed call-and-response boosting the mood. “Sea! Haaaaaawks!” Then Mix-A-Lot made his entrance around 10:30 p.m., setting the tone with the tongue-twisting flow of “Buckin' My Horse,” a cut from his 1996 album, “Return of the Bumpasaurus.”
Casual fans were, of course, primed for “Baby Got Back,” the bootylicious anthem that made Mix a household name in 1992. He pulled a few female fans onstage to wiggle some rump shaken during that number, which predictably showed up toward the end of the set. But, for my money, the evening's best party jam was “My Hooptie,” a track about cruising Tacoma in a beat-up 1969 Buick Electra, years before all those “Baby Got Back” royalties started pouring in.
“That was back when money wasn't so good, but I had game,” Mix said as he introduced the song. And it wasn't the only selection to highlight his auto obsession. There was also “Testarossa,” a bass-heavy banger about his V-12 Ferrari, one of his first big impulse buys; and, of course, “Posse on Broadway,” the song that put Seattle on the hip-hop map decades before Mix's buddy, Macklemore, reclaimed the airwaves for Jet City.
Mix-A-Lot dedicated the latter to the Seahawks and all their doubters, notably the ESPN Awards which named Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly defensive player of the year over the 'Hawks Richard Sherman. “Haters will hate,” he said, the song serving as his suggestion for where to hold the victory parade.
Saturday's set was a reminder of how underrated Mix-A-Lot is as a rapper, and it's got us pretty stoked about that “Dun 4got About Mix” album we've been hearing about for the past few years. Drop that thing already, Mix!
Fans can go online for more photos by Tacoma Weekly freelancer Bill Bungard and a few bootleg clips posted on our Daily Mashup blog, at http://www.tacomaweekly.com/dailymashup.