Like a toddler who just discovered a mirror, the world is currently fascinated with butts—a rising obsession that crested this week over the oily hills of Kim Kardashian, spurring an Everest-like race to plant other butt flags atop them. And much as any appearance of science in pop culture must first be filtered through Neil deGrasse Tyson, any butt talk requires the expert witness of Sir Mix-A-Lot, who has for more than two decades proclaimed his appreciation for butts and a dedication to speaking honestly about it. So TMZ did just that, seeking Sir Mix-A-Lot’s counsel on Kardashian’s butt—and in the process, solving a mystery that has plagued musicologists and proctologists alike for lo these 22 years.
While Sir Mix-A-Lot admits he has been “admiring Kim Kardashian’s latest cake displays,” TMZ writes while ruining dessert, he adds that, nevertheless he remains beholden to his original muse: Jennifer Lopez’s butt. Indeed, he says it was seeing Lopez’s butt on In Living Color that first inspired him to write “Baby Got Back,” a song that promises to remain the “Greensleeves” of butt love ballads, handed down through generations of suitors.
For some, the revelation that “Baby Got Back” was inspired by the butt of Jennifer Lopez—during a time when she was just one of several “Fly Girls,” her butt merely an up-and-coming ingénue—might seem a tad suspicious, a convenient retcon of history made for the sake of getting cheap publicity. We doubt its veracity, even as we know Sir Mix-A-Lot cannot lie.
Still, it’s important to remember that, regardless of the truth behind its specific origin, the message of “Baby Got Back” is universal. It’s a celebration of large, round butts with no faces, spread across lines that only appear to divide them, concealing a darker, deeper mystery. When we sing, “Baby Got Back,” we’re not singing to Jennifer Lopez’s butt, but to what Jennifer Lopez’s butt represents: the butt we love, for which hope gets sprung eternal.