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"Swass" was released as the debut album the Seattle, Washington-based Pop Rap act Sir Mix-A-Lot in 1988. It acted as his initial breakthrough, but it wouldn't be until the drop of "Baby Got Back" that he would see any mainstream success.
1. "Buttermilk Biscuits"
We see the album open up with a track that has him coming in with material that, when you consider the year, shows just how out-of-the-norm he was as he enters the thing as a West Coast rapper, coming up with comedic rhymes that takes away from the Gangsta rap movement that was taking over at the time after N.W.A made their debut and other things happened throughout the Hip Hop world.
2. "Posse On Broadway"
Having the melody from the hook taken and used later by the St. Louis, Missouri Pop rapper Nelly, this was his first hit, but a track that I can't really say i felt much for as we get a joint that has him coming out with even more rhymes that you really wouldn't expect to have received by this time (unless you were the Fresh Prince, but even then Sir Mix-A-Lot's raps are of a much lower standard).
Sampling a little something from N.W.A along the way, here we have a track that has him taking on the West Coast rap ways that that act, Ice-T, Too $hort and others were known for at the time with some regional work that I felt added to the diversity of the thing, but did very little more than this as we get a little more lively with it, but it really doesn't go anywhere too significant by this point on the record.
The titular track on the record has him sticking to the harder end of things, and (as you may be able to guess) it doesn't really go too well at all. In this one we find that he does it all when he still holds on to the Old School rapping methods pre-1983 and so at the time wouldn't have been felt too much. However it was significant in that it is where Cee-Lo of Goodie MOb and Gnarles Barkley would find inspiration when penning the breakthrough single for the Pussycat Dolls; "Don't Cha".
I felt that this was the best track up to this point on the record as here we get a track from him that takes on the style that was seen in the LA Hip Hop scene before N.W.A turned up as we get some Electro-Hop and the sort of thing that would be taken to form the main basis to what the Miami Bass scene would be based on around this sort of time. It does a lot for it and breaks the plainness of everything.
6. "Attack On The Stars"
As you expect to get from a lot of the Pop Rap acts, this one has him looking back to the days when themed Hip Hop was acceptable, but of course it doesn't work again and pulls it all down as he is held back by the fact that it sounds hugely out-dated. From this we get a rhyme delivery that seems to take on that of Chuck D's or those from N.W.A to make his work sound harder, but having it done once here means that he lets himself down.
7. "Mall Dropper" (Lude)
8. "Hip Hop Soldier"
We get even more of the kind of thing that you really don't want to be getting from him, and stuff that you would expect to get find as nothing more than filler in between the singles that he dropped off the thing. He stays with the rougher end of it all with Gangsta Rap that I felt had many similarities to where LL Cool J would be at with his 1993 album "13 Shots To The Dome", but seems to be lacking hugely here.
9. "Iron Man"
Covering the Black Sabbath song of the same name, and getting the Metal band Metal Church to support him along the way, here we get a track that you have to say is a pure shout-out to Run-D.M.C. and is very little than this. I have to say that I enjoyed what came of it, and it seemed to suit what he did much more that when he attempted the Gangsta Rap, but was still nothing special at all.
He takes on a track structure that can be said to take on what was popular a short time before he released this, but has been done by this time and so shows even more of him holding on to things that had passed some time ago. In the rhymes he goes for another Run-D.M.C/LL Cool J-esque one and so doesn't quite stay true to his regions style, and makes for another that really needs more to take any notice of.
11. "Square Dance Rap"
Although not one of its singles, this was a popular joint from the album, and one that I really couldn't see much appeal in as here we get a track that takes it back to the sort of place that we were at for the opening track where his voice is manipulated to make for a squeaky southern-accented voice that to suit the theme of the tune. It is a funny little one, but really doesn't do much for him at all.
12. "Romantic Interlude"
13. "F The BS"
After another wasted track, as a long interlude, we see that the album comes to an end with this one as we get a tune that has him returning to the Chuck D-styled rhyming style (showing massive inconsistencies through the record). He doesn't really do much else with this track that he hadn't already through the rest of the thing and so I'd say that it you are likely to forget it (along with the rest of the album).
This debut record didn't do much for the artist, but as a Pop Rap act, you don't really expect much other than good singles (not that this can really be said to be the case here). The album really isn't worth bothering with, although there are a couple within it that do have some appeal.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Buttermilk Biscuits (Keep On Square Dancin')
2 Posse On Broadway
6 Attack On The Stars
7 Mail Dropper
8 Hip Hop Solider
9 Iron Man
11 Square Dance Rap
12 Romantic Interlude
13 F The B's