No Ifs ands or Butts

Daddy's Home (Rhyme Cartel Records)

Sir Mix-a-lot

By Kory Wilcoxson

If you only know Sir Mix-a-lot from his bootylicious "Baby Got Back," you're way behind on an impressive body of work that has showcased the Seattle rapper's lyrical assets. His over-the-top rhymes and bass-heavy beats defined rap music a decade ago.

After a six-year hiatus, the Mack Daddy is making a return with "Daddy's Home." The good news is that Mix's style hasn't changed a bit; the bad news is that the rap game passed him by a long time ago. What once sounded cutting edge now sounds antiquated, which is supported by the "back in the good old days when I was a famous rapper" rant of the title track. His rhymes still simultaneously promote and lampoon his big pimp image, but they feel more nostalgic than fashionable. For example, Mix's current anatomy lesson is "Big Johnson," but its flaccid beats and unconvincing female chorus leaves the song hanging limp.

That doesn't mean Mix is completely played out; he can still drop a wicked rhyme, as on "Till Da Sun Cums Up." And he's at his best on "Daddy's Home" when he waxes autobiographical on "Game Don't Get Old" and "Y'all Don't Know," the latter of which is driven by a sweet guitar riff. The rest of the songs would have benefited from such creative construction, something that used to be a standard on Mix's albums.

Sir Mix-a-lot will always hold a place in rap's hall of fame (probably a spot near the rear). "Daddy's Home" plays like a tribute album by the artist himself that both reminds us of his skills and makes us long for his better days.