By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
I am not, strictly speaking, the kind of person who would use the term "back dat azz up" in common parlance, restricted from its usage by an utter lack of pigment and a bordering-on-backwoods upbringing. I am white, ohsoverywhite, though I've been known to regularly pepper my speech with various bits of hip-hop slang, many of which went out of fashion some 10 years ago. For instance, "word" or "dope" or, my all-time favorite, adding z's to words where z's can't normally be found, sometimes combining it all together to arrive at words like "dizope." The attempts are almost as transparent as my pale skin is when the sun hits it just right.
But though I can't overtly indulge my taste for hip-hop -- lest I become lumped in with those mallrat wannabes in Tommy Hilfiger shirts and size-46 FUBU jeans whose mothers drive them to and from Richardson or Allen or some such suburban, decidedly non-urban community -- at least once or twice a year, some song urges me to let my guard down a bit. At some point, I move it from my list of guilty pleasures (where the TGIF sitcom Boy Meets World has been holding down the top spot for three years running, save for a brief interruption by NBC's T-NBC Saturday-morning lineup) to the list that involves me singing it at stoplights or the grocery store or just about anywhere I happen to be when I have time in between discussions on the respective merits and demerits of each installment in the Star Wars series.
For much of last year, as many are well aware, that song was TLC's "No Scrubs." Anyone who passed within my orbit during those few glorious months knew absolutely that I did not care for any and all scrubs, that I, in fact, would terminate any violators of my newly adopted rule with extreme prejudice. But gradually, my disdain for those of the scrub persuasion waned, and for a time, I regret to add, scrubs were allowed within the all too cozy confines of my apartment. Eventually, though, I moved on, and a new commandment was adhered to, one that remains in place to this day.
With DMX, Eve, The Lox, Cash Money Millionaires, Drag-On, Lil' Wayne, The Hot Boyz, and BG and the Tymers
It first happened when I was heading a hangover off at the pass (just barely) at a Denny's in Grapevine. Juvenile's "Back Dat Azz Up" came on over the restaurant's meager sound system (actually, the cook's over-worked boombox), and I had a new pet song. Soon enough, I was telling just about every female within the sound of my own voice that she was "a big fine woman" and wouldn't she please "back dat azz up." It even got to the point where I was desperate to know each and every word New Orleans-based Juvenile, a member of the Cash Money Records crew, was saying, sending out rambling pleas for all the lyrics to the song. Fortunately, Toadies guitarist Clark Vogeler came through, and now, when I sing it in the shower, I know that I'm getting it all right and annoying the hell out my roommate. But it does make me a little sad, because now that I've immersed myself so fully in the song, I have no doubt that it will soon be replaced. Just thinking about that eventuality causes a small tear to form in the corner of my eye. And really, that's the point of the song, right?