No body part is more highly regarded in hip-hop perhaps than the Ass. A point of obsession for men and women alike, the term “fat ass” pops up regularly to praise the extra special rear end. And thanks to hip-hop, the definition of the perfect ass has evolved into a larger-than-life phenomenon. Journey with VIBE as we celebrate our June/July sexy issue with this visual timeline on the evolution of ass in hip-hop.
Definition Of Ass:“Da Butt”
If you thought School Daze was a socially conscious and relevant film about issues like racism... think again. It’s all about Da Butt, as Spike Lee proved with his introduction of the dance sensation. Women were half (or entirely) naked in music videos, and both women and men were shaking their groove thangs in celebration of the ass. In a far less raunchy manner than we’re used to today, “Da Butt” goes down as one of the greatest booty anthems of all time.
Definition Of Ass:“Big Ole Butt”
LL Cool J was a little less PG-13. In his visuals for “Big Ole Butt,” there were no t-shirts and sneakers; the ladies kept it pure sexy. Moreover, LL emphasized the beauty of the big booty upgrade. The message: When another girl’s butt is bigger, ditch the previous one. Um..
Definition Of Ass:“Baby Got Back” and "Rump Shaker"
Sir Mix-A-Lot shook things up with this controversial ode to beautiful buns. Though men of color had long celebrated the rotund booty, Mix-A-Lot was the first to clearly draw the color lines when it came to curvier shapes. And if you were unclear about what a nice ass made men want to do, “Rump Shaker” made it a little clearer. Teddy Riley gave the terms “zoom zoom” and “boom boom” all-new, more adult meanings.
Definition Of Ass:Jennifer Lopez
Still wondering whether or not Jenny From the Block really got her butt insured for a million dollars? Well, the old wise tale originated from J. Lo being the symbol of the perfect ass for quite a few years. A Fly Girl turned worldwide superstar, Ms. Lopez’s ass came on the radar of men and women everywhere when she salsa-ed across the stage in her breakout role as Selena Quintanilla-Perez. For this period, the big booty torch finally shone on Latina women, giving them the praise for ownership of the man’s real best friend: a great ass.
Definition Of Ass:“Back That Azz Up”
According to Juvenile and company, you couldn’t just have a fat ass. You had to know how to move it. It may not have been the first ass-shaking request, but it's surely the most popular, and led to a booty-popping revolution. Clapping, bouncing and shaking had become the new way to certify a top-notch ass. Twerk Team, anyone?
Definition Of Ass:The Fatty
LL was back at the ass again in 2001 when he teamed up with Keith Murray and Ludacris to coin a new phrase for booty praise: the fatty. Murray also lent a hand with new terminology with the line “you got a badoonk-a-doonk girl, don’t hurt nobody!” If a girl’s had made you ran out of words to say, these guys became a helping hand.
Definition Of Ass:Beyoncé
We can always count on Beyoncé to add empowerment to a world of misogyny, can’t we? After gaining a bit of weight herself, the child of destiny penned the group’s mega-hit “Bootylicious” as a testament to her newfound curves. What happens next is a true sign of the power of the booty: “bootylicious” makes its way into the dictionary.
Definition Of Ass:“Ass Like That”
In case we forgot, white guys like ass, too. Eminem reminded us of this in a way that only he could with the super-funny “Ass Like That.” Calling out stars from Jessica Simpson to the Olsen twins, Em kept it humorous while still pledging allegiance to the almighty ass. Don’t ask us about the puppets.
Definition Of Ass:The Video Vixen
Vixens like Melyssa Ford were heating up hip-hop videos with their curvy bodies, but when Buffie The Body made waves with the massive junk in her trunk, the phrase “fat ass” would be forever changed. For years, “an itty-bitty waist and a round thing in your face” was attainable and common. But when Buffie was featured in commercials and music videos alike, the circumference of the big booty would reach envious and unreal heights. Also see: Angel Lola Luv.
Definition Of Ass:BET Uncut
BET created the Mecca of ass-shaking videos with their controversial late-night show Uncut. A virtually no-holds-barred three-hour slot, Uncut was home to the explicit versions of the videos you loved, and X-rated visuals for songs you never heard of. Perhaps the most explicit of them all was Nelly’s “Tip Drill,” which featured the proverbial booty clap and credit card swipe that ignited a firestorm amongst feminists.
Definition Of Ass:New Booty
If you didn’t have the ass you dreamed of, there was always the option to “get it right, get it tight,” according to Bubba Sparxxx. Perhaps one of the greatest things about the caboose is that it is in fact a muscle, capable of improvement of its aesthetic and capability. Bubba reminded the have-nots that they could indeed have... sort of.
Definition Of Ass:KING Magazine
Even The New York Times knew the deal: “In the pages of KING [..] one thing is prized more than a taut waistline and a pretty face, shapely legs or a perky bosom: a large behind.” For quite an extensive period, KING reigned as the home of hip-hop pin-up girl, complete with dangerous curves. It was in this era that video vixens like Melyssa Ford were at the pinnacle of sex goddess praise, but the magazine also photographed entertainment favorites like Gabrielle Union and Mya in rare half-naked form.
Definition Of Ass:Kim Kardashian
Whether manufactured or real, Kim Kardashian’s back end rings bells in booty circles and rap lyrics. Following J. Lo’s reign, the Armenian celubante took the title and ran with it. Hate it or love it, she's listed in the rear-end hall of fame.
Definition Of Ass:“Donk”
Soulja Boy thought it was high time for a new booty word again when he dropped his single “Donk.” And thus came a new revolution. Derived perhaps from the words “donkey” and “badoonk-a-doonk” (used previously by Missy Elliott) Soulja brought the booty down to just one syllable and a few handclaps.
Definition Of Ass:Nicki Minaj
“Google my ass, only time you on the Net is when you Google my ass.” Seriously, Google her ass. It may be the most famous one in the world right now. Hip-hop’s current reigning queen has taken the artificial big booty to the mainstream. Shamelessly carrying an extra load on her back across the world, Nicki brought the “new and improved” booty from behind-the-scenes to center stage. Giving your rump an (alleged) extra surgical boost has become common--and more importantly--acceptable. A shining symbol of gluttony, Brazilian buttocks augmentation has turned the fat ass from God-given to manmade. Call it self-help.
Definition Of Ass:A Work Of Art
There was The Big Butt Book. Then The Booty Bible. After that, Diddy teamed up with photographer Raphael Mazzucco to commemorate the ass as a work of art with his book Culo--the Spanish word for ass. This tush tome includes everything from ass covered in paint to ass covered in tats. There’s also celebrity culo from Lady Gaga to Nicole Scherzinger.
Definition Of Ass:Rihanna
The Bajan badass is at the top of her game right now and redefining the image of the booty once again with her birthday cakes. It may not be Nicki Minaj-ridiculous, or Jennifer Lopez-plump, but men are (allegedly) fighting over a slice of it. Ladies, you may not have to invest in those injections after all. RiRi’s bringing smedium booty back.