Dear Library of Congress:
Let’s do the right thing here. Juvenile’s second album – a project whose legacy and impact leave it towering above the great majority of records since – 400 Degreez turns 15 this year. And what better way to help celebrate this monumental occasion than including “Back That Azz Up” in your National Recording Registry?
I bring forth to the committee three beliefs why Juvenile’s timeless ode to dirty dancing deserves such a recognition.
1. Look, I can’t say it’s the best party song rap ever birthed, but dammit, it’s top three. The first five seconds of the record still harbors the unique ability to turn any event on its head. “Back” first blew up around the time skate parties in Petersburg, Virginia, were my introduction to what would later become known as nightclub life. The first half was skating, resembling something like deleted scene from ATL.
But about halfway through, the middle of the rink turned into a dance floor. On the “musical teenage horniness scale,” the only moment comparable to waiting for this song to blast through speakers was the agony BET Uncut would put us through years later with the anticipation of viewing the “Tip Drill” video. And when the DJ finally stopped teasing and let this rock?
Listen, Congress, life changed; just as I’m sure this record changed millions of American lives and continues to do to this day. “Back That Azz Up” is the gift that keeps on giving, only it’s not herpes. I’m also sure this track help spring along puberty because the fact of the matter is “Back That Azz Up” turned boys into men. And once I became old to drink, my word, the song took on even added significance for reasons I chose not to dive into because my mom sometimes reads this stuff.
2. “CASH MONEY RECORDS TAKIN’ OVA FOR DA 9-9 AND DA 2000!” Seriously, since 1998, there are maybe 10 more statements holding more relevance than Juve’s bold, but ultimately true proclamation. About three or four of are from President Obama. One is from Herman Cain for this awesome job offer. Maybe Kevin Garnett after the 2008 Finals. LeBron’s “taking my talents to South Beach” is another. I don’t have time to rank them all, but Juvenile’s in there. Believe that.
Library, you made Hip-Hop proud three years ago with the inclusion of Tupac’s “Dear Mama” into your storied halls. The song’s impact and significance stand now even nearly 20 years following its release and Pac’s death. I’ve even gone on record saying his ode to Afeni is my personal favorite song ever record. All I’m asking is to extend the invitation again for another Hip-Hop classic, albeit for totally different reasons.
Bickering across party lines has caused my paycheck at work to take a dip, but I’m not even coming here to complain about that. Do the right thing. Honor Juvenile. Honor “Back That Azz Up.” Honor America.
J. Tinsley and the American public
Previously – 5 Other Absurd R. Kelly Songs That Could Be Our National Anthem