Posted by: markfender | January 13, 2016

Influential Musicians

There are two musicians who I think have had an influential effect on culture that perhaps haven’t received their due.

sir-mix-a-lotYes, that’s right. It’s Sir Mix-a-Lot. Because ever since “Baby Got Back,” butts have been in. And that song came out in 1992. It even got rereleased  recently as Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” (It’s mostly just Mix-a-Lot, so I don’t think it counts as a “new” song). With the success of the aforementioned Minaj and some of those Kardashians, butts are bigger than ever (Ha!). And we can pretty much place the current cultural impact that buttocks have had on this song. Because, it wasn’t until Mix-a-Lot let us all us white people know about the derriere that white people suddenly started noticing them.

Lisa-LoebLots of musicians inspire fashion trends. Lace gloves got a big boost from Madonna…for a few years. I recall the week that everyone started wearing their clothes backwards after Kris Kros, until everyone realized that wearing your clothes backwards is kind of uncomfortable. But those fashion trends come and go as musical tastes change. But Lisa Loeb single-handily made glasses “cool.” Specifically, the nerd glasses look. Which is still a thing twenty plus years later. While the exact cool frame has varied over the years, the basic shape has remained the same since Lisa Loeb wandered around an empty apartment.

Sure, neither of these artists are The Beatles. No one’s analyzing their lyrics like they might Dylan’s. They’re probably not inspiring the next generation of musicians with their dope rhymes and soulful acoustic jams. But, as far as the what the culture at large values, the body parts and corrective lenses they sported have continued to be popular. They’re influential in a way neither artist probably intended to be.

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