They Got It Right: “Ms. Fat Booty” by Mos Defby Scott Alden on July 11, 2020
The media has always been a platform for misinformation and fantasies that set impossible standards for dating and relationships. Every once in a while, however, some lone voice in the wilderness steps up to the mic and actually tells it like it is. This week, we’d like to show our appreciation for Mos Def’s classic tale of love and loss, “Ms. Fat Booty.”
“Ms. Fat Booty” is perhaps the most honest and relatable hip-hop love song ever committed to wax. Mos displays a healthy skepticism when he first meets Sharice. He pegs her early on as “the type of girl givin’ out the fake cell phone and name,” and acknowledges that she might be a bit out of his league — “Big fame, she like cats with big thangs/ Jewels chip, money clip, phone flip, the six range.” Mos is initially snubbed by her. But a few night later, when a mutual friend introduces the two of them, to Mos’ surprise (which is so charming), Sharice really responds to him.
Mos lets us know what he likes about this girl without all the hyperbole and fantasy that we’d usually get in a love song. He respects her game, loves her unique features and lovingly mimics her singing.
Soon, the two are dating and having, by Mos’ account, mind-blowing sex. Sharice really gets under his skin, and despite his best efforts, within a few months Mos finds himself “really trying to lock it down.”
But, when Mos tells Sharice that he’s “got to have it,” she diasappears. She’s not coming around. She’s not returning phone calls. She’s gone.
Just as Mos didn’t put Sharice on a pedestal at the beginning of the song, he doesn’t villainize her here. He’s hurt, he’s confused, but the message here is that this is part of dating. It’s not just another notch on his belt, but it’s not the end of the world either.
When something like this happens, part of what’s difficult about it is that it’s not black and white. Our friends may tell us that we got played, but we might feel that we know differently. No one else was there in the intimate moments. No one else really knows what happens between you and another person. Even with a person who doesn’t become a significant other, the story is never as simple as it seems from the outside. Even casual situations get emotional, on some level.
We’ve got to give props to “Ms. Fat Booty,” for not shying away from that complexity in favor of a fantasy or an easy explanation. Mos Def gets it right.