March Radness, Saturday, March 8, Downtown Tucson

Sure, if you're asking for advice on what concert to see this weekend, two-times-platinum rapper Sir Mix-a-Lot would probably recommend you come see his performance on Saturday as part of March Radness. However, the second choice on his list would probably be the Sunday show by synthpop legend Gary Numan. More on that show in our music section this week, but there might not have been a "Posse on Broadway" or "Put 'em on the Glass" without Numan's influence. "Gary Numan and Kraftwerk's music had as much to do with hip-hop as James Brown," Mix-a-Lot said in a phone interview. "The techno aspect of hip-hop was what attracted me to it ... you didn't have to pay for a studio to make music. It gave me an opportunity to make something on my own."

Sir Mix-a-Lot admits he has fans who will just remember him from his 1992 ode to butts "Baby Got Back," as well as those who followed him from back in his "Square Dance Rap" days back in 1987, but he aims to put on a show that pleases everyone who comes to hear his hits. "I don't understand why artists would yank the credibility out from under themselves and ignore what made them famous," Mix-a-Lot said. "My hits aren't exactly fresh right now, but it never gets old playing them either." A longtime Prince fan, Mix-a-Lot was disappointed by the enigmatic Minnesotan's recent tour with female trip 3rdeyegirl. "I didn't know who those women were, and he barely played the songs I wanted to hear." No such issues at Mix-a-Lot's show, however. "I won't be playing medleys, but the full versions live," Mix-a-Lot promises. "I focus on the crowd, I give people peaks and valleys ... I can't stand rappers who can't pace out a show."

While he's out on the road, Mix-a-Lot is also bringing recording equipment along to finish work on a new album, his first since 2003's Daddy's Home and some of that new material will make it into the Rialto show, although he's trying to find a way to release a new album in the modern era and have a significant impact. "It can't reek of desperation, so the audience thinks you need attention or are broke. I want to find a way to release it that makes sense." While a release by any artist who hasn't had a hit in awhile might be met with skepticism, Mix says he's coming back for the right reasons. "No one asks Keith Richards why the Rolling Stones keep making records. I just love music."

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