"Rump Shaker” is a multi-platinum ‘90s beach bumper about women shaking their rumps that hit #2 in the US in late 1992.
Wreckx-N-Effect were down to a duo when they recorded this song: Aqil "A-Plus" Davidson and Markell "Miggady-Mark" Riley.
The group (spelled Wrecks-N-Effect) was a foursome when they started in the late '80s, and their first album was released on Motown Records in 1989. They split with the label soon after, and by the time their next album, Hard or Smooth, was released, original member Brandon Mitchell had been shot and killed, and Keith KC had left the group.
They were produced by Markell's brother Teddy Riley (of Blackstreet, and Michael Jackson production fame), who also makes an appearance on this track ("It's Teddy, ready with the 1, 2, checka..."). Riley, a rising star in hip-hop, had a #1 hit to his credit with "I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)," which he co-wrote and co-produced for the group Hi-Five.
The lyrics are full of clever sexual innuendo in praise of women with nice butts. Part of the first wave of booty tracks, it took Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" a step further, with even more suggestive lyrics and a racier video.
A young Pharrell Williams wrote Teddy Riley’s verse. The writing credit Pharrell received marked the first time he was credited on a body of work.
It was the first hit song Pharrell Williams worked on; he was doing some work with Teddy Riley. The hit gave Pharrell the confidence to branch out on his own and really push the envelope as part of The Neptunes, Williams went on to stardom, creating beats for Nelly, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani and many others.
The song's famous silky saxophone intro is sampled from a 1974 song called "Darkest Light" by the Lafayette Afro-Rock Band. The sax is clean on the intro to "Darkest Light," which makes it prime pickings for a sample.
Public Enemy used it four years earlier on their track "Show 'Em Whatcha Got,"
and Jay-Z used it in 2006 on "Show Me What You Got."
The "I like the way you comb your hair" lyrics section is lifted from a song called "I Like It" by DeBarge, which made #31 US in 1983. The DeBarge lyrics are:
I like the way you comb your hair
I like those stylish clothes you wear
It's just those little things you do
That show how much you really care
Nelly used this bit on his 2000 hit "Ride Wit Me." In both cases, the three members of DeBarge who wrote "I Like It" were given composer credits, earning very nice paydays.
They also took the drums from Manzel - Midnight Theme to boost the track.
With the phrase "Rump Shaker" in the collective consciousness, an adult film with that title was released in 1993. Set in a nightclub with very compliant dancers, the film generated four sequels.