Song of the Day: “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison

Man, I really hate the aughts. I shouldn’t, I mean, so far the aughts have admittedly been pretty fucking sweet. But then I think back on the 90s and the great music that came out and I become disgusted with the aughts all over again. It’s so funny how we hated songs that were played on the radio incessantly and disregarded them like unwanted side dishes. But now that we are old farts, we revel in nostalgia and cling to anything that reminds us of, or helps us return to, our youth.

Take Mark Morrison, for example. A bloke from London, England, I assume. The brother looked like DMX before we even knew who DMX was. And, for real, for real, nobody here knew he was British. But dammit, he burst on the scene with “Return of the Mack,” and this song jammed. I’m not even sure he had a follow-up single; hell, I don’t even know if he released a proper album. But I do know there was “Return of the Mack.”

Now, I may be wrong, but I think the song’s about a dude who was spurned by some high yellow princess and he disappeared for a while only to return with swag in full effect. He then proceeds to berate the princess, telling her, “You fucked up, and I’m the shit now. Begone, wench.” Again, I could be mistaken, but I think that’s what the song’s about.

And I hear people all the time saying he sampled — or jacked — the beat from Chuckii Booker’s “Games,” another classic, but one from the 80s. I never heard it before, but I can definitely hear it now. Even in the mid-90s, sample clearance wasn’t a major issue. Can we get ’em back? The good ol’ days?

Anyway, enjoy this jam. The video is pretty cool. Standard 90s club shit with a little lovey dovey shit thrown in. While you jam, I’m going to Choice for a cheese and spinach omelet. I’m drunk, I’ve been up all night, and it’s been months since I’ve had a wonderful Choice breakfast.

6 responses to “Song of the Day: “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison

  1. Yeah, I realize now that I was completely off re: what the song is about. Blame it on the alcohol as I was drunk when I posted this.

  2. Dude, funny how things work. I hadn’t heard this song in ten years but even as recently as last week I would occasionally walk around humming it to myself. Then this weekend a trendy nightclub was having old-school night and a white dude I know, who’d been very quiet the whole night, suddenly went, “I’m gonna ask him to play ‘Return of the Mack!'” I was like “WHAT?!?!” We totally got down. It was fantastic.

    As soon as I heard it again I realized I knew that beat. I could hum the original song and knew it was from the ’80s but I’ve never known the title or artist, and could never understand the words. I Googled to try and find out what song Morrison sampled and wound up here. How funny that you just wrote this entry a few days ago.

    I owe ya two. First off, I hadn’t heard “Games” in *fifteen* years, and I’m so glad I have that song back in my life lol. And also, I totally caught that OBSCURE Levert shout-out and looked up that song, and had an insane rush of childhood memories.

    But yeah, as soon as I heard “Games” I knew that wasn’t the same beat. A lot of patience and digging (which is really all you can do when you’re Googling for a song you only know by the tune) finally found Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.” It’s unmistakable.

    Thanks for the trip!

  3. Amazing what an episode of Entourage can do for a blog posting’s popularity.

  4. The beat of “Games” wasnt the issue, it was the chordal structure and bassline which was lifted from Chuckii Booker. It is definitely a rip indeed, same key, same rhythm. the Return of the mack single was a remix by a guy named Billy Moss who allegedly while recording the song, actually had Chuckii’s “Games” single playing along the creation of Return of the mack. In my honest opinion, i would not doubt that at all.

  5. By the way… Chuckii Booker’s “Games” was released in 1992 and NOT in the 80’s. Google is your friend.

  6. Greg, I am ashamed. You may be right. I was thinking “Games” was ’88, ’89. I know it was back in the good ol’ days when BET played “Video Soul.”

    Tks for the info, though! 🙂

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