Featured, Music, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

“Return of The Mack” Is The Best Song Ever That Nobody Acknowledges Is The Best Song Ever

There’s no need to parse words here: “Return of the Mack” is easily one of the best songs ever created in the history of the planet. Sure, it’s no “Moonlight Sonata”, but “Moonlight Sonata” is no “As”, feel me? But far and wide, nobody wants to put the proper ‘speck on “Return…” Well that changes today.
Today, church, we’re going to talk about the mantle of precipitous grace that Mark Morrison’s 1996 only-song-worthy-of-note is to me and you, your mama and your cousin, too.

I can hear you looking at me right now. Panama is trippin’. Panama is smokin’ some of that #BowWowChallenge. Somebody take P’s keyboard away from him before he keeps espousing that vapid non-sense. Well, no. Fuck y’all. I’m out here just trying to be a light, a beacon, even (that rhymed) to the people and make sure that the vaingloriousness that I’ve had the pleasure of realizing gets the opportunity to be recognized by the masses.

Before we get going though, let’s talk about what qualifies a song for “best ever” status.

Ahem.

Best ever = Shit’s good, b.

Now that we have that extremely scientific, irrefutable definition out of the way, let’s talk about why I feel that Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” deserves such an accolade and why you people – the universal “you” – don’t give it its proper due.

For starters, “Return of the Mack” is known by damn near everybody. There are grandmothers in Guam and Thailand that know this song. Which means that grandmothers in Boise, Idaho know it. That current Burger King commercial, you know the one, with the “return of the mac AND CHEETOS” further proves just how awesome and known this song is. I’ll bet that when Mark Morrison and Phil Chill sat down and jacked Chuckii Booker and the Tom Tom Club, they said, “we have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls” and sing “Return of the Mack…and cheetos.” I believe they were that forward thinking. Honest loyalty.

Not only is it known by everybody – clearly an important aspect for being one of the best ever songs (the “law of hot shit” states that if everybody knows it, it’s good even if the definition of good just means palatable to all the ears even though haters gonna hate, so long as it’s not just a gimmick [see Macarena, Mambo No. 5]) – it’s one of the most singalongable songs. Ever. Bar none. I’m not even remotely joking here. I mean that shit with my whole heart.

Go out somewhere and let that song come on. Who AIN’T singing “You lieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to me!!!!” Who ain’t don’ did that at least once before? Have you ever really watched the sunset befo’? Maybe. Maybe not. But you’ve for damnned sure sang about somebody lying to you even if nobody really lies to you within this context. Which brings up the point that despite the fact that I haven’t really seen it on karaoke menus it SHOULD be the most karaokable song of all time because of its singalongability. Which is definitely a thing no matter if there are red squiggly lines underneath. English ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Let’s talk about the music. Look, it is IMPOSSIBLE to not like the Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” song. If you say you don’t you are a lie and a cheat, Joe Jackson, and I don’t want you. You loved it when Mariah Carey made “Fantasy”. And Chuckii Booker’s “Games” is 47 types of awesome. You put them together and you’ve got a gangbusters ass song being sung by a person who isn’t so much singing as he is yelling in an odd pitch (?) but doing so in the funnest manner possible. In fact, “Return of the Mack” reminds me of the movie 2 Guns. You can’t convince me that Mark Wahlberg and Denzel didn’t realize this movie was going to be ass as soon as they started shooting and decided to just have as much fun with it as possible since, well, they got to look at Paula Patton for a few weeks. That’s how I view “Return of the Mack.” It’s so fun because there’s no way it takes itself seriously.

You liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied to me all those times you said you would not leave. Well obviously if it was said multiple times. See what I mean? It’s, like, duh. But, duh, so good. But that is also what makes it so karaokeable. Because the truth is, it doesn’t matter what he’s saying because the way he’s saying it is breath-taking (no Berlin) and we all know good and damn well that he don’t talk like that but he did it for the culture and found the lane that makes it fun for the whole family. And I appreciate that. He gave you nightclub and family reunion. And not in the way that we’ve turned “Before I Let Go” into a club-banger because all Black people know it either. Shouts to Frankie Beverly and Maze.

Which leads me to wonder why you people don’t all state, emphatically, that you love “Return of the Mack.” I’ve heard lots of people say they don’t like it which I find remarkable because how can you not like something so good that requires almost no thought. It’s cotton candy. Shit, it’s a parfait. You ever meet somebody and they say, “hell naw, I don’t like no parfaits.” No. You haven’t.

But here you go telling me no again every time I say, “hey, ‘Return of the Mack’, super awesome, right?” It hurts 30 percent of the time every time. Which leads me to only one conclusion. Nay, two conclusions.

1. Haters gon’ hate.

This is the only way that you can genuinely not like this song. It makes you dance even if you don’t realize it. Blame it on the boogie if you want, but you gon’ dance. If you hate dancing then I can only conclude one other thing…

2. You also hate love.

What the world needs now, is love sweet love. That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. Mark Morrison knew that so he created love in 4:34 seconds, which according to science is about the average time it takes to love all up in somebody. Heheheh.

Oops, he did it again.

There it is, folks. Mark Morrison gave you “Return of the Mack” to make the world a better place. It’s high time we all acknowledged that fact and donned up on this song its rightful spot as the best song ever.

Thanks, Obama.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • “Return of the Mack” is a close second to “This is How We Do It” on the list of songs playing in my personal heII.

    The people who made mac AND CHEETOS hate your kids as much as the people who make Tampico fruit juice and Tampico fruit juice popsicles.

    • Cleojonz

      I actually stopped dead in my tracks to look up at the tv when I realized what was going on with that Burger King commercial. It was hilarious to me, but also sad at the same time. I was thinking I hope he got some money for it, but more than likely he does not own the publishing.

      • panamajackson

        He probably does. He wrote and produced it. he probably owns some of it at least.

        • Cleojonz

          I REALLY hope so!

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      • Fancypants127

        That’s what I thought too! This song, Whoop There It Is and This is How We Do It.

      • SororSalsa

        That commercial is mind-boggling for so many reasons….that song is probably only #3 on that list. Cheese and Cheetos and the Creepy King? Mmm, just too much to wrap my mind around.

        • Overtymem Usicradio

          I love the song, but I hate and detest the song being used in that whack a$$ed commercial.

        • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

          I haven’t seen this commercial (#expatproblems) but can imagine it with that weird-a$$ burger king dancing around this. Surreal.

    • KeciB

      The number one song on my “Do Not Play List” at my wedding: “This Is How We Do It”.

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    • Kylroy

      See, I know “This is How We Do It” but had never heard this before. Yes, seriously. That wouldn’t be unusual except for the fact that mid-90s was my peak radio-listening time.

      • Like how?

        • Kas

          YT

          • Kylroy

            Yep. Yet I still got “This is How We Do It”, which I think shows the spread between “really popular” and “it’s goddammed everywhere make it stop already”.

    • miss t-lee

      Return of The Mack is played on a loop in my personal heyll.

      • Yahmo Bethere

        Right next to All I got is 15 minutes, and I wanna get up in it.

        • miss t-lee

          OMG. That song was equally as terrible!

    • Monica Harris

      Gasp! Hand in your black card right now.

    • Naya the Creative

      There are Tampico popsicles?

      Where can I find them????

  • HouseOfBonnets
  • Mary Burrell

    I do love this song and this cheesy video. He takes himself so seriously. I still to this day holler and cackle watching that video.

    • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

      Never saw the video until the Cheetos/Burger King commercial. That commercial disturbed me.

  • QRaven

    I can’t stand the song. My mom played it to death 20 years ago and it’s still popular. I don’t get it

    • Blasphemous.

      • Blue Skies Bring Tears

        Positively. It’s heresy, really.

    • cdj

      Me neither. Hated it when it came out, hate it now.

  • Alessandro De Medici

    In the dictionary, they should have the song cover in place of the word “one-hit-wonder”

  • D-Nice

    I’m gonna be the contrarian. It’s not that great. Good, but not great.

  • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

    No.

  • KB

    This song ranks in the top 5 of post breakup anthems.

  • Cleojonz

    Speaking of old school I just came across this Pete Rock mix:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTfBiQpWkts

  • Soul Glo Model

    HOoooOoOoohhhhhhh Come Onn Heyyeahhh (yes, one word).

    #Classic

    • Charles Johnson

      Best. Screen name. Ever

      • Soul Glo Model

        I do ok.

    • Sweet Potato Kai ?

      That part is legendary!

      • Soul Glo Model

        Yes it is!

      • Soul Glo Model

        Yes it is.

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