30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 22: Mark Morrison, ‘Return of the Mack’

Illustration for article titled 30 Days of Musical Blackness With VSB, Day 22: Mark Morrison, ‘Return of the Mack’
Photo: Atlantic

Today is the 22nd day of June, in the year of our Lord, 2019. Since the year of our Lord 1996 I’ve been preaching the same (debatably controversial) gospel: Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” is one of the greatest songs ever created. I stand firm and pat on this statement.


Mark Morrison “Return Of The Mack” (1996)

Damon and I went to New Orleans for Essence Festival last year to put on an event with the Ace Hotel New Orleans called “VSB Live” where we each took 30 minutes to do whatever we wanted on stage then had a VSB Roundtable with the homie Jouelzy. Damon read a chapter from his then-unreleased book, giving the crowd an exclusive sneak peek into What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker.

Me? I dedicated my time to trying to convince the standing-room-only crowd of three truths of which I’ve tried to convince people on VSB: 1) Conversate is an acceptable word; 2) Janet Jackson’s best albums are better than Michael Jackson’s best albums, and most importantly 3) “Return of the Mack” is possibly the greatest song of all time. I spent real, actual time making this case on stage.

I get it. You hate his voice. You “hate” the music (this is actually impossible considering each element of this song has been a hit in its own right), the ad-libs drive you bananas. All fair points. Also, all wrong points. Those pieces came together so that in 1996, some otherworldly power could, through the vessel that is Mark Morrison deliver us a song that works from the karaoke halls to the wedding halls (for fun, not messaging).

I’ve said everything one could possibly say on this subject in many different formats. And I will until Mark Morrison’s crown jewel gets its due. Until then, any time somebody tells me they hate this song, my lyrical gun will be cocked and loaded, ready to unleash the only reasonable response:

“You liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiied to me!”

I’ll see myself out.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.



Its Dont Stop Believing for Black people. You cant not love it.