Miss Mary Mack
Miss Mary Mack is by far the oldest musical reference on this list, but she remains a constant feature in modern rap songs. We tip our hat to this viral all star.
It's unclear exactly where the name Miss Mary Mack came from and who Miss Mary Mack is. Regardless of its exact origin, the rhyme was firmly established as a black children’s clapping games by the 1920s. And now, as one of the most popular and best-known children’s clapping games, Miss Mary Mack is nostalgically alluded to in colloquial speech and writing. The first few, and most popular, verses are also often riffed on in jokes. These jokes typically reference Miss Mary Mack‘s fashion sense (e.g., That moment you realize Miss Mary Mack all dressed in black with silver buttons all down her back was most definitely emo) or play with the song’s structure and rhyme (e.g., Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack throw that a$$ back back back).
Miss Mary Mack has been widely referenced in hip-hop rap, including “Miss Mary Mack” by Juicy J (2015), “Circles” by B.o.B. (2012), and “Rockabye Baby” by Priscilla Renea (2009). Notably, rap artist Rich Kidz referenced Miss Mary Mack in “Pop That” (2013), singing: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack / All dressed in black, black, black / She got tattoos / All down her back, back, back.” That portion of the song inspired a dance craze that spread as the video Miss Mary Mack Challenge on social media.
What can't this woman do?