Back to My Roots

"Back to My Roots"
Single by RuPaul
from the album Supermodel of the World
Released 1993
Format CD, 12"
Genre Dance, house, pop
Length 3:32 (album version)
Label Tommy Boy
Writer(s) RuPaul
RuPaul singles chronology
"Little Drummer Boy"
"Back to My Roots"
"A Shade Shady (Now Prance)"

"Back to My Roots" is a song by RuPaul, released as the fourth single from his album Supermodel of the World, released in 1993. Although the single failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, it reached #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in July 1993 and helped to further establish RuPaul's popularity, particularly with both the dance music and LGBT audiences in the United States.

The house/dance track is a tribute to black women's hairstyles as well as to the tradition of community often found in urban hair salons. The song was originally entitled "Black To My Roots", but the record company changed it fearing controversy. Within the song RuPaul name-checks a variety of hairstyles such as braids, hair extensions, afro-puffs and cornrows. She also names several of her relatives including her mother Ernestine Charles, who at the time owned a hair salon in Atlanta, Georgia.

The single was released primarily as a CD but with various 12" versions. It also featured a new remix of the hit single "Supermodel (You Better Work)", as well as a pastiche of the track called "Strudelmodel", which changed the theme of the original to a "model for the Der Weinerschnitzel Corporation".

An accompanying music video showcased extreme drag versions of all of these hairstyles. Though it was played occasionally on MTV, it received far more play in dance clubs. It also featured noted comedian LaWanda Page as Ms. Ernestine Charles.

Track listing

(Tracks vary according to release; this listing reflects the tracks on the American CD version, which sold the most copies.)

  1. "Back to My Roots" (7" Version)
  2. "Back to My Roots" (Jheri Curl Juice Mix)
  3. "Back to My Roots" (Murk's Curl Activator Mix)
  4. "Supermodel (You Better Work)" (Work it' Mr. DJ Tribal Mix)
  5. "Back to My Roots" (Oscar G's Dope Dub)
  6. "Back to My Roots" (Jheri Curl Juice Dub)
  7. "Strudelmodel"

Italian promo vinyl (listed as "Back To My Roots - Remix")

Side One (Secchi Side):

  1. "Back To My Roots" (Secchi's Extended Mix) [6:05]

Side Two (Statement Side):

  1. "Back To My Roots" (Back To Our Concept Mix) [6:16]
  2. "Back To My Roots" (Back To Our Concept Mix - Instrumental) [6:16]

Chart performance

Chart (1993) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[1] 90
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[2] 40
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[3] 1


  1. Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  2. "Archive Chart: 1993-09-18" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
  3. "RuPaul – Chart history" Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs for RuPaul. Retrieved January 29, 2011.
Preceded by
"U R the Best Thing" by D:Ream
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
July 24, 1993
Succeeded by
"Bad Mood" by Lonnie Gordon
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