Delightfully Depraved Digital Underground

still excerpt from the video for \'The Humpty Dance\' by Digital UndergroundA’ight, stop whatcha doin’
‘Cause I’m about to ruin
The image and the style that ya used to.

Yeah, that’s about right.

As I pace at vacation’s starting line, what in my wandering mind should appear but Digital Underground‘s 1989 rap classic, “The Humpty Dance“.

It’s one of the genre’s best, no doubt. First of all, the fact that it introduces a dance gives it a leg up on the competition. Songs in that category have a great track record. Better yet, the Humpty Hump dance doesn’t require significant skill:

It’s real easy to do. … It’s supposed to look like a fit or a convulsion. … Ya got it down when ya appear to be in pain.

Check out the lyrics now — or wait to play the music video from YouTube embedded below because you’ll have few if any problems understanding the lyrics. They aren’t obscene, not by my (liberal) standards anyway. But they sure as hell are depraved. Delightfully so, in fact. I’ll excerpt some of my favorite turns of phrase in a bit.

DU, from Oakland, had a humorous persona (they disbanded in 1996). “The Humpty Dance” features Humpty Hump, the pickle-nosed alter ego of Shock G, the band’s front man. Humpty, “pronounced with an ‘Umpty'” 🙂 , has the sex-hungry braggadocio of many rappers. But unlike so many, he doesn’t take himself seriously. Not one bit. And his delivery is comical.

“The Humpty Dance” grabs the whole enchilada — or should I say pickle — with first-rate music. Humpty’s rapping finds ample breathing space between a pumping bass line, augmented with see-saw synth, and sizzling horns. The beat is pure funk. It grabs immediately and is both persistent and pervasive (to coin a phrase).

The video, which follows, doesn’t do “The Humpty Dance” justice. That wouldn’t have been easy.

I’ve embedded the video here, though, because — surprise — it comes complete with audio, enabling you to hear this gem without leaving QC.

To me the best thing about “The Humpty Dance”: It’s played strictly for laughs. It’s high-larious …

Yo ladies, oh how I like to funk thee.
And all the rappers in the top ten, please allow me to bump thee.

…

I’m crazy.
Allow me to amaze thee.
They say I’m ugly but it just don’t faze me.
I’m still gettin’ in the girls’ pants
And I even got my own dance

…

First I limp to the side like my leg was broken
Shakin’ and twitchin’ kinda like I was smokin’
Crazy wack funky
People say “Ya look like M.C. Hammer on crack, Humpty!”

And the shoutouts are cool:

Black people, do the Humpty Hump, do the Humpty Hump
White people, do the Humpty Hump, do the Humpty Hump
Puerto Ricans, do the Humpty Hump, just keep on doin’ the hump
Samoans, do the Humpty Hump, do the Humpty Hump

So do you like? Hope so! Oh, here’s what I take is a professional review (more professional than mine anyway).

Let’s get stupid!

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2 comments so far

  1. D.U. Fan on

    Yo!!

    The new Digital Underground album is out NOW. Dropped this week… get yours on iTunes or at http://www.cdbaby.com/digitalunderground

  2. QC on

    @D.U. Fan:
    Yo, yourself!! Thanks for the info.


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