Song of the Day 9/21

Posted: September 21, 2011 in J.C. Personal
Tags: ,

Okay, confession time – “days of the week” week was all just a set-up for Wednesday and one of the worst jokes ever that sounded so much better in my head. Today’s song is one I hear at least twice a week and while it doesn’t mention Wednesday, it has a connection with the middle of the week, also known as hump day. Today’s selection is from an alternative rap group from Oakland, CA led by Greg Jacobs, a.k.a. Shock G. Shock G is responsible for Tupac Shakur’s single “I get around” and he was the co-producer on Shakur’s debut album. Despite his success as a producer, most people know Shock G by his alter ego Humpty Hump, the band Digital Underground and the song “The Humpty Dance”.

Incorporating a sample from Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sing a Simple Song”, a sample taken from a Parliament song, and various drum machine tricks, 1990’s “The Humpty Dance” reached number 11 on the pop charts. The song was also nominated for an MTV Video Music Award, but lost to MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” (Which, I blame for U=you in text speak).

“The Humpty Dance” is all about Mr. Hump and his dance style. Humpty touts his success with women despite his large nose and odd fashion sense. The opening line “Alright, stop what you’re doin’, cause I’m about to ruin the image and style that you’re used to” was Digital Underground’s comment on the interchangeable rappers on the late 80s. It took the likes of Humpty Hump and MC Hammer to break the gangster rap molds established by the members of NWA and similar rap groups.

“The Humpty Dance” did use samples from some funk songs from the 60s and the 80s, but “The Humpty Dance” is one of the most sampled songs in history. A very cursory search turned up over 40 songs that include samples from the tune. Among the artists that have used samples from this hit are: Public Enemy, Sade, LL Cool J, Ice Cube, The Spice Girls, Will Smith, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch and even Digital Underground in their song called “The Humpty Dance Awards” that pays tribute to those that sampled the track.

The Dance

Being someone whose rhythm resides only in my guitar calloused hands, this is my type of dance. I won’t do it a disservice by trying to describe it myself, I’ll leave it to the immortal words of Humpty Hump himself, “First I limp to the side like my leg was broken, shakin and twitchin kinda like I was smoking, crazy wack funky, people say you look like MC Hammer on crack, Humpty. That’s alright cause my body’s in motion, it’s supposed to look like a fit or a convulsion..(he goes on to say) You got it down when you appear to be in pain. Humpin, funkin, jumpin, jig around, shakin your rump”

The song ends with the clumsiest call to unity ever. Humpty asks, well… I can’t say people of all races, but he calls for unity between “white people”, “black people”, “Puerto Ricans”, and “Samoans”, unification through doing the “Humpty Hump”

I realize that this may be too much to take on a Wednesday, but if you find some extra energy, give it a shot because everyone knows “The Humpty Dance is your chance to do the hump”

See ya on the “B” side


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s