Album: Sex Packets (1989)
Charted: 79


  • Released in the summer of 1989, this was the first single for Digital Underground on a major label. The group got the attention of Tommy Boy Records when their indie release "Underwater Rimes"/"Your Life's A Cartoon" made its way to the label - no small feat considering Tommy Boy was based in New York and DU was in San Francisco. Digital Underground became the first West Coast group signed to the label, which also had Stetsasonic and De La Soul.

    "Doowutchyalike" was released as a 12-inch single with four different edits. It got some airplay and the video was popular on MTV, but the band's breakout single was their next release: "The Humpty Dance."
  • With a definite P-Funk influence, this song is about doing your thing and having a good time. It introduced the very hedonistic Humpty Hump, who is a character created by Digital Underground's leader Shock G. In "The Humpty Dance," this song is mentioned when Humpty raps, "I sang on Doowutchyalike, and if you missed it, I'm the one who said just grab 'em in the biscuits."
  • The song contains a message of unity, but with any mawkish sentimentality replaced with stone cold funk. Here's Shock G talking about this song in a 1989 Melody Maker interview: "All we're doing is following our own advice – we're doing what we like, when we like, how we like. What we're saying is that it doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, upper class or lower class, if you're black, white or candy-striped. Who gives a f--k? The trouble is everybody's running around with their butts clenched tight, their eyes bulging out of their sockets. They're all tensed up because every little thing is considered to be important. That's why the modern world is in such a f--ked-up state."
  • You'll hear lots of samples in this one, including "Sex Shooter" by Vanity 6, "Good Times" by Chic, "Atomic Dog" by George Clinton, "Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll" by Vaughn Mason, "Flashlight" by Parliament and "I Get Lifted" by George McCrae.
  • To make the video, the group threw a real party, which took place at a motel they blocked out in Oakland over a weekend. The video marked the first appearance of Humpty Hump; Shock G got the idea for the look on the day of the shoot when they were gathering party supplies at a store that was selling novelty noses for 99 cents. Shock put one on, and Humpty was born.
  • This was one of the first rap songs with a piano interlude. This was the work of Shock G, who is credited for these contributions as "The Piano Man." For Shock, incorporating piano into hip-hop was a natural fit: he would often play parts of rap songs on piano when he played the instrument.

Comments: 2

  • Luke from Manchester, United KingdomThis isn't about Sex Shooter, it's about Doowutchyalike
  • D. from Dallas, TxSex Shooter was recorded by Apollonia 6. Vanity left the group before the Prince camp filmed Purple Rain which Sex Shooter was on the film soundtrack (I know it's not on the Purple Rain LP but it's with it as well as The Time's Jungle Love & The Bird).
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