Sex Packets

Album: Sex Packets (1990)
Play Video


  • This groovy tune from Digital Underground's first album comes with a story that wouldn't have flown in the internet era, when such things could be easily fact checked. Group leader Shock G explained that "sex packets" were drugs that when taken would induce the user to orgasm. The story went that the US government created them for astronauts after learning that they perform better when sexually satisfied.

    Digital Underground was a loose collective of vocalists, DJs and musicians of varying degrees of ability. One of these singers was Edward Earl Cook, who was known as Schmoovy Schmoov. According to Shock G, Schmoov really was working on sex packets, and convinced he could market them. Shock G decided to run with the concept and the pair developed a whole story around it, with plenty of detail. They claimed that the "sex packets" were invented by Edward Earl Cook, who was a scientific adviser to NASA and associated with Stanford University. The packets were part of the rations on space flights, and had migrated to the underground drug scene on the West Coast. As Shock would tell journalists, the pills would put you to sleep for a few minutes, and when you wake up, you will have had a nocturnal emission (and crave a cigarette). They even came up with a clinical name for the drug: Genetic Suppression Release Antidote (GSRA).

    When asked, Shock G would elaborate, describing the packaging and confirming that he had tried it and it does work. This ruse was very effective, since no journalist could effectively disprove the story (it's unlikely that NASA would admit to it even if it was true).

    This isn't the only absurd storyline flowing through the Digital Underground origin story: Shock G's alter ego Humpty Hump was supposedly burned in an encounter with a fryer, leading to his spectacular nose.
  • Schmoovy Schmoov got a songwriting credit on this track along with Shock G. Schmoov sings the part that goes "I'm just feeling what you love..."
  • This song became the title track of the album and formed the concept - the cover shows the group standing around one of these "sex packets." Their record company, Tommy Boy, loved the concept, since their research showed that an album with "sex" in the title had a better chance of shifting units. To enhance the concept, the label had the group come up with another song to support it: "Packet Man," which is about the dealer.
  • This samples the Prince song "She's Always in My Hair" and two tracks by Parliament: "The Motor Booty Affair" and a live version of "Dr. Funkenstein."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Chris Frantz of Talking Heads

Chris Frantz of Talking HeadsSongwriter Interviews

Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz on where the term "new wave" originated, the story of "Naive Melody," and why they never recorded another cover song after "Take Me To The River."

Krishna Das

Krishna DasSongwriter Interviews

The top chant artist in the Western world, Krishna Das talks about how these Hindu mantras compare to Christian worship songs.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

How The Beatles Crafted Killer Choruses

How The Beatles Crafted Killer ChorusesSong Writing

The author of Help! 100 Songwriting, Recording And Career Tips Used By The Beatles, explains how the group crafted their choruses so effectively.

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")

Phil Hurtt ("I'll Be Around")Songwriter Interviews

Phil was a songwriter, producer and voice behind many Philadelphia soul classics. When disco hit, he got an interesting project: The Village People.