Digital Underground was an American Hip Hop group formed in Oakland, California in 1987. The group was composed of the late Shock G, along with Money-B and DJ Fuze, with various other members joining and leaving throughout their careers (2Pac started out with DU). They were known for their innovative and playful approach to Hip Hop, which included a blend of funk, jazz, and soul music.
Their debut album, Sex Packets, was released in 1990 and was a critical and commercial success. Sex Packets is not your average Hip Hop album. It’s a concept album that tells the story of a new drug called G.S.R.A. (Genetic Suppression Relief Antidotes). This pill, which comes in a condom-sized package and glows in the dark, promises to provide users with the ultimate sexual experience – perfect for astronauts who need to keep their heads in the game, even in the most challenging of environments. The concept is hilarious and inventive, and Digital Underground explores it in a variety of ways throughout the album. Tracks like “Packet Man” and “Packet Reprise” dive deeper into the world of G.S.R.A. and its effects, while songs like “Doowutchyalike” and “Freaks of the Industry” celebrate sexual freedom and exploration more broadly.
The album’s concept might sound silly, but it’s actually quite clever. Digital Underground uses humor and satire to comment on a range of topics, from government control to sexual repression. The result is an album that’s not just fun to listen to, but also thought-provoking and insightful.
The opening track of Sex Packets is the classic hit “The Humpty Dance“. This funky and upbeat song immediately sets the tone for the rest of the album, with its catchy beat and humorous bars. It’s impossible not to nod your head or move your body when you hear it. “The Humpty Dance” is followed by “The Way We Swing”, a jazzy and soulful track that showcases the group’s musical skills. The beat is smooth, and Shock G’s lyrics are clever and playful. It’s clear from the very beginning that Digital Underground is a group of talented musicians and lyricists who know how to have fun.
One of the highlights of Sex Packets is the sense of humor that runs throughout the album. The group doesn’t take themselves too seriously, and they’re not afraid to poke fun at themselves and their surroundings. This is evident in tracks like the album’s first single “Doowutchyalike”, which encourages listeners to just let loose and have fun, and “Packet Prelude”, a short interlude that sets up the concept of the album and the title track in a humorous way. “Sex Packets” is a funky and futuristic song that introduces the concept of a new drug that can give you any sexual experience you desire. Shock G’s rhymes are clever and imaginative, and the beat is infectious. It’s a classic track that showcases the group’s creativity and originality.
Another standout track is “Freaks of the Industry”. The beat is slow and seductive, with a jazzy vibe that sets the mood perfectly. It’s a classic ode to sexual freedom and exploration, and it’s one of the most memorable tracks on the album, with a witty back-and-forth between Shock G and Money-B about their sexual exploits and fantasies.
Sex Packets is a classic album that stood the test of time. It’s funky, it’s playful, and it’s thought-provoking. Digital Underground was a pioneering act of the alternative West Coast Hip Hop scene, and this album is a testament to their creativity and innovation. Sex Packets is an album that defined a generation and continues to inspire and entertain listeners today.