Digital Underground with the Midwest Avengers

Saturday, Oct. 16; Firehouse

Yeah, so they swiped P-Funk outright, or at least the rollin' vibe, and then rapped over it. So what. So that dude (Shock-G) wore that stupid Groucho getup, and still does. Doesn't matter. Despite their being considered something of a novelty hip-hop group, waltz over to your oldies bin, pull out "Sex Packets" or "Humpty Dance," and pop it on: Digital Underground had something magical in there, something timeless, something that continues to push your pelvis nearly a decade later. There's a party inside those records, one that's still going on as you listen to it now. A few weeks ago at the Upstairs Lounge, DJ Obi Wan popped on "Humpty Dance" and it sounded brand-new (the way P-Funk sounds brand-new 25 years later), and the crowd reacted as such. Re-evaluate Digital Underground. They deserve a spot in the canon.

They deserve that spot for their genius "No Nose Job," a locomotive of beats, a paean to cosmetic uniqueness, a celebration of the big nose: "Doh-dee-oh-doh, there'll be no nose job/doh-dee-oh-doh, no nose job," bellows the chorus as Shock-G praises individuality and variation. "Seems to me like the bigger the nose the better!" he raps, and for five minutes of a solid groove, the truth is right there: "There will be no nose job." Perfection.

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