with Digital Underground
Roi J. Tamkin
I had heard some exciting things about Digital Underground. One was that they were comical and didn’t take themselves seriously. I guess I wasn’t listening to the lyrics, because I didn’t get the joke.
One thing I can say is that Digital Underground is less a group and more of an ensemble. Lead man Shock G gave a little time to each rapper in the group, and even introduced some special guests. Then members regrouped, at one point inviting about ten women from the audience onto the stage to help them perform “Freaks of the Industry.” I’m sorry, not women — “Freaky girls!” Up to this point, I had been watching a cool rap act. Suddenly, I was in the Cheetah III. The boys of the Underground encouraged the girls to remove their tops and to perform simulated sex acts. Now, I’m not a professional pedophile, but I guarantee you there was not one girl over eighteen on that stage.
After herding the freaky chicks off the stage, rapper Humpty Hump Humphries took over. Now things got weirder. First thing he did is preach to the audience about respect. Respect for yourself, and then he told the men to respect their women. Hey Humpty, tell that to your homeys in Digital Underground! But Humpty Hump got the crowd moving and rapping along telling everyone, to “Get Your Flirt On” and jumping to “Wind Me Up”. I got to give credit to a man who chooses a Grouch Marx nose for a prosthesis to cover his own damaged olfactory organ.
After Humpty Hump, the crowd was ready for Salt-N-Pepa. So where were they? Starting an hour and a half late, the girls of Salt-N-Pepa, accompanied by three stage dancers, finally appeared. They effectively took control of the crowd, running through their songs, including their newest, “R U Ready?” The ladies of rap grabbed a firm hold on their audience and kept their grip to the last song.
They could teach Digital Underground a thing about respect. Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton, and Deidra “Spinderella” Roper went through their set without one person body surfing, stage diving, or fighting. There was no wafting smell of marijuana. Was this done out of respect to the artists, or was the 99X stage the only pit of Sodom and Gomorrah?