Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Digital Underground - Sons of the P LP


Tommy Boy (1991)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years. 

Sons of the P was the second Digital Underground full length, though it was actually the first one of theirs that I bought when it came out in 1991. Naturally, I was very aware of “The Humpty Dance” but it wasn’t something that was driving me to buy a Digital Underground album that felt a little old to me. In hindsight, that’s ludicrous as it was not even a year old, but for whatever reason I didn’t prioritize picking it up immediately. I fixed that pretty soon and grabbed the Sex Packets CD as part of a Columbia House/BMG scam within the next year. 

But, that’s not what we’re talking about right now, we’re talking about Sons of the P. Why did I pick up this album right away? It was the strength of the “No Nose Job” video. That made me buy the cassette single of that before the album came out and then I grabbed the album when that was finally released. I’m not sure why I liked “No Nose Job” as much as I did, but I did and still do. I’ve always had affinity for the less popular Humpty songs for whatever reason. I’ve always liked Digital Underground, but as a kid, I really didn’t appreciate the diversity of their albums the same way I do now. 

At the time, I wished everything was a bit more straightforward and ‘hip hop.’ The Parliament style dalliances where more distracting to me then. But now, I can understand the artistic vision of these albums as something more ambitious than a typical early 90s hip hop album. The experimentations seem more interesting now and the flow of the album has more of a narrative quality than I was aware of in my younger years. Do I still prefer the more straightforward hip hop songs? I do, but I just have a lot more respect for the whole puzzle now. 

I’d been looking for a decently priced version of this on vinyl for quite some time and when one popped up on Discogs, the time was finally there. Though, I would not have been able to grab it without some overseas assistance from my buddy Scott, from Brassneck – so many thanks for helping me finally get my hands on the vinyl version.

Digital Underground - Sons of the P:

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