Digital Underground get loved-up in Atlanta
Despite being saddled among electro breaks, an aborted Pimp and Ho costume contest and a hard house/progressive trance “goddess,” Los Angeles’ DJ Irene, Oakland, California’s heavily Parliament-Funkadelic-influenced hip-hop act Digital Underground were on a roll Saturday night.
Now, Digital Underground haven’t scored a recent hit, and their set wasn’t flawless. Anything but – the group has been only sporadically heard from since their initial success and their set was shortly delayed by technical difficulties. No, at least some of the group, who gained popularity in the early ’90s thanks to the album ‘Sex Packets’ and songs like ‘Kiss You Back’, were on a roll of a different kind: the new hip-hop high of choice, Ecstasy.
Around 2 a.m. original members Shock-G – who hung out in the crowd waving his hands in the air before going on – and Money-B – accompanied by their opening act Element including DJ Dialect – were about halfway into their hour-long set when Shock-G proudly announced he was feeling his rolls. And though the crowd was small for such an echoing venue (one large room at the end of a multi-cultural strip mall), most of the mix of suburbanites and candy ravers were feeling Digital Underground’s set.
Against a backdrop of album covers, Digital Underground opened up with one of their first underground hits, ‘Doowutchyalike’, while dousing the crowd in alcohol and popcorn. Then the group that introduced the world to 2Pac performed snippets of ‘I Get Around’ and ‘Hail Mary’, lighters in the air, before celebrating “Oakland brothers who are still alive” by covering the Luniz ‘I Got Five On It’. The “freaks of the industry” filled the rest of their set with familiar songs, not so familiar songs, a freaky dancer contest for the ladies and a freestyle contest for the guys (one of whom managed to work Paul Oakenfold’s name into his rhymes).
Finally, during ‘Same Song’, Shock-G transformed into his alter ego, Humpty Hump, wearing a feathered Afro, boxers, bathrobe and the famous nose the size of a pickle to lead the crowd in ‘The Humpty Dance’ Then Digital Underground rolled off the stage.