The Humpty Dance – Digital Underground | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#11) & R&B (#7); 1990

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Digital Underground was the direct descendant of Funkadelic and Parliament, building clever originals around P-Funk samples. DU developed an entire universe of strange characters of which the most notorious was Shock G aka Humpty Hump. Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs steeped himself in the world of Oakland, CA crime before leaving it all behind for music. He and Chopmaster J formed Digital Underground in 1987, released an independent single that hit #1 in the Netherlands (of all places), and eventually signed with Tommy Boy Records in the U.S. DU’s expanded roster of players – which included DJ Fuze and Money B – unleashed The Humpty Dance in 1990 with raps furnished by the Groucho-Marx-like Humpty. Humpty’s elaborate word play rode samples from Parliament’s Bop Gun and Let’s Play House, and Sly & The Family Stone’s Sing A Simple Song, and brought DU a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Shock G

Lyrics Written by:

  • Earl Humphrey
  • Shock G
  • George Clinton


  • “The Humpty Dance” was nominated for Best Rap Video at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards