Review Revue: Digital Underground’s Sons of P


As must be obvious by now, controversy and contention are going to be the lifeblood of these blogs I bring to you weekly. And if you’re looking for controversy, where better to go than to the hip-hop section of any CD library? And once we’re there, who better to check in with than the funky, funny, dirty, not-really-hardcore-gangsta-at-all stylings of Digital Underground? Exactly.

It pains me to admit that the KEXP library is without a copy of the Underground’s debut album Sex Packets, but the cover of their follow-up, Sons of the P (that’s P as in P-Funk, the Underground’s strongest musical and philosophical inspiration) will do, as it was still the site of enough to debate to render the art all but completely obscured.

“3: M. Jackson slam. Yes. 10: Greasygrits instro. Otherwise, they lean too much on P-Funk/Sly samples (Clinton even makes an appearance), and don’t have anything to say. Play 3 & 10. M [medium rotation] at best. 4 skips.”

Here is where a hero steps in, someone I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from in the future, to lay it all out for us, a man named Riz, here to save the day for Sons of the P.

“A message band?! Digital Underground?! Remember Sex Packets?!

“Dude! Whaddaya think this effort is called Sons of the P for?! And when they call somebody (a woman actually) you fake hair contact wearing liposuction carnival freak in #3 me thinks they speak to a wider trend than Michael Jackson could embody. And nothin’ to say? #2 (RED DOT [meaning too profane to be broadcast]) is about the ideological tendency to hide behind dead heroes and icons to avoid action and responsibility elsewhere; an idea that strikes me as profoundly as say P.E.’s one million bottlebags. Unfortunately they also reveal themselves as pimp wannabes #11 and closet homophobes #5. The first single #6 [“Kiss You Back”] is the worst tune on here.

“This is heavily Clinton-esque but they only sample him 3 times. #4 is as infectious and hypnotic as anything he’s done, more Funkadelic than Parliament, if any remember the difference between the two. Best tracks #1, 3, 4, and #10 instrumental. Strong M and funky enough to be sons if anyone is.”

You know that Sonic Youth song, “Kool Thing?” The one where Chuck D is backing up Kim Gordon, going ‘That’s right . . . tell ‘im ’bout it . . . hit ‘im where it hurts,” etc.? That’s what I’m hearing as I read Riz’s scholarly defense of this album. I’m amazed anyone had the temerity to put in their 2 cents after that dissertation, but there are a couple more brief notes here:

“#1 is dull. 3 is kind of funny.”

“‘No Nose Jobs’ is utterly hilarious as well as satirical.”

There you have it, people. The message for this week? Don’t Mess with Riz.

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One Comment

  1. Posted October 4, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    “Ideological tendency to hide behind dead heroes and icons to avoid action and responsibility elsewhere.”

    Awesome. These posts are beautiful.

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