With the amount of popular culture that we export around the world, hip-hop as a lifestyle and art is significant. Thus, it baffles me that when I went to a hip-hop karaoke night at a club in the Fitzrovia section of London, no one knew Digital Underground’s seminal song, “The Humpty Dance.”
My American readers will be like, “Damn, bro. I love that song. The Humpty Dance is your chance to do the hump!” The rest of the world is like, “Come again?”
When I got up in front of the crowd and started busting out the first few verses, all I saw were a bunch of blank stares. After I was done the first part, I gave up and just handed the mic back to the kid MC.
I guess it’s my fault that I assumed Brits knew the Humpty Dance. That song was mega-popular back in 1990. I shouldn’t assume that if something is popular in the States, that it’s popular around the world.
But still, WHY? The whole world, especially Brits with a thriving love of hip-hop music and street fashion, don’t know this song. With global access to every song every made with downloads and streaming services, I’m shocked the lack of knowledge of this song. From Wikipedia: In 2008, “The Humpty Dance” was ranked number 30 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop and number 65 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s in 2007. COME OOOOONNNNN!!!!
After my embarrassing performance, I asked a few random people if they knew the song. Negative across the boards. My British friends, nope. I had to show the video on my phone. Nothing! Philistines, all of them.
We have failed as Americans to probably educate the world on old school rap, especially “The Humpty Dance.”
I should have picked “Bust a Move.”
I should have just done “Bust A Move”.