Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
Throughout hip-hop history, countless rappers and crews have talked about “bringing the funk back,” but few have done it like Digital Underground. With their debut album Sex Packets, the crew channels the spirit of George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, taking the themes and feel of their groundbreaking funk records and expertly re-interpreting them into hip-hop grooves.
Digital Underground boasts members from throughout the country, but were based in the Bay Area. The group’s leader Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs grew up a student of funk music, and Sex Packets is the group’s loving tribute to the artists from that era. It’s a love letter to P-Funk that goes beyond just using the music as a sample source, capturing the essence of the Lollipop Man, Bootsy, Bernie, and the crew.
Sex Packets features tales of wet-dream inducing drugs, rapping blowfish, lengthy piano solos, tributes to old school hip-hop, celebrations of a fictional regional flesh-fair, and multiple appearances by one Edward Ellington Humphrey III a.k.a. Humpty Hump. The over-the-top sense of irreverence and fun that permeates the album remains infectious. The sprawling album is often wacky, often freaky, occasionally serious, but always funky.