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Song Stories

“The Humpty Dance”

Digital Underground | 1990

The fictional Edward Ellington Humphries III — a.k.a., "Humpty Hump" — made his first appearance on the group's video for "Doowutchyalike." "While we were shopping for props ... we came across this box of bargain-bin noses," rapper Shock-G said. When he tried on a pair of Groucho glasses with a big brown nose, he was so amused, he decided to wear them in the video. In this whimsical counter to the grittiness of gangsta rap, Humpty reappears, noting that his odd looks don't inhibit his ability to get funky with the ladies as he hypes his eponymous dance.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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