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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

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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