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Old School Friday: Dance For Me!

19 June 2009 11 Comments

Part of being old school is the belief that whatever the kids are doing now is weak, wack, nonsensical, and just no good compared to what we had going on in our day. It just so happens that The Stanky Leg, The Ricky Bobby, and The Crank Dat Whomever are weak and wack, but it’s a classic oldhead foible to believe that we were doing so much better fifteen years ago because, sadly, we weren’t.

Case in point: The Tootsee Roll. How did the 69 Boyz convince the world that there was a significant difference between The Butterfly and The Tootsee Roll? Was is just that “the Butterfly? unh unh that’s old” refrain? Did their coordinated Orlando Magic short-sets and ski goggles in a tropical climate somehow give them added credibility? Perhaps it was the addition of Electric-Slide-esque dance moves or the almost unintelligible Florida-speak, but they pulled off one of the biggest scams in black pop culture history with this dance. Fifteen years after the fact no one can definitively tell me just how this dance is NOT The Butterfly, and I still haven’t fully let go of my nagging assumption that the lead rapper is Wedge from Kid N’ Play’s Class Act. May I also add that The Stanky Leg ain’t much but The Tootsee Roll remixed?

PS. – TootsEE Roll = the dance, while TootsIE roll = the candy. Double platinum and not a penny paid to Tootsie Roll Industries. Pure genius.

You know I could never mention anything related to dancing and Florida booty bass without digging up one of the sillier pieces of nonsense that has me running to the dancefloor every time a DJ dare play it. It’s Freak Nasty’s “Da Dip,” and I know the song is tragically corny but it’s just so basic a booty dance that I have to participate and boost my ego by doing it well (which is probably how the booty bass trend lasted so long). Sadly, the only word for the 1994 video is “poor,” and I only use that word because “effed up” and “low budget” are each two words. You know we’re talking about a different era and tax bracket when heads are wearing this much Community Service Jumpsuit Orange and we’re watching most of the action through a View-Master. The chicks in this video just look bad, too.

Does anyone want to caution a guess as to how old I was when I realized that Shock G and Humpty Hump from Digital Underground were the same person? “The Humpty Dance” came out in 1990 and I didn’t pick up on it then. At the chunkier-than-average age of eleven “ay yo fat girl, come here are you ticklish?” became my least favorite line in a rap song ever after some crusty little boy pointed at me when it played at a school dance. Digital Underground went on to release a boatload of singles, including “Same Song,” from the movie Nothing But Trouble and both Shock G and Humpty are in the video so I thought nothing of their facial resemblance. When Shock G and Money B both had verses on Tupac’s “I Get Around,” in 1993, I figured Tupac was too fly for a gimmicky rapper like Humpty to appear on his track. Not until the ripe old age of TWENTY FIVE did I hear this song at a club in Europe and have it click that “The Humpty Dance,” was really just a pop ditty made by a legitimate rapper in a fake nose and funny hat playing his weirdo alter ego . Isn’t that ALL ridiculous in retrospect?

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  • Dara said:

    1. the distinct difference between the butterfly and the tootsie roll are that the former is smoother and involves more of a pelvic roll while the latter is more stiff and focuses solely on the inward-outward motion of the knees. duh thembi.

    2. i JUST found out (not realized) that shock g and humpty were the same person. JUST meaning like 2 months ago. And I heard it on NPR. I am a shameful, clueless nerd.

  • DJStylus said:

    And with Thembi’s brilliant treatise, the crust of confusion fell from my eyes and all became clear.

  • Chantele said:


    Your card is revoked. Please place it in the bin labeled “cold busted” on your way out. Thank you. LOL


    I believe Dara is correct. Further, the tootsie roll can be loosely categorized as movement “en dedans” while the butterfly can be categorized as “en dehors.” Refernce your ballet terms here: http://www.abt.org/education/dictionary/index.html

  • Kim said:

    Humpty is an alter ego? NO!!! As a lil one Do the Humpty Hump and his verse on “We’re All in the Same Gang” pretty much had him up there in my rappers of pre-double digit age. Really I tried to perfect “America the red the white the blue the blue the red the white….”

    We sang the clean version of the Dip straight through 6th grade. It wasnt until I heard my sister telling hs prom stories that I realized another version of the song existed.

    And…it was the butterfly, just slightly altered.. not the tootsie roll.

  • Tha Connoisseur said:

    I am not even going there with you today. LOL

    I must admit, I for one did think he had a twin. And then it dawned on me, one bright day.

    As for The Butterfly and Tootsee Roll – I still laugh today when Jamaican dances are warped into Hip Hop dances. I am not able.

  • Kim said:

    @ Tha Connoisseur: TRUE! The Stanky Leg and Ricky Bobby are just variations on Nuh Linga. You may have just inspired a blog post.

  • Keith said:


  • Sabrina said:

    Love all these songs! Wasn’t the day you found out that Humpty Hump was Shock G like the day you found out that the Tooth Fairy was your mom? LOL Check out my OSF post too!

  • Treina said:

    I remember “Da Dip”! I love Digital Underground, too! They’re from Cali, you know!

  • Kjen said:

    I was just struck by how much clothes use to cover up – even the “sexy” eye candy girls were wearing shorts to mid-thigh! That’s down right prudish by today’s video standards.

  • Momdeconnor said:

    My sisters were having an argument today that had to do with the butterfly and the tootsee roll. Wasn’t there a song to go along with the butterfly and if do who was the artist?

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