Gregory Edward Jacobs (August 25, 1963 – April 22, 2021), known professionally as Shock G and by his alter ego Humpty Hump, was an American rapper and musician who was best known as the lead vocalist of the hip hop group Digital Underground. He was responsible for Digital Underground's "The Humpty Dance", 2Pac's breakthrough single "I Get Around", and co-producer of 2Pac's debut album 2Pacalypse Now.

Shock G
Background information
Birth nameGregory Edward Jacobs[1]
Also known as
  • Humpty Hump
  • Piano Man
  • Rackadelic
  • MC Blowfish
  • Gregory Racker
  • Icey Mike
  • Peanut Hakeem
Born(1963-08-25)August 25, 1963
New York City, U.S.
DiedApril 22, 2021(2021-04-22) (aged 57)
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • musician
  • singer
  • record producer
  • entertainer
  • cartoonist
Instrument(s)
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1984–2021
Labels
Formerly ofDigital Underground

Early life edit

Gregory Edward Jacobs was born on August 25, 1963, in New York City.[2][3][4] His maternal grandfather was an Hasidic Jew.[5] He spent most of his childhood moving around the East Coast with his family, eventually settling in Tampa, Florida. As a drummer he won the 1978 "Most Talented" trophy at Greco Junior High School. As a result of his parents' divorce, he relocated to Queens, New York. There he traded his drums in for a set of turntables upon discovering and marvelling over hip hop music while the art form was still in an underground developmental stage. He was mentored in the craft by his cousin Rene Negron (also known as DJ-Stretch), and their close friend Shawn Trone (also known as MC Shah-T of the parody-rap group No Face) who suggested Greg use the name "Shah-G". Jacobs liked the idea, but mistakenly thought his friend said Shock G, and began using that name instead.[citation needed]

After returning to Tampa less than two years later, he dropped out of Chamberlain High School to form the Master Blasters, a mobile DJ crew which featured three DJs and four emcees at its height.[6] They performed at parties and for crowds at Riverfront Park's outdoor Sunday gatherings, eventually capturing the interest of Tony Stone, a program director at WTMP radio, which was the city's primary R&B station. Stone offered Jacobs, who was sixteen at the time, a job DJing on the air, and for a short while, as "Gregory Racker", he was the youngest radio personality in central Florida with a regular time slot.[7] After being fired for playing the fifteen-minute-long album version of "(Not Just) Knee Deep" by Funkadelic in a five-minute time slot, and also after tensions with his father escalated, Jacobs found himself backpacking the United States for a few years, drifting through odd jobs and petty criminal adventures. It was during this excursion that his focus switched from DJing to keyboard playing, and while utilizing piano practice-rooms at music stores and colleges around the country, he effectively taught himself to play the piano.[citation needed]

Deciding to pursue music seriously, he returned home, obtained a diploma, and began attending Hillsborough Community College (HCC), where he studied music theory under Jim Burge and piano under Patricia J. Trice. It was there at HCC that he met and formed a bond with Kenneth Waters, and the two began performing together under various names including The Chill Factor,[7] and also The Four Horsemen, which included MC Skoobie-D, and the MD Dazzlin Doc-P who had recently moved to Tampa from the Bronx. In 1985, after two years of producing local artists for hire, playing solo piano gigs around town, performing with Waters, and being a keyboardist in Warren Allen Brooks' band, Jacobs and his aspiring-actress girlfriend Davita Watts eloped to Los Angeles in search of greater opportunity. There he played keyboards in Kenny McCloud's pop-funk band Onyx before leaving Los Angeles and arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area where he found work in an Oakland music store, and where his group Digital Underground would form a few years later.[7]

Career edit

Digital Underground edit

After relocating to Oakland, California, Shock G formed Digital Underground along with Chopmaster J, and Kenneth Waters (also known as Kenny-K. After around 15 months of unsuccessful negotiations with various small record companies, in 1988 the trio released a 12-inch single on Macola Records. It featured "Your Life's a Cartoon" as the A-side and "Underwater Rimes" as the B-side. Both songs were penned, produced, and performed by Jacobs, who sketched the cartoonish cover illustrations. The record included the logo for Digital Underground's startup label, TNT, as well as Macola's logo. TNT was founded by Tupac Shakur's management CEO Atron Gregory. In 1989, the group signed with Tommy Boy Records and released "Doowutchyalike", receiving minimal radio airplay but became an underground hit. Its video was more successful, reaching number 40 on the MTV's top 100 videos of the year. "Doowutchyalike" paved the way for Digital Underground's debut album Sex Packets and the highest-charting song of their career "The Humpty Dance" both released in early 1990, and both achieving platinum sales certifications by the RIAA.[8] The latter was rapped by Humpty Hump, the most flamboyant of Shock G's several alter egos. By that time, Digital Underground had expanded significantly, with DJ Fuze, Money-B, and Schmoovy-Schmoov joining the group, and with Ramone "Pee Wee" Gooden and Tupac Shakur joining by 1991.[9]

Other identities edit

Jacobs performed under many aliases he developed over his career, resulting in characters that were maintained with such reality that they were believed to be separate people by both fans and industry insiders.[10] While he rapped in his normal voice as Shock G, as "Humpty Hump" he adopted a more nasal sound as part of this character's exaggerated buffoon persona that included garish clothes and Groucho glasses. A fictional biography was included in Digital Underground's press kit stating that Humpty Hump's real name was Edward Ellington Humphrey III and he wore the Groucho glasses after burning his nose in a deep fryer accident.[11] Jacobs made public appearances as one person or the other, but at live shows and video shoots he would use a stand-in or camera tricks to maintain the illusion.[12] Jacobs sometimes performed as other characters including MC Blowfish, Icey-Mike, The Computer Woman, ButtaFly, and Peanut Hakeem.[citation needed]

Television and film work edit

Shock G's TV appearances include Showtime at the Apollo in 1992, several The Arsenio Hall Show performances between 1990 and 1994, and several live MTV performances, including MTV Spring Break 1990 in Daytona Beach, Yo MTV Raps (performing live with Ed Lover and Doctor Dré) in 1991, Club MTV Live (with Downtown Julie Brown) in 1992, and MTV Jams in 1994. Most of these consisted of music performances with either Digital Underground or 2Pac; however, on an episode of the 1991 sitcom Drexell's Class, Jacobs played a small acting role as a furnace repairman. Within the show's story, the title character, Otis Drexell, insists that the furnace repairman looks exactly like Humpty Hump, but neither he nor his coworker (Jason Priestley) have heard of any such hip-hop artist, especially not one with such a ridiculous name. The episode ends with a live performance of Digital Underground's "No Nose Job" on a cruise ship full of Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, which is presented as a scene from one of Drexell's dreams.[13]

With his Digital Underground band members, Jacobs appeared in the Dan Aykroyd-directed comedy film Nothing but Trouble (1991) appearing as both Shock G and Humpty Hump. The group (including Tupac Shakur) makes a cameo music performance, as well as play a small character role in the film as themselves. Jacobs has appeared in a handful of music documentaries, including Thug Angel: Life of an Outlaw (2000) about Tupac Shakur, and Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove (1996) about George Clinton & P-Funk, both of which received heavy TV rotation, and both of which relied heavily on Jacobs' commentary.[citation needed]

On June 24, 2011, Shock G was featured on an episode of the podcast "You Had To Be There" with comedians Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer.[citation needed]

Albums edit

  • Fear of a Mixed Planet (2004 33rd Street Records)
  • Fear of a Mixed Planet; Bonus Edition (2008 Jake Records)
  • with Digital Underground:

Production, solo work, and miscellaneous edit

In addition to his work with Digital Underground, Shock G found moderate success as a solo artist and music producer. In 1993, Shock G produced Tupac Shakur's breakthrough platinum single "I Get Around" as well as guest starred on the single and music video, and went on to produce Tupac's "So Many Tears" from his multi-platinum 1995 album Me Against the World. Tupac's first published work was while still a member of Digital Underground when he appeared on the 1991 song and video "Same Song", which also appeared in the Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Demi Moore film Nothing but Trouble. Shock co-produced Tupac's debut album 2Pacalypse Now. Shock G appeared as a producer and guest artist on fellow Oakland-based rap group The Luniz platinum debut release Operation Stackola in 1995, also appearing as a guest emcee in the "I Got 5 on It (Bay Ballas Remix)" and video.

In 1996 the Wayans brothers' film Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood featured the Shock G song "We Got More". The song, which featured Oakland rappers Luniz was used for three different scenes in the film, and is featured in two different places on the soundtrack, making it the only song to appear twice on one soundtrack. In 1998, Prince included the Shock G produced "Love Sign" on his triple-CD Crystal Ball album. Shock G has toured and performed on stage with George Clinton and P-Funk including a guest performance with Clinton at Woodstock 1999.[14]

In 2003, Shock G produced the single "Risky Business" for Los Angeles underground artist Murs, and also appeared in the video, as himself and as Humpty Hump. Murs performed this song live with Shock G at the Paid Dues festival, and also featured him as his stage DJ/music conductor on a 2-month extensive Definitive Jux label U.S. and Canada tour.[15] On January 20, 2009, Shock G's single "Cherry Flava'd Email" was renamed and released as a special edition called "Cherry Flava'd Election" to commemorate the inauguration of President Barack Obama.[16]

Death edit

On April 22, 2021, Jacobs was found dead in a motel room in Tampa, Florida, at age 57.[17][18][19] On June 10, 2021, the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner announced that Shock G's death was caused by an accidental overdose of fentanyl, methamphetamine and ethanol (alcohol).[20][21][22]

Jacobs was interred at Parklawn Memorial Cemetery in Dunedin, Florida.

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

  • Fear of a Mixed Planet (2004)

Production discography edit

Albums edit

  • 1990 Sex Packets, Digital Underground
  • 1991 This Is an EP Release, Digital Underground (EP)
  • 1991 Sons of the P, Digital Underground
  • 1993 The Body Hat Syndrome, Digital Underground
  • 1996 Future Rhythm, Digital Underground
  • 1998 Who Got the Gravy, Digital Underground
  • 1999 The Lost Files, Digital Underground
  • 2008 ..Cuz a D.U. Party Don't Stop!, Digital Underground
  • 2010 The Greenlight EP, Digital Underground

Songs edit

  • 1987 "Your Life's a Cartoon", Digital Underground
  • 1988 "Underwater Rimes", Digital Underground
  • 1989 "Doowutchyalike", Digital Underground
  • 1990 "Don't Funk wid the Mo" (remix), Monie Love
  • 1990 "What I Won't Do for Love", 2Pac, Schmoovy-Schmoov
  • 1990 "What I Won't Do for Love (Shock G Remix)", 2Pac, Digital Underground
  • 1991 "Rockin to the PM", Raw Fusion
  • 1991 "Rebel of the Underground", 2Pac
  • 1991 "Words of Wisdom", 2Pac
  • 1991 "Revenge of the Lunatic", 2Pac, Money-B
  • 1991 "Tellin' Time (Mike's Rap)", Dr. Dre, Michael Concepcion
  • 1993 "I Get Around", 2Pac, Digital Underground
  • 1993 "Get Away (remix)", Bobby Brown
  • 1993 "Top of the World", Kenya Gruv (co-producer)
  • 1994 "Dirty Drawls", Raw Fusion
  • 1994 "Do Your Homework", Raw Fusion
  • 1995 "Fuck the World", 2Pac, Shock G
  • 1995 "So Many Tears", 2Pac
  • 1995 "Broke Hos", Luniz
  • 1995 "5150", Luniz
  • 1995 "No Brothas Allowed", No Face
  • 1995 "Smashin' Fruit", No Face
  • 1995 "Nothing Has Changed", No Face feat. Digital Underground
  • 1996 "We Got More", Shock G feat Luniz
  • 1995 "Don't Ring My Bell", Luniz
  • 1996 "People Over the Stairs", Shock G
  • 1996 "Gloomy Sunday", Mystic
  • 1997 "True Playas", Whoridas
  • 1997 "Come N' Bounce", Shay
  • 1997 "Cause I Had To", 2Pac & P-90
  • 1998 "Broad Minded", Saafir
  • 1998 "Sendin' U a Signal", Saafir
  • 1998 "Love Sign", Prince
  • 1999 "Crawl Before You Ball", Saafir
  • 1999 "Liquid Ho Magnet", Saafir
  • 1999 "Running Man", Saafir
  • 2000 "Do What Ya Want", Rhythm & Green
  • 2000 "Let the Beat Breathe", Esinchill
  • 2001 "Chassy", Mac Mall
  • 2001 "Intro", Mystic (album intro)
  • 2002 "Risky Business", Murs
  • 2004 "Smilin' Faces", KRS-One

Guest appearances edit

  • 1990 "We're All in the Same Gang", Westcoast Allstars, (song & video)
  • 1990 "Time for Peace", Davey-D feat D.U., Paris, Tech & Sway, (song)
  • 1991 "Trapped", 2Pac, (song & video)
  • 1991 "Throw Your Hands in the Air", Raw Fusion, (video)
  • 1991 "Funkintoyoear", Raw Fusion, (song)
  • 1992 "Money", Gold Money, (song & video)
  • 1993 "I Get Around", 2Pac feat. Digital Underground, (song & video)
  • 1993 "Rhythm & Rhyme", George Clinton, (song)
  • 1993 "Paint the White House Black", George Clinton, Ice Cube, Kam, Yo-Yo, Dr. Dre, Public Enemy, Pupa Curly, (song & video)
  • 1994 "Freaky Note", Raw Fusion, (song & video)
  • 1995 "I Got 5 on It (Remix)", Luniz, (song & video)
  • 1995 "Funk Session", Too Short, (song)
  • 1995 "So Many Tears", ""2Pac, (song)
  • 1995 "Fuck the World", 2Pac, (song)
  • 1996 "Knee Deep (Midnight Mix)", George Clinton, (song)
  • 1999 "Glayz Donutt Face", C-Funk, (song)
  • 1999 "Miss Bartender", Money-B, (song)
  • 1999 "Do What You Want to Do", Vitamin C, (song)
  • 2000 "No DNA", Clee & Drank-a-Lot, (song)
  • 2002 "Wuz Crackulatin'," 2wice, (song)
  • 2002 "Risky Business", Murs, (song & video)
  • 2003 "Way of Life", Stylophonic, (song)
  • 2004 "Hurry Up Run", Shock G, (song)
  • 2004 "Snake and the Apple", Stucky, (song)
  • 2004 "At the Next Show", Sir Mix-a-lot, (song)
  • 2005 "Career Finders", Perceptionists, (song)
  • 2005 "Say What You Say", Soma Rasa, (song)
  • 2005 "And 2morrow", various artists, (song)
  • 2005 "California Girls Dipped in Chocolate", Slapbak, (song)
  • 2005 "Freaky Pumps", Fat Lip, (song)
  • 2005 "City to City", Straw, (song)
  • 2005 "Love Letters", 2Pac, Rappin' 4-Tay, Assassin, (song)
  • 2006 "The Wizard", Mr. Rakafela, (song)
  • 2006 "If You're True", InershA, (song)
  • 2006 "Pain and Misery (remix)", InershA, (song)
  • 2006 "Shock G Interlude", 2Pac (song)
  • 2007 "Shock G's Outro/Hidden Track", Ássassin, Ray Luv, 2Pac
  • 2007 "California Dreamin", San Quinn, Assassin, (song)
  • 2007 "Plainfield", Bernie Worrell, (song)
  • 2007 "Smack Dat Ass", Ditch, (song)
  • 2008 ..Cuz a D.U. Party Don't Stop!, Digital Underground, (album)
  • 2008 "Crazy", Maddie Lauer, (song & video)
  • 2008 "Light of Love feat. Lady Alma", Yameen (song, as keyboardist)
  • 2009 "Cherry Flava'd Election", Shock G, (song)
  • 2010 The Greenlight EP, Digital Underground, (album)
  • 2012 Cuttynclean JC – "Above the Tip Tops" (album- Shade of Purp) CO cuttyncleanrecords type on SoundCloud
  • 2014 Cuttynclean JC – "Shock G interlude" (album – Shade of Purp) co cuttyncleanrecords
  • 2015 "The Mini", Angelo Knox (song)
  • 2017 Cuttynclean JC – "Diamonds" feat. Asap Lotto (unreleased)
  • 2018 "Heem", Undaflow feat. Shock G and Big Sharp
  • 2019 Cuttynclean JC – "Keep It PI" feat Mistah fab and Moe Green

Digital Underground videos edit

  • "Doowutchyalike" (1989)
  • "The Humpty Dance" (1989)
  • "Doowutchyalike" (video remix) (1990)
  • "Same Song" (1991)
  • "Kiss You Back" (1991)
  • "No Nose Job" (1992)
  • "Return of the Crazy One" (1993)
  • "Wussup Wit the Luv" (1994)
  • "Oregano Flow" (1996)
  • "Walk Real Kool" (1996)
  • "Wind Me Up" (1998)

Featured guest video appearances edit

  • "We're All in the Same Gang" (1990) Westcoast All-Stars
  • "Throw Your Hands in the Air" (1991) Raw Fusion
  • "Trapped" (1991) 2Pac
  • "Money" (1992) Gold Money
  • "Close the Crackhouse" (1992) X-Clan
  • "I Get Around" (1993) 2Pac featuring Digital Underground
  • "No Brothas Allowed" (1994) No Face
  • "I Got 5 on It (Bay Ballas Remix)" (1995) Luniz
  • "Temptations" (1995) 2Pac
  • "Risky Business" (2003) Murs
  • "Hit the Streets" (2003) Element
  • "City to City" (2005) Straw the Vegas Don
  • "Crazy" (2008) Maddie Lauer

DVDs edit

  • Nothing But Trouble (1991)
  • Thug Angel: The Life of an Outlaw (2000)
  • Tupac: Resurrection (2003)
  • Digital Underground: Raw and Uncut (2004)
  • Parliament/Funkadelic; One Nation Under a Groove (2005)

References edit

  1. ^ Martin, Jeremy (September 7, 2011). "Legend Shock G talks pianos, hip-hop and Tupac Shakur". MLive.com. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Paybarah, Azi (2021-04-23). "Shock G, Frontman for Hip-Hop Group Digital Underground, Dies at 57". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  3. ^ Legaspi, Althea (2021-04-23). "Digital Underground's Shock G Dead at 57". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  4. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2021-04-23). "Shock G Dies: Digital Underground's 'Humpty Dance' Rapper Who Also Produced Early 2Pac Records Was 57". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  5. ^ The Life of Shock G Wax Poetics https://www.waxpoetics.com › article › digital-undergr... 25 Apr 2021 — That's called a Hasidic Jew, orthodox Jewish, the reason he wears those clothes…” My grandfather was such a cool dude that it didn't bother us, ...
  6. ^ "CHS History | Chamberlain High School Legacy Project | United States". Chamberlain Legacy. Retrieved 2022-09-21.
  7. ^ a b c "Digital Underground". Encyclopedia.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2009-10-13.
  8. ^ "MySpace.com". Viewmorepics.myspace.com. Archived from the original on 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  9. ^ "Digital Underground". VH1.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
  10. ^ "// Digital Underground – Shock G Interview Part 2 (July 2008) // West Coast News Network //". Dubcnn.com. Archived from the original on 2011-09-24. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  11. ^ Abrams, Leonard (August 1990). "Digital Underground: Humpty Numbers". Details. Condé Nast. pp. 50–51.
  12. ^ Mlynar, Phillip (2010-05-25). "Shock G 'Fesses Up About Humpty Hump – San Francisco Music – All Shook Down". Blogs.sfweekly.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  13. ^ "Digital Underground Biography". Rapartists.com. Archived from the original on 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  14. ^ "MTV's Woodstock 99 Performance Overview". mtv.com. Archived from the original on 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
  15. ^ "Murs Interview Milenko500.com, living legands, la, comic, con, 2009, murs, interview, comic book, rock, the, bells". Milenko500.com. Archived from the original on 2009-05-23. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  16. ^ "Welcome to Amiestreet". Amiestreet.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  17. ^ Rapper Shock G of Digital Underground Dies at 57" . WBLS. April 22, 2021.
  18. ^ Newman, Althea; Legaspi, Althea; Newman, Jason (2021-04-23). "Digital Underground's Shock G Dead at 57". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  19. ^ Garvey, Marianne (23 April 2021). "Shock G, Digital Underground frontman, dead at 57". CNN. Retrieved 2021-04-23.
  20. ^ "Digital Underground's Shock G Died of Accidental Drug Overdose". TMZ. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  21. ^ Pedersen, Erik (June 11, 2021). "Digital Underground's Humpty Dance Rapper Shock G Died of Drug Overdose". Deadline.
  22. ^ Atkinson, Katie (June 10, 2021). "Digital Underground's Shock G Cause of Death Revealed". Billboard.

External links edit