Photo credits: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images
Another iconic pioneer of hip-hop culture and the rap music inspired by it has passed away during what has been a rough month for the beloved genre.
On Thursday evening (April 22) representatives for Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs (pictured) publicly shared the heart-breaking news that the musician and Digital Underground frontman is no longer living. Also known as “Humpty Hump” (a comedic alter-ego who appeared on a number of notable singles by the hip-hop band), Jacobs is also credited with being the producer who discovered a young Tupac Shakur.
He genuinely helped shepherd Shakur into the megastar he became in his entertainment career. Shakur and Shock G remained friends up until the iconic Deathrow Records mainstay’s death in September 1996. Digital Underground co-founder Chopmaster J confirmed Shock G’s death via Instagram. He also shared memories about the great times he spent with his hip-hop bandmate.
“34 years ago almost to the day we had a wild idea: We can be a hip hop band and take on the world. Through it all the dream became a reality and the reality became a nightmare for some. And now he’s awaken from the fame. Long live Shock G, aka Humpty Hump. And Rest In Peace my Brotha, Greg Jacobs!!!” Chopmaster J posted on Thursday evening.
Edward Racker, Shock G’s father, also confirmed the late superproducer’s passing in a statement released to TMZ. A cause of death for Shock G has not been confirmed as of yet by friends or family members. At this point, it is more important to focus on how he lived over the course of a nearly six-decade life that was nothing short of legendary.
“After moving to the Bay Area in the 1980s, Shock G and Chopmaster J formed Digital Underground with Kenny-K. The group dropped their debut studio album, Sex Packets, in 1990, and would go on to drop five more albums over the following 18 years, the most recent of which was 2008’s Cuz a D.U. Party Don’t Stop!” wrote Josh Espinoza, a hip-hop columnist for Complex Magazine.
Also in 1990, “The Humpty Dance” was the radio hit, which propelled Digital Underground’s debut into a runaway smash. Shock G showcased his devious and hilarious “Humpty Hump” personality to comedic perfection on this timeless and uproarious rap song.
However, it was Shock G’s magic as a prolific producer for Shakur, which further cemented him into the annals of hip-hop royalty as a directorial leader and a legend. Shock G produced hit records for Shakur’s first three studio albums on Interscope Records in the early 1990s, including “So Many Tears” from the powerful Me Against the World LP.
His talent as a producer was evident through his strong and distinct drum patterns, thematic versatility, and melodic layers via keyboard, which set major trends in multiple music genres. Funk music legend Bootsy Collins and a whole host of musical legends who came before and after him paid homage to Shock G in the wake of his death at 57.
May he rest in peace and may his legacy of stage talent, sonic brilliance, and creative leadership live on eternally.