Shock G of Digital Underground has died: read tributes from Bootsy Collins, El-P, more
Shock G of '90s-era hip hop group Digital Underground has died at age 57. The sad news came via Jimi "Chopmaster J" Dright, one of the other founding members of the group, who wrote on Instagram, "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!!!" TMZ confirmed the death with Jacobs' father who said he was found dead in a Tampa hotel room.
Born in 1963, Gregory Jacobs grew up on the East Coast, spending time in NYC and Tampa, FL before moving to the West Coast, and eventually settling in Oakland. It was there, with Chopmaster J and Kenneth "Kenny-K" Waters, he formed Digital Underground in 1987, and the group became known for their funk-heavy sound and surreal lyrics that were indebted to Parliament and other '70s groups. Their first single for Tommy Boy, 1989's "Doowutchyalike," was a underground hit and they followed it with their classic 1990 debut Sex Packets that included Top 20 single "The Humpty Dance" that featured Shock G's schnoz-wearing alter-ego, Humpty Hump.
Digital Underground also helped 2Pac get his start -- he's in the video for "The Humpty Dance" and features on single "Same Song" -- and Shock G produced 2Pac's 1992 hit "I Get Around," and co-produced his debut album 2Pacalypse.
P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins wrote, "Oh No, Not Shock G (and his alter ego Humpty Hump). He helped keep P Funk Alive!"
El-P wrote, "thank you SHOCK G 💔. coolest, most down to earth icon/hero of mine i’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. a kind and pure musical genius," and Flea wrote, "Oh man, Shock G was beautiful."
Rest in peace, Shock G. You can read a few more tributes, including ones from Jhene Aiko, Sheila E, Pete Rosenberg and more, below.