Rest in Peace, Shock G (1963-2021)
Gregory Jacobs known by his stage name and alter ego Shock G or Humpty Hump has passed away at the early age of 57. This news comes soon after DMX’s (50) and Black Rob’s (53) passings. It seems talented, black legends have a life expectancy of 50’s. Our hearts are breaking as we desprately try to hold onto the legends we still have before we lose them.
Gregory Jacobs, Early Life
Jacobs lived in Tampa Bay, Florida. Mr. Humpty Hump took on many projects as he mastered the drums, piano, and turntables and even had a short stint as a radio personality. Deciding music was his main love, he began to take it seriously studying music theory at Hillsborough Community College. There, he formed a bond with Kenneth Waters performing as The Chill Factor. Upon moving to Bronx, in 1985, he spent two years of producing local artists and playing piano gigs while performing with Kenneth.
Eventually, he moved to Oakland, California, and that is where success took off for him with the group, Digital Underground. The rapper experiemented with both music and alter ego characters. Among them was Humpty Hump, MC Blowfish, Icey-Michael Boston, The Computer Woman, ButtaFly, and Peanut Hakeem. Jacobs was a creative genius that couldn’t help but express himself any chance he could.
The Birth of Digital Underground
Working with Chopmaster J and Kenneth Waters under the name, Digital Underground, in 1988, Jacobs illustrated all of the album covers. The group release several songs that were not mainstream but loved all the well. Digital Underground garnered success in 1990 with their song, “The Humpty Dance.”
The Hip Hop group had four top 40-charting hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, including the top 10 smash “The Humpty Dance,” spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart in 1990 and peaked at No. 11 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. The song also garnered a Grammy nomination for best rap performance by a duo or group.
Mr. Humpty Hump, Jacobs, was not afraid to experiment with the music. Shock G blended Jazz, R&B, hip hop and melodalic funk. With Digital Underground, Shock G laid down sexually laced lyrics and woke rap storytelling over funky smooth beats. The Comedic rapper didn’t take himself seriously, willing to poke fun at himself for entertainment and wore outlandish costumes on stage.
Shock G’s Friendship With Tupac
Shock G also had an eye for talent as he took Tupac on tour as a roadie. He gave Tupac his first break on the song, ‘Same song’. Tupac owes his start to Shock G, as he developed, produced, and rhymed on Tupac’s tracks. Shock G worked on Tupac’s “I get around” and the 2pacalypse album.
The pair had a close friendship up until Tupac’s death in September 1996. The late rapper, Tupac, shared, “I look back [on my times with Shock G] with the greatest fondness. Those were like some of the best times of my life…” Shock G warned him to lay low but Tupac refused to stop living his life. Both rappers had that in common. They wanted to live life their way, expressing themselves creatively while also speaking about real topics.
The way he used to talk about 2pac… The ending hits different now 🥺
RIP SHOCK G 💔🕊 pic.twitter.com/NPGNpdl9YI
— Aug (@itscolebe) April 23, 2021
Cause of Death Unknown
While we don’t have a cause of death as of yet, the rapper was found by his father in a Tampa hotel room. It sounds like it could be drug related although it hasn’t been confirmed. The rapper struggled with depression and drug use.
Shock G’s passing was confirmed in a statement from his family. “Our son, brother and friend, Gregory Jacobs, also known as Shock G, suddenly passed away today,” the statement reads. “The cause of death is currently unknown. We truly, truly appreciate all the out-pouring of love and concern. Please keep us in your prayers at this very difficult time.”
Mourning Shock G
— 𝕾𝖎𝖓𝖘𝖆𝖓𝖊_𝕯𝖔𝖑𝖑 (@Sinsane_Doll) April 23, 2021
Chopmaster J Pays Respects to his friend.
Chopmaster J, cofounder for digital underground, shares some words for his friend. “We had a wild ideas. We can be a hip hop band and taken on the world through all the dream became a reality and the reality became a nightmare for some,” Chopmaster J continued, “Now he’s awaken from the fame. Love live Shock G Aka Humpty Hump and Rest in Peace my brotha Greg Jacobs!!!!”
DJ Grandmaster Flash shared a video where he appears heartbroken over the loss of Shock G. Grandmaster Flash, “Just as we as human beings try to recover form one tragedy, here comes another one. Shock G, from one of the most craziest, funnest songs “The Humpty Dance.”
Shock G from Digital Underground R.I.P pic.twitter.com/LOXVGaiZQF
— Grandmaster Flash (@DJFlash4eva) April 23, 2021
He smiles, briefly, as he remembers the iconic song, “If you remember the song, “The Humpty Dance, Shock G, from Digital Underground has recently passed away.” He lets out a painful sigh, “This is getting bad. All of our heroes that made great songs. This is becoming so incredibly sad.” Grandmaster Flash regains composure trying to focus on the positive, “Super shout out to Shock G, you’ve made some great great great songs that Iove cutting up, for sure.”
We are all Grandmaster Flash in this moment as he speaks about the loss of all of our heroes. Big hugs to Shock G fans, friends, and family while we mourn a legend.