The hip-hop community is suffering another devastating loss. Just two weeks after the death of rapper and actor DMX, rapper Shock G of the group Digital Underground has died at 57. The artist’s dad reportedly found him in a Tampa hotel room. The cause of death has not been reported as of yet. On Thursday, April 22, Digital Underground co-founder Cutmaster J confirmed the passing of his group member. While sharing a photo of himself and Shock G, he wrote, “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!!! #digitalunderground.”
In 1990, Digital Underground released its first album called “Sex Packets,” which featured one of the group’s hit singles called “The Humpty Dance.” Shortly afterward, they were approached about creating a song for a movie called “Nothing But Trouble.” That song became “Same Song” on which hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur would be featured. Shock G later teamed up with Tupac to produce his debut album “2pacalypse Now.” Some music lovers may not be aware that Shock G produced five songs, listed below, for Tupac.
“Brenda’s Got a Baby“
One of Tupac’s most popular singles from his first album was “Brenda’s Got a Baby.” The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot Rap songs chart and is remembered as one of Tupac’s emotional hit records. According to Omar Epps, Pac was on the set of “Juice” when he got the idea to make the song. “He was reading the newspapers … a woman had thrown her baby in the trash which was kind of common in New York,” he said. The news was mind-blowing to Pac and he talked about the incident multiple times on set. He later came to Epps spitting some lyrics and “Two, three months later his album comes out and I see the video. That was incredible, that’s real life art.”
“If My Homies Call“
“If My Homies Call” is another Tupac song Shock G had a hand in producing. In this Pac record he talks about his childhood friend and how they went two separate ways when they grew up: He made a living with his rhymes while his “homie” sold dope to make his paper. But Pac assures his friends that he’ll still be there for his friend if he needs him despite them having two different lives. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Another song that Shock G produced that took the world by storm was Tupac’s “Soulja Story,” which was the third song on his debut album. The song is a sample from Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” and speaks to Black people defending themselves against cops. This song caused controversy after a man by the name of Ronald Ray Howard claimed he shot a state trooper that pulled him over because he was listening to the song at the time. Because of the case, former Vice President Dan Quayle wanted the record removed from shelves.
“So Many Tears“
Shock G continued to work with Tupac and helped produce “So Many Tears.” The 1995 single was on Pac’s third studio album and was about pain and suffering. The song reached number six on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart and 21 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The song was created from a Stevie Wonder sample from his song “That Girl” and was not originally created for Pac to use; it was created because “That Girl” was one of Shock G’s favorite songs. He said, “Stevie Wonder’s ‘That Girl’ was one of my favorite songs, so I knew at some point I was going to sample it. You can hear Stevie’s texture on ‘So Many Tears. I didn’t jack the bassline…I wrote my own chords.”
“F-ck the World“
Another song Shock G produced on Tupac’s album was “F-ck the World.” The beat for the song was actually a Prince-inspired beat that was shown to Tupac by mistake. At the time, Shock G sent over what he thought were three beats to Tupac, but accidentally forgot to record over the Prince-inspired beat. So when Pac kept expressing that he liked the fourth beat, Shock G was confused. When they finally met up in person and Pac showed it to him he said, “This one, n—!’ It was that ‘F–k The World’ beat, which was really a Prince remake. We had all that Minneapolis s–t in it. But we ended up not doing it because nobody felt the beat but me. But Pac loved it.”