According to sources, Shock G of Digital Underground has passed away at the age of 57. The news was announced by his fellow Digital Underground member, Jimi “Chopmanster J” Dright on Instagram, where 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!!!” At the time of this article, no cause of death has been provided.
The artist born Greg Jacobs was the frontman for the Oakland-based Digital Underground group that took Hip-Hop by storm with its 1990 debut album, Sex Packets. The album’s second single, “The Humpty Dance,” became a major crossover hit, reaching #11 on the Billboard Pop chart. The number 1 Rap single also made Humpty Hump, Shock’s alter ego, a household name. The song’s legacy would endure for decades, ranking at #65 on Vh1’s Greatest Songs of the 90s list.
While Shock and the group injected humor into their music and received cross-over success, they were widely respected in all Hip-Hop circles. The first album was rooted in Funk and Disco samples, and the songs often broke convention with several having running times of more than 6 minutes and some surpassing 8 minutes. Sex Packets also featured an up and coming artist named Tupac Shakur, effectively introducing him to the world.
When he was in “Humpty” mode, Shock typically wore disguises consisting of zany hats, sunglasses and a fake nose. His behavior and voice changed enough that many thought that Humpty was just another member of the group, which also consisted of Money B, Chopmaster J and Kenny-K.
Although Digital Underground never achieved the same level of commercial success, they went on to release several other well-received albums. In addition to his work as an artist, Greg “Shock G” Jacobs had tremendous influence as a music producer. He crafted much of Digital Underground’s material, including the Sex Packets album. He also produced Tupac’s breakout singles, “I Get Around” and “So Many Tears,” as well as songs for the Luniz, KRS-One, Bobby Brown, Murs and Prince.
Following the recent deaths of DMX (April 9) and Black Rob (April 17), April will surely go down as one of the worst months in Hip-Hop history. Ambrosia For Heads extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Shock G.