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Shock G (1963–2021), frontman for Digital Underground

by Linnea Crowther

Shock G was the frontman for the hip-hop group Digital Underground, whose hits included “The Humpty Dance.”

Digital Underground

Born Gregory Jacobs, Shock G became well known under a different alter ego in 1990, when “The Humpty Dance” shot up the charts. Rapping as Humpty Hump and wearing a large fake nose, Shock G taught the world the dance named after his alter ago: “You got it down when you appear to be in pain.” Digital Underground followed “The Humpty Dance” with “Doowutchalike,” which they had previously released independently but rerecorded for their debut album, Sex Packets.” Later singles included “Same Song,” “Kiss You Back,” and “No Nose Job.” Shock G led Digital Underground until the band’s breakup in 2008.

Introducing 2Pac and other work

Tupac Shakur got his start as a guest rapper on Digital Underground’s “Same Song,” and Shock G, also a producer, went on to co-produce his debut album, “2Pacalypse Now.” He also produced Tupac Shakur’s 1993 breakthrough single, “I Get Around,” introducing the legendary rapper to a wide audience. Shock G also produced music for artists including Monie Love, KRS-One, and Bobby Brown. He released the 2004 solo album “Fear of a Mixed Planet.”

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Notable quote

“Most people have a checklist of what makes a good pop song: it has to be three minutes long, it must have a repeatable chorus and it must have a catchy hook. That’s what makes music stale. We say ‘Do what feels good.’ If you like it for three minutes, then you’ll love it for 30.” —from an interview for the New York Times

Tributes to Shock G

Full obituary: The New York Times

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