Culture

Shock G, Digital Underground Rapper and Producer, Dies at 57

Shock G was renowned for his lyrical talent, but also for fusing jazz, funk, soul, and hip-hop. He was the frontman of the group Digital Underground founded in the ’80s.

Another titan of the music industry has died. Shock G of Digital Underground has passed at the age of 57.

Late Thursday night, multiple outlets reported the death of the rapper. As of last night, no cause of death has been reported. His death was confirmed by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, per the New York Times

Digital Underground co-founder Chopmaster J shared the news in an Instagram post. 

“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!!!”

Following a move to the Bay Area in the ‘80s, Shock G and Chopmaster J created Digital Underground with Kenny-K. What followed was their debut album Sex Packets in 1990, it sold a million copies and featured the beloved single “The Humpty Dance.” Released in the summer of 1989, “The Humpty Dance” went on to become their most successful record. Five more albums followed over the course of 18 years, their last would be Cuz a D.U. Party Don’t Stop! (2008).


Shock G was renowned for the vibrant looks he wore in music videos which matched his energetic personality. He was also regarded for producing for the following acts: Dr. Dre, KRS One, Bobby Brown and Tupac. Digital Underground introduced the music industry to 2Pac, his “first vocal appearance” on a song was the group’s hit “Same Song.” By 1993 the Harlem-bred rapper was a standout in the rap industry, but this was after he was hired to be a part of Digital Underground’s road crew. 

Following his solo debut 2Pacalypse Now which sold half a million copies Tupac released the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.I Get Around” a single off it featured Shock G and Money B who lended their infectious rap style which assisted with making the song a smash hit. 

Photo Credit: Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives for Getty Images

Originally born in Brooklyn, Gregory Edward Jacobs’ musical inclinations stemmed directly from moving across the country with his mother who was a television producer and his father who was an executive in computer management. Following their divorce, he traveled quite a bit. In a previous interview with the New York Times he shared, “I spent my biggest chunk of time in Tampa but I also lived in New York, Philly and California… I have always been into music and played in bands starting when I was 10 or 11.”

The rapper-producer left an indelible mark not just on rap, but also funk and jazz. He injected his passions and unique sound with each record he contributed to. Shock G is survived by his father Edward Racker.

Below are a few tributes.

Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a Staff Writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind on Twitter at @robyn_mowatt.

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