Obituary: Digital Underground cofounder Shock G dead at 57

Humpty Hump, Shock G, Gregory Jacobs, Digital Underground

Shock G (née Gregory Jacobs) and Digital Underground performs at Newark Symphony Hall on April 10, 1990 in Newark, New Jersey. Photo: Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives.

Oakland hip-hop legend Greg Jacobs, known as Shock G, was found dead Thursday at the age of 57.

He was found dead in his hotel room in Tampa, Florida, his father told TMZ. A cause of death has not been announced.

With Digital Underground, he rapped not only as Shock G but as a variety of other characters, most notably Humpty Hump, but also MC Blowfish, Peanut Hakeem, ButtaFly and others, each with its own unique voice and flow.

Jacobs was born in Brooklyn but formed Digital Underground with Jimi “Chopmaster J” Dright and Kenneth “Kenny-K” Waters in 1987 after moving to Oakland. In an era when gangsta rap was becoming dominant, Jacobs took his group in the opposite direction with a joyful humor. They carried on the spirit of bands like Parliament and Sly and the Family Stone, both of which they sampled on their breakthrough hit, “The Humpty Dance,” leading to them being declared the “Sons of the P” by George Clinton, the father of P-funk.

Jacobs also had a hand in the career of Digital Underground’s most famous member, backup dancer Tupac Shakur. He produced “Words of Wisdom” and “Tha’ Lunatic” on Shakur’s debut album, 2Pacalypse Now, and appeared as a guest rapper on Shakur’s “Trapped” and “So Many Tears,” among others. Jacobs also produced for artists including Prince, KRS-One and Dr. Dre.

Jacobs’ fans, friends, and colleagues took to social media to mourn and celebrate his legacy upon hearing the news.

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