TAMPA, FL (CelebrityAccess) — Gregory Edward Jacobs, a rapper and producer and member of the hip hop collective Digital Underground, who was known professionally as Shock G, has died. He was 57.
According to CNN, Jacobs died on Thursday at a hotel in Tampa. The Hillsborough Medical Examiner confirmed to CNN that Jacobs had passed. The Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office declined to comment to CNN on the circumstances of Jacob’s death but said they are investigating if there was foul play involved.
A statement on social media from fellow Digital Underground member Chopmaster J. said: “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[ed] from the fame long live shock G Aka Humpty Hump and Rest In Peace my Brotha Greg Jacobs!!!”
A native of New York who relocated to Tampa, Jacobs began DJing when he was still a teenager and decided to pursue a career in music. He studied music theory and piano at Hillsborough Community College, where he met future digital underground member Kenneth “Kenny K” Waters.
The two began performing together under the name Chill Factor, and with an expanded lineup that included MC Skoobie-D, and the MD Dazzlin Doc-P as the Four Horsemen.
After relocating to Oakland, Shock G formed Digital Underground along with Chopmaster J and Kenny K and the group released their first EP “Your Life’s a Cartoon” via Macola Records in 1988.
The following year, Digital Underground signed with Tommy Boy Records and released the single “Doowutchyalike” which, while not finding success on the charts, became an underground hit.
Digital Underground’s breakout came with the release of their debut album Sex Packets in 1990, which included “The Humpty Dance” featuring Jacobs’ alter ego Humpty Hump, one of several he employed during his career as an artist.
In addition to his work with Digital Underground, Shock G recorded as a solo artist and worked as a record producer as well with credits that include co-production on Tupac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now.
As well, Jacobs toured and performed with George Clinton and P-Funk including a guest performance at the notorious Woodstock 99 festival.
As news of his death broke, multiple artists took to social media to pay their respects, including Ice Cube, who wrote:
“RIP Shock-G/Humpty Hump. I remember when NWA’s road manager Atron said he had a group called Digital Underground. He played DOWHATCHALIKE video & I went crazy. I had to sample DU on JACKIN FOR BEATS and WHO’S THE MACK. And nobody had a better stage show. A true Bay Area original.”
“What a tough loss at such a precarious time,” tweeted Public Enemy’s Chuck D. “Brilliant beyond… such a beautiful free mind, Brother. #RestinBeats my man.”