Gregory Jacobs, known professionally as Shock G (and his alter ego Humpty Hump), is an American musician, rapper, and lead vocalist for the hip hop group Digital Underground. He is responsible for Digital Underground’s “The Humpty Dance”, 2Pac’s breakthrough single “I Get Around”, and co-producer of 2Pac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now.
Soon after relocating to Oakland, California, Shock G formed Digital Underground along with Chopmaster J, and the late Kenneth Waters (a.k.a. Kenny-K). After around fifteen months of unsuccessful negotiations with various small record companies, in 1988 the trio finally released a 12-inch single on Macola Records. It featured “Your Life’s a Cartoon” as the A-side and “Underwater Rimes” as the B-side. Both songs were penned, produced, and performed by Jacobs, who also sketched the cartoonish cover illustrations. The record included the logo for Digital Underground’s startup label, TNT, as well as Macola’s logo. TNT was also founded by Tupac Shakur’s management CEO Atron Gregory. In 1989, the group signed with Tommy Boy Records and released “Doowutchyalike”, receiving minimal radio airplay but became an underground hit. Its video was more successful, reaching number 40 on the MTV’s top 100 videos of the year. “Doowutchyalike” paved the way for Digital Underground’s debut album Sex Packets and the highest charting song of their career “The Humpty Dance” both released in early 1990, and both achieving platinum sales certifications by the RIAA. The latter was rapped by “Humpty Hump,” the most flamboyant of Shock G’s several alter egos. By that time, Digital Underground had expanded significantly, with DJ Fuze, Money-B, and Schmoovy-Schmoov joining the group, and with Ramone “Pee Wee” Gooden and Tupac Shakur joining by 1991.
Throughout Shock G’s rapping career, he created several aliases, resulting in characters that were maintained with such reality, they were believed to be separate people by some music fans, even a few industry insiders.
As “Rackadelic” he illustrated album covers and provided art direction; as the “Piano Man” he contributed keyboard tracks and music production. His main persona “Shock G” utilized a more natural voice, while he altered his voice to become “Humpty Hump,” an iconic character with an exaggerated buffoon persona, colorful clothes, and a Groucho glasses-and-nose disguise. He used a nasal voice for the character Humpty. At most public appearances, Jacobs would show up as one person or the other, but at live shows and video shoots he would use a stand-in or camera tricks to maintain the illusion. A fictional biography was constructed for Humpty, the story being that Edward Ellington Humphrey III, former lead singer of “Smooth Eddie and the Humpers,” had become a rapper after burning his nose in a kitchen accident with a deep-fryer. Jacobs also sometimes performs as other characters including MC Blowfish, Icey-Michael Boston, The Computer Woman, ButtaFly, and Peanut Hakeem.
In addition to his work with Digital Underground, Shock G has found moderate success as a solo artist and music producer. In 1993, Shock G produced Tupac Shakur’s breakthrough platinum single “I Get Around” as well as guest starred on the single and music video, and went on to produce Tupac’s “So Many Tears” from his multi-platinum 1995 album Me Against the World. Tupac’s first published work was while still a member of Digital Underground when he appeared on the 1991 song and video “Same Song”, which also appeared in the Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Demi Moore film Nothing but Trouble. Shock co-produced Tupac’s debut album 2Pacalypse Now. Shock G appeared as a producer and guest artist on fellow Oakland-based rap group The Luniz platinum debut release Operation Stackola in 1995, also appearing as a guest emcee in the “I Got 5 on It” Bay Ballers Remix and video.
In 1996 the Wayans brothers’ film Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood featured the Shock-G song “We Got More”. The song, which featured Oakland rappers Luniz was used for three different scenes in the film, and is featured in two different places on the soundtrack, making it the only song to appear twice on one soundtrack. In 1998, Prince included the Shock G produced “Love Sign” on his triple-CD Crystal Ball album. Shock G has toured and performed on stage with George Clinton and P-Funk including a guest performance with Clinton at Woodstock 1999.
In 2003, Shock G produced the single “Risky Business” for Los Angeles underground artist Murs, and also appeared in the video, as himself and as Humpty Hump. Murs performed this song live with Shock G at the Paid Dues festival, and also featured him as his stage DJ/music conductor on a 2-month extensive Definitive Jux label U.S. and Canada tour. On January 20, 2009, Shock G’s single “Cherry Flava’d Email” was renamed and released as a special edition called “Cherry Flava’d Election” to commemorate the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Shock G has worked, and finished a voice over for his character in the 2017 Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me.