TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gregory “Shock G” Jacobs was found dead in a Tampa hotel room Thursday. Jacobs was also known as Humpty Hump.
Shock G, who blended whimsical wordplay with reverence for ’70s funk as leader of the off-kilter Bay Area hip-hop group Digital Underground.
“He’s one heck of a producer. The stuff he did with Prince and the stuff he did with PFunk and Digital Underground and bringing Tupac Shakur to the world,” Lane Strickland said.
Strickland met Jacobs back in the 80s during their run with George Clinton’s PFunk group.
“Didn’t know he was actually from Tampa and I had been here for 14 years and didn’t know that he was here. We were the same age with the same dreams same goals,” Strickland said,
Jacobs reportedly went to Chamberlain High School and Hillsborough Community College. That’s where he joined up with the late radio DJ Kenneth Walters also known as Kenny K, birthing the iconic group.
“Because of Kenny K’s influence, being the producer of Digital Underground of course, Shock G was apart of the WMNF family,” WMNF radio personality Tempest told News Channel 8
In the late 80s, Digital Underground took off with the Billboard Top 10 hit “Humpty Dance” in 1990, as Jacobs donned a Groucho Marx-style fake nose and glasses to become one of his many alter egos, Humpty Hump. He initially maintained the flamboyant Humpty was a separate person, doing in-character interviews and sometimes having his brother Kent Racker play the part.
“When he blew up, I knew it. I knew it would happen because he was just that good,” Strickland said.
Shock G’s contribution to Hip Hop has proven to stand the test of time, which is why the news of his passing Thursday evening was devastating to fans everywhere.
“He had so much talent. To lose him like we have, I think there was a lot more he had to give. So it’s such a loss to know that he’s gone,” Strickland said
“Too many greats are leaving us. And right now I think it’s very important that we honor them,” said Tempest. As of right now, 8 On Your Side does not know the cause of Jacob’s death.
Nzazi Malonga, a longtime friend who served as head of security and helped manage the group said Shock G gave away much of his wealth and worked on many unfinished side projects, struggling to find validation from those around him.