Happy Birthday Gregory Edward Jacobs
Gregory Edward Jacobs (August 25, 1963 – April 22, 2021), known professionally as Shock G and by his alter ego Humpty Hump, was an American rapper and musician who was best known as the lead vocalist of the hip hop group Digital Underground. He was 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.
Gregory Edward Jacobs was born on August 25, 1963 in New York City. He spent most of his childhood moving around the East Coast with his family, eventually settling in Tampa, Florida. As a drummer he won the 1978 “Most Talented” trophy at Greco Junior High School, but after relocating to Queens, New York (as a result of his parents’ divorce), he traded his drums in for a set of turntables upon discovering and marvelling over hip hop while the art form was still in an underground developmental stage. He was mentored in the craft by his cousin Rene Negron (a.k.a. DJ-Stretch), and their close friend Shawn Trone (a.k.a. MC Shah-T of the parody-rap group No Face) who suggested Greg use the name “Shah-G” . Jacobs liked the idea, but mistakenly thought his friend said “Shock-G”, and began using that name instead.
Television and film work
Shock G’s TV appearances include Showtime at the Apollo in 1992, several The Arsenio Hall Show performances between 1990 and 1994, and several live MTV performances, including MTV Spring Break 1990 in Daytona Beach, Yo MTV Raps (performing live with Ed Lover and Doctor Dré ) in 1991, Club MTV Live (with Downtown Julie Brown) in 1992, and MTV Jams in 1994. Most of these include music performances with either Digital Underground or 2Pac; however, on an episode of the 1991 sitcom Drexell’s Class, Jacobs played a small acting role as a furnace repairman. Within the show’s story, the title character, Otis Drexell, insists that the furnace repairman looks exactly like Humpty Hump, but neither he nor his coworker (Jason Priestley) have heard of any such hip-hop artist, especially not one with such a ridiculous name. The episode ends with a live performance of Digital Underground’s “No Nose Job” on a cruise ship full of Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, which is presented as a scene from one of Mr. Drexell’s dreams.
With his Digital Underground band members, Jacobs appeared in the Dan Aykroyd-directed comedy film Nothing but Trouble (1991) appearing as both Shock G and Humpty Hump. The group (including Tupac Shakur) makes a cameo music performance, as well as play a small character role in the film as themselves. Since then, Jacobs has appeared in a handful of music documentaries, including Thug Angel: Life of an Outlaw (2000) about Tupac Shakur, and Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove (1996) about George Clinton & P-Funk, both of which received heavy TV rotation, and both of which rely heavily on Jacobs’ commentary.
On June 24, 2011, Shock G was featured on an episode of the podcast “You Had To Be There” with comedians Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer.