As one of the founders of the innovative rap group the Digital Underground, which formed in Oakland, California, in the late 1980s, Shock G rose to prominence as its enthusiastic and charismatic lead vocalist.
The band had such early-90s hits as “The Humpty Dance,” “Doowutchyalike” and “Kiss You Back.” Shock G was known for performing in different personas, most notably the character of Humpty Hump, in which he performed the trademark “Humpty Dance.”
Humpty Hump had an exaggerated buffoon personality, colorful clothes and a Groucho Marx-style glasses-and-nose disguise.
The Digital Underground was also responsible for discovering the late rapper Tupac Shakur. Shakur’s music debut for a major label was as a featured guest on “Same Song,” a song where Shock G performs in both his regular and Humpty Hump personas.
“Same Song” was included in the soundtrack for the 1991 comedy film “Nothing But Trouble,” wherein both Shock G and Shakur performed the song for Judge Valkenheiser, played by Dan Aykroyd, alongside the rest of the band.
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. pic.twitter.com/skrOoM1Rsv— Ice Cube (@icecube) April 23, 2021
Reacting to the news of Shock G’s passing on Twitter, rapper Ice Cube 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.”
Actresses Viola Davis and Leslie Jones were quick to pay homage to the late performer on Twitter as well.
RIP Shock G. Thanks for the joy you gave me. Rest well 🙏🏿💛 pic.twitter.com/U9DedgoEcz— Viola Davis (@violadavis) April 23, 2021
Damn another gone!! 57 is not old damnit!! We was just dancing to his song!! RIP SHOCK G!! pic.twitter.com/oFcCt0Fn8c— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) April 23, 2021
Other fans and celebrities took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late trailblazer.
NEW: #ShockG has died (per #DigitalUnderground co-founder #ChopmasterJ). ShockG was instrumental in #Oakland rap scene helping launch #2Pac into stardom. #humptyhump #samesong #RIP pic.twitter.com/CSfwNgJ5EO— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) April 23, 2021
Shock G is just the latest prominent rapper to unexpectedly pass away, as Fat Boys member Prince Markie Dee died in February, and the rapper DMX also died suddenly just this month.