April 23, 2021

Rest In Peace, Shock G!

The 27-year old Humpty started his semi-legendary musical voyage a full 180 degrees from his current style. Then known as "Smooth Eddie Humphrey," he specialized in packing lovestruck ladies into nightclubs around his Tampa, Florida home with his suave ballads and charismatic performance. Things were set to blow up for Eddie, who had placed in the finals of a talent search that promised a recording contract to the winner, but just days before his big night, fate dealt him a hand that would force most folks to fold. On September 15, 1987, Eddie was pulling a night shift at the diner where he worked part-time. Suddenly, there was an explosion, and before he could move out of the way, he was struck full-force in the head by a water main-which drove his face into the kitchen's deep fryer. While just a few seconds elapsed before coworkers freed him, Eddie suffered first-degree burns to his nose, requiring thousands of dollars worth of reconstructive surgery. Even more hurtful to the young singer was the damage done to his throat. Gone was the Smokey Robinson-esque tenor, replaced by the distinctive nasal twang he deploys today. Cont'd below...

It wasn't easy for him, but Humphrey overcame the odds (and a period of depression) and turned from singing to rapping. In order to cover his damaged nose, he donned the mask that's since become his trademark. Inviting audiences to poke fun at his appearance was all the therapy he needed. Humpty-Hump was born, and before long Shock G (a frequent visitor to Humpty's South Florida turf) caught wind of this fresh new act and recruited him for Digital Underground. While "The Humpty Dance" (born, to hear Hump tell it, when the big earthquake hit their Bay Area studio in mid-rehearsal) was Humpty's largest moment, he's been lurking around all the Digital Underground releases, mostly going with a comical flow, but mostly on Sons of the P - giving a glimpse of what lurks behind the nose. "He went on this bad-boy tangent, doin' all sorts of crazy shit," recalls Shock G. "That's why he did that song "Good Thing We're Rappin" (off Sons of the P). He thought he had a lot of people's attention and he wanted to make some statements. That's when he came out with "No Nose Job," which was all about inner beauty and love of self. Now that he knows he's gonna be around for another album, he can relax and continue to do his thing." - "The Humpty Hump Story".  

The news of the passing of Shock G is tragic and I'd like to send my condolences to Money B; his friends, family and all the fans across the world. According to TMZ, "The rap legend was found dead Thursday in a hotel room in Tampa ... according to his father, Edward Racker." This has been another sad and tragic year ... so, honestly, I'm at a loss for words to continue to pay tribute and honor all the legends we've lost and continue to lose. Like many of you, I grew up on this music and when you truly dig through Shock G's production catalog, too ... I guarantee you'll be surprised at how many great records he'd touched in the course of his career. May he Rest in Eternal Peace! R.I.P. Shock G aka Humpty Hump aka MC Blowfish aka Piano Man aka Rackadelic aka Gregory Racker aka Icey Mike aka Peanut Hakeem and other aliases, known and unknown. Shock G was only 57 years young!