August 25, 2021

Shock G "The Humpty Hump Story" (Press Kit, 1990)

Born on May 25, 1966 in Tampa, Florida to parents Wilfred and Emma May Humphrey, Humpty-Hump has since then risen to become a well-respected writer, musician and hip-hop MC, who now stands side by side with Shock G, MC Blowfish and Money-B as a front man in the popular rap group Digital Underground. Humpty, (whose given name is Edward Ellington Humphrey) is best known for his silly, free-spirited, extremely flamboyant and almost delirious behavior both in the studio and on stage. Perhaps his unique style and unusual behavior stems from a combination of past experiences which include door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, grand theft auto, traveling the US as a con-man, and a two year stint running a prostitution ring. However, most of these fast lane activities ended by the time he reached twenty-two-years of age, when he decided to use his glowing charisma and poetic gift of gab to break into the music business as a solo R&B singer and writer. Under the name of "Smooth Eddie Humphrey," he began to make waves around the Tampa Bay Area appearing in nightclubs and talent shows; he once placed in the finals of a national talent search.... It was September 15, 1987, just three days before the big final competition that Eddie suffered a terrible accident. While working in the kitchen at the small diner where he worked part-time, an overhead mainline water pipe burst, striking him on the back of his neck. With 80 lbs of pressure driving his face into a simmering grease bin used for deep frying, he was pinned down in hot grease for almost 30 secs while co-workers fought to lift the heavy pipe from behind his neck. This tragedy forced him to miss the singing competition, as he suffered 1st degree burns to his nose and severe damage to his throat. The rim of the grease bin had crushed the voice box in his throat and changed his voice drastically. Once known for a smooth, raspy, Smokey Robinson-like singing voice, Eddie now found himself with a harsh, nasal, monotone and was unable to achieve his past vocal abilities.

Devastated by this experience, Eddie Humphrey fell into a six month period of heavy drinking and depression, until one day a close friend talked him into entering another talent competition, insisting that no one could ever match Humphrey's style on stage. So Eddie, revitalized by his friend's spirit, became even more determined to make it in the entertainment business. He decided to enter the competition, but rather than sing, he would now rap. He would wear a mask to hide the hideous remains of his nose, and rather than sulk and complain of his misfortune, he decided to use his nose as a conversation piece, openly teasing and inviting others join in laughter about his new look. A very courageous and genuine approach. It was at this show that he met Gregory E. Jacobs, known best as "Shock-G," founder and leader of Digital Underground. Shock-G, who was in Tampa visiting family, had read Humphrey's story in the local paper. Amazed at what he had read, Shock-G attended the show anxious to see this Humpty character. Well, as you may have guessed, Shock-G was so impressed at what he saw and heard that he invited Humpty to join his next studio session. The rest is Digital Underground history. In the words of Shock-G, "Edward E. Humphrey is a person who refused to give in. He is a person who now shines as a role model and example to all that, regardless of the magnitude of a person's misfortune, the chance for success and happiness remains." - The Humpty Hump Story, 1990. Rest in Peace, Gregory Edward Jacobs B.K.A. Shock G!