HKR: Shock G of Digital Underground Speaks About 2Pac, The Black Panthers & Politic Prisoners

It’s always a pleasure chopping it up w/ the very talented and engaging Shock G of Digital Underground. When it comes to music Shock is a quadruple threat.. He’s a dope emcee.. an incredible producer… He’s off the chain as a musician especially keyboards and when all is said an done he’s nice with the hands when it comes to drawing and painting..

We sat down with Shock the other day to talk about the upcoming 2Pac birthday celebration that Digital Underground will be headlining at Yoshi’s in San Francisco…They are teaming up with members of the original Black Panthers to also do fund raiser and raise awareness for political prisoners.

During our interview, Shock recounted how Digital started off being a Black Panther type group. They formed under the name Spice Regime with a game plan of focusing on Black social issues.. They even started to sport black berets similar to the Panthers.. As Shock noted, many other groups at that time were moving in a militant direction including a lil ole groupĀ  from Hempstead, New York called Public Enemy.

Not wanting to be like the crowd, Shock said they switched focus and started highlighting their love for funk. They patterned themselves after Parliament/Funkadelic and emphasized humor. Shock explained that the addition of 2Pac to their ever-expanding crew provided the militant social awareness aspect which rounded out the group.

Shock G and Tupac

Shock talked at length and in great detail about his friendship with 2Pac. He noted that he has long been misunderstood. Many think Tupac was a wild, ride or die thug, when in reality he was well read and very committed to the struggle, Shock explained.

He said Pac took on a thug persona as a way to better connect with those he felt weren’t being reached.Shock G recounted how Pac once observed how many of the people who came to see groups like Public Enemy or KRS-One tended to be socially conscious. He felt that there were young Black males on the block not connecting to the message. Hence Pac positioned himself to be more aligned with them. He stated that the folks he wanted to reach wouldn’t respond unless they knew you were going through similar challenges.

Shock also explained how Pac was getting ready to move to Atlanta prior to joining Digital Underground to head an organization of youth Panthers.

Please click the link below to hear our entire Hard Knock Radio interview w/ Shock G

Listen to our HKR Intv w/ Shock G

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for shining the light, as always, on hip-hop. I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted you but it’s a lot. I did my Masters degree on hip-hop and recently published the first of a series of fiction books set firmly in the hip-hop genre. I try to write in a way that is thought provoking because hip-hop can be such a socially conscious genre and I love that about it. But you’re right, a little thug persona, violence or bling can bring people into the fold and then really make them think. Can hip-hop still be hip-hop if it’s all that but not socially conscious? I don’t think so.

  2. The End says:

    Well I guess 2Pac found out through experience that all those “thugs” really DO belong in jail and pretending you can “reach them” with some subjective “movement” will only get you killed. 2Pacs dead now. It’s a lesson for us all.

  3. The End says:

    TuPacs own body guard says it’s more likely related to a fight TuPac started with a crip the evening he was shot. This is the kind of lifestyle TuPac lived. One of GARBAGE to be AVOIDED. But the truth is nobody (publicly) knows who killed 2Pac. As a journalist you should default to the facts. But you don’t. Keep living in a fantasy world Dave. It’s always entertaining to see you old rap guys perpetuate the same arrested development values to young kids that you’ve held on to all these years.

  4. Shock G is a true legend. Sex Packets, Sons of the P, Return Of The Crazy One and Future Rhythm still sound dope anytime I hear them. I think the Death Row lifestyle was directly responsible for Pac’s demise. RIP YBB…

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