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 group 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 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