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SHOCK G, Jan. 9, 2002

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In the late '80s, some folks were getting gangsta in rhymes, some were getting metaphorical, some were even raiding your MTV, but then there were some who just wanted to get dirty and have a good time. Welcome to Digital Underground. The album that put D.U. on the map, Sex Packets was only the beginning of something big. With hit singles like the phenomenally successful "Humpty Dance," "Doowhutchyalike" and "Freaks Of The Industry," there is no denying their place in rap music's ever-growing lore. Throughout it all, one man has been ever-present, Shock G. WildNThaWest.com caught up with Shock as he was preparing his first solo joint.

In a recent interview you mentioned a Shock G solo album coming soon. Could you tell us a little about your plans for that project and when we can expect it?

"Summer."

Who ideally would you like to work with on the new album?

"First cats I'm getting to flow is the Outlaws. I also want Mos Def, Money B, Humpty and D12, Eminem's n-----. I also want my girl Mystic, Redman, Del and maybe a George Clinton or Herbie Hancock-type "father figure" to baptize it. You know, all the psychedelic cats. "

What's your relationship with the ex-members of D.U. like now?

"You mean original or existing members? Ex-members is a little weird cause we never broke up. We just chill doing our own things until it's time to link up again, either on stage or in the studio. We come whenever another Digi calls. Humpty just hosted "Sex & the Studio" for Clee and Money B's directing debut, a mini adult film/music-video type. We -- myself, Clee, Money B, Esinchill, Metaphysical, Dialect, Hotsteez, Limo-Luciino, Caz-T, Atron, and Schmoovy-Schmoove -- also all just saw each other this past weekend. We did New Year's together and performed at the Players Ball with Too Short and Slick Rick in Vegas last night at the C2K Club in the Venetian hotel. Sick-ass show, too. Ridiculous. No, risickulous!" [Editors Note: "Packet-Man", "Freaks of the Industry" and "I Got 5 On It" were among the highlights.]

Do you think we can ever expect another Digital Underground group release?

"Ever. That's a powerful, lasting word."

Do you have any other projects up your sleeve or in the making. A lot of artists in rap today, such as Xzibit, Kurupt, the Outlawz and 2Pac [through MTV and Amaru] are jumping on the DVD documentary bandwagon. Would you ever consider producing a D.U./Shock G DVD/VHS perhaps with tour footage, interviews, etc.?

"We already offer tour footage, interviews, MP3s, etc., at ShockG.com. The only difference is that ours is free. ShockG.com is a 100 percent free site, with all kinds of fun, free, and funny sh--, all just for the heads' enjoyment. Lots of sexy breezies, too! We suggest broadband cable or DSL speed connections to truly enjoy our site the way we meant it."

You did a fantastic remix of 2Pac's "Po N---- Blues (Cuz I Had 2)" which has appeared on several bootlegs. When did you do the remix? Have you ever been approached about its official release?

"Hot right?! You peeped the chords and keyboard stuff on that one? Man! Me and Knum [of the Luniz] did that in '97 I think it was. He helped with the drums and arrangement. Knum wrote and sung the choruses, too. We did that one for Pac's mom Afeni and Amaru Entertainment along with a couple other remixes including a savage one called "Resist the Temptation," but before she and Interscope could get it out legitimately, it got bootlegged all over those later Makaveli series."

Did you ever get word on how that song and the hundred-plus other 2Pac tracks were leaked onto bootlegs?

"Way over my head, outta my reach and beyond my understanding. The way Pac's sh-- be getting bootlegged makes my head spin. I'm just a music-lover, an emcee and a pianist. Once I turn in my DATs and final mixes, I'm out of it. I don't know how that sh-- gets out so fast. It is, however, a huge compliment and validation of the demand for Pac's creativity and artistry. No amount of promotional money or publicity budget could create that for a Lenny Kravitz or a DMX. "

In 1995, Stretch was murdered. I understand you and him were close to Pac and the whole 2Pacalypse Now team. Could you tell us what he was like, and what you and Pac's relationship with him was like?

"Pac and I both have roots in NYC. I met Stretch in 1990 at my cousin Shah's house in Queens, where Stretch and his crazy-live-reckless-bling-bling-hit-man brother "Maj" [short for Magic] used to stop by to do music. They were dope-game thugs trying to make the switch to music before the game got 'em. Their group "Live Squad" were label mates with us on Tommy Boy/Warner Bros., and Stretch and I particularly hit it off. We had access to each other's 'fold-buttons.'

"I mean our senses of humor were similar and we could fold each other to the ground, or easily make the other run out the room laughing hysterically like nobody else could. We got close quick and by the next summer [1991], Stretch came out to Cali and stayed at my place. He was amazed at how much clout D.U. had in the Bay Area, from clubs, police officers, etc., and was in town when "Kiss You Back" came out in October '91. One time after a bike cop let us go free in exchange for an autograph, "Kiss You Back," "Brenda's Got a Baby," "Same Song," and "The Humpty Dance" all came on 106.1 [KMEL] within the same hour and Stretch yelled out, "Damn, it's Shocktober around this motherf-----!

"It was during this visit that he met 2Pac, the young, eager new emcee in the camp. I was like 27 or so but Stretch was the same age as Pac, so while I would be sorting out business and doing 'older' type sh-- around the crib and office, Stretch would borrow my crispy-new 4Runner and go pick up Pac and run the streets. Stretch and I had a rare, close connection but even moreso, him and Pac hit it off. It was like no male relationship I'd ever seen, straight up love at damn near first sight. They loved each other like two inseparable foster brothers in a juvenile halfway house. I don't think they spent more than a few minutes apart from the point they met, up until Pac got shot the first time in New York years later.

"And after him and Pac linked up I really didn't get to see Stretch as much unless It was in the studio or at Pac's first apartment by the lake in Oakland. Stretch basically moved in with Pac, and when they would be 'feuding' they had this thing they'd do where they'd both stand in the middle of the room with their arms locked and repeatedly kick each other in the ass untill one tired out. Big, real, hard, boot-kicks too. It looked krazy yo, like two bulls doing some courtship ritual. Each has a blunt or a 40 in their one free hand, gold chains swinging and whipping around, heavy Karl Kani leather fits flapping and stretching, huge Lugz and Timbs swinging and slamming against each other's legs and sh--, struggling to get clean ass-shots. Sometimes it went on for 20 minutes straight until they both collapsed on top of each other gasping for breath. Then they'd go get some hot wings.

"But that's the type of friendship and closeness we're talking about here. And Stretch tightened Pac up. He polished that n---- when it came to fashion and East Coast street slang. He used to say to Pac, 'Yo god, what the f--- is that corn-ball sh-- you got on?! What is that, some Cali sh-- n----? Come on n----, let's go to the mall. I'm taking you shopping.' and Pac would come back with, "Aw shut the f--- up 'Blackie,' you lucky we can even see your black ass!'

"But Stretch was a fly-ass n----. Stretch didn't carry 38s and 22s, Stretch carried plastic infra-red custom glock 9s and semi-auto mac-12 uzis. His walk, his fits, his haircut, his guns and his speech was always some new sh--, and he began to influence Pac, which in hindsight turned out to be an important phase in 2Pac's grooming. The way I miss these two people is the way a kid misses summer vacation when September sets in."

-- WildNThaWest.com


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