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Interviews An Interview With Shock G
An Interview With Shock G PDF Print E-mail
Written by Westside ID196   
Wednesday, 13 October 2004 10:23

Shock G is a legend; not only in rap and hip-hop, but his talents as a
producer, musician, and a cartoonist are also part of this complex man.

Shock G dropped his first independent album ''Fear of a Mixed Planet''

A widely anticipated album ''Fear of a Mixed Planet'' has lived up to all the

Shock G is best known I guess for his fore front position with Digital
Underground and being one of the people who helped bring Tupac Shakur up and
get him in the ''game.

Shock has worked with almost everybody, from Richie Rich to George Clinton
to Prince.

His wide range of talent is present and in very good form on ''Fear Of A
Mixed Planet''. Even the album insert art is great.

This is an all around great job and one I am sure Shock is proud of.

Pick it up and see what I''m talking about. You won''t be disappointed.

Also visit www.ShockG.com to keep up on Shock. Check his site. It is 100%
free and has many mp3 and other great stuff on it.

I had an opportunity to ask Shock G a few questions . I''d like to thank him
for his time and Betsy Bolte Public Relations for hooking it all up. Thanks also to 33rd Street records.

Robert - Thanks for taking time for us, we appreciate it.

Shock G - Likewise, thanks for the opportunity to speak to the world.
Website interviews mean a kid in Ethiopia could be reading this. That's big!

Robert - This album has been along time in coming. Are you relieved that it
is finally out?

Shock G - True. Finally a chance to speak my heart & mind as greg jacobs,
instead of only what I think "Humpty", "ShockG", or "Piano-Man" should say.
They are more-less characters, personalities that I write for, ya feel me?
I''m not as smooth as "ShockG", or as wild as "Humpty". They were just
rappers that I myself wanted to see, emcees that I thought would be cool, so
I portrayed them myself, to entertain myself as well as the masses. My
regular personality, greg jacobs, is more personal & shy and needs way less
attention then "they" do.
       On the album "Fear of a Mixed Planet" Shockg is named as the artist,
but I''m actually just being my regular self "Greg" on alot of the songs.

Robert - With the first track I knew that this was a different, ''real''
album. You threw Tupac out in a way that many don''t comprehend these days.
Thanks for that.

Shock G - Those who knew him behind the scenes saw a person who was always
reading, studying, organizing, and plotting his next move, instead of only
the wild person who we all saw publicly. Had we not pulled him on tour in
1990, he had plans to accept a seat as a chairman within a campus struggle
organization that had invited him to Atlanta. Go here for my full story on
that, select "Shakur Legacy".

Robert - Really this is a journey, not listening to a cd. I really never
heard anything like this. Is that what you were trying to get across with
this project? Trying to grab people's minds instead of just beats and floss?

Shock G - Quiet as it's kept, that's what I tried to do with every CD I ever
worked on but I guess this one just came through more than the others.

Robert - There are many of Digital Undergrounds crew on this album, but it
seems the ''direction'' is different than the Digital Underground norm. How is
the feedback on the album been?

Shock G - So far, every single company that hears it wants to distribute it
or get involved in some way. Our agent, Bobby Bessone outta nashville, said
I should''ve waited and heard what Sony & Universal had to say, but we''re
happy with the independant decision that we made, 33rd Street Records. They
understand the positive, alternative, enlighted path & message we''re trying
to spread. A broader scope than lyrically limiting yourself to just guns,
diamonds & slick street slang only. I see too many shorties immitating us
and getting caught up in the pen before they really knew what they were
clakkin about, and then waking up to reality at 27 with 4 more years to go
and their futures all fucked up.

Robert - It has been said that you saw this album as a project for total
creative freedom. Is that something that wasn''t present on the Digital
Underground albums?

Shock G - digital underground had an invisible fence at the borders of "what
people expect from us" and "what we''re known for" that subliminally kept us
all from accepting anything outside that fence. Yes, on this album I made a
run for it and successfully scaled that fence without getting popped by any
of the guards.
But it wasn''t easy.

Robert - How is it different on a solo album for you, being as it all rests
on your shoulders, instead of a ''group'' effort?

Shock G - It actually felt the opposite of what you just said. At the
digital underground sessions, the weight of everyone involved & represented
by the group was on my shoulders. "Naw we shouldn''t say that shock", or "you
sure you wanna put that on the album? ..I thought d.u. was known for this,
people want this from us."
..and so forth.
       But on this solo joint, I only answered to the Great One Spirit or
the Higher Consciousness of the Universe (god or whatever you believe in)
morally and for final editing and so forth; rather than remain prisoner to
music industry codes, d.u. standards, and mere human laws & morals. I had to
face my own conscience instead of the consciences of the entire group for a
change, which I believe allowed more infinite focus and less getting stuck
with narrow short-visioned human trends, laws, or society induced

Robert - "Holmedown Up," (which features Yukmouth, Java & 5th Element,and
Clev MC). That beat is tight as hell. Is that one of your beats?

Shock G - Yes. An alternative version of that same beat exists on Cypha 7s
"Give it Here".
       Cypha 7 is a group from LA featuring Akim & Shaheed who I met up at
Project Blow last year. They opened up for Aceyalone & Abstract Rude one
night and blew the roof off dat bitch. I been workin wit them cats ever
since, and they blessed the stage wit us at our last sold out performance at
Johnny Depps Viper Room on sunset blvd in West Hollywood last July. It was
advertised as "ShockG with special guests" and it sold out the week it went
in the paper, a month before the show. Needless to say, I was both suprized
and proud of that. And thanx Cypha 7, yall ripped it up that night. They
busted some of their original material while I held them down on live keys &
drum machine.

Robert - Who is responsible for all the beats on this album, are they mostly

Shock - I did "Keep it Beautiful", "Cinnamon Waves", and "Holmedown Up" but
"Cherry Flava''d Email", my favorite beat on the album was done by Marc
Rosenberg a Jewish dude and cousin of Leila Stienberg who really discovered
Tupac and who produced the "Thug Angel/Life of an Outlaw" DVD. Cherry
Flava''d Email is so heated it's hard to let our socially trained & racially
brainwashed minds believe that a jewish cat produced it!
       "My Opinion" was produced by my former piano student Chris Clay who
studied piano under me in the mid-nineties when he was a teenager. He also
studied jazz piano under Randy Myers in Oakland, which can also be heard in
his style.

Robert - The track ''My Opinion'' with Numskull of the Luniz is surely to
cause a lot of controversy. There seems to be a mix of ''fun'' tracks and some
rather serious ones. What would you say the over all message of the album

Shock G - Think before you act. Remember that music can be all-over the
place, style-wise as well as topically. Don''t get stuck doin the same style
& subjects as everyone else, make it interesting. The world is yours to pull
from, so why limit your focus? I try to apply this to life as well.

Robert - You have a lot of great people on the album. Is there anyone ya
wanted but just couldn''t get together with in time?

Shock G - Yeah, I wish Fionna Apple coulda'' dropped some piano (live or
programmed) on it somewhere. And I really wanted the Horny Horns (Fred Wesly
& Maceo Parker) on some stuff but oh well, at least we found Walter Davis,
he's brilliant as well. Couldn''t find D''Angelo to sing some stuff so we used
a D''Angelo sound-alike in a coupla'' places (hee hee). But we did find Q-Bert
and OH MY GOD did he bless Cinnamon Waves with his magical scratches.

Robert - The sound of the album is really a combination of all genres rolled
neatly into one. How would you classify the sound? Can you put it in a

Shock G - Hmm, I don''t know "Trippier Hop"?   "Dumb & Bass"? Ha ha.
or how bout.. "Gumbo-Hop" or just "Gumbop" (like gumbo, we threw it all in
It's the new & shockadelically improved Caramel Milk Shocklet SHOCKWAVES!!
And fo da'' hoes.. the new Protien Shocklet Squirtshake!!  AHH HA HA HA!!

I don''t know, it's just music.
(..or moo-sick, depending on who ya ask!)

Robert - Are there going to be any singles released from the album?

Shock G - I think "Let's Go" has been selected to be first.

Robert - Can we expect any video's to be made off any of the tracks?

Shock G - Yes, each single and then some. I heard cats been doin DVDs wit
vidys to every song on the album. I would like ta try something like that,
or at least offer alittle more than just vidys for television. Any directors
out there that are diggin the album and have a treatment in mind please hit
us up. Bring your reel (or whatever you got) to the next show and you can
find us by checking the "What's Up" page @shockg.com".
"Let's Go" we''re ready.

Robert - I know the art work is as amazing as the album. The insert is
really a good job. I totally got into it. Who all helped hook that up?

Shock G - My friend Shawn @deja vu design helped me with the format &
layout, and I guess I drew the little cartoons n stuff. It's stuff that I
been doodlin on planes & in airports over the last coupla years and then
took it, cleaned it up and used it for the CD. The "G-3000 Sound & Image
Creator" was created on a flight home from Spring Break in Corpus Cristi
Texas with digital underground & Element.  Looking down out the window of
the plane I saw so much traffic, smoke, farming, industrialization, and
suburban sprawl connecting every city together I remember thinking "damn,
we''re running out of earth!", and I sketched my dream instrument "the
G-3000" so I could re-design the world a better place with room for

Robert - Besides the album you have been doing a lot of shows and dropping a
few tracks over at Mob Life Records. You did ''Hurry Up Run'' for their ''On
The Grind'' Mix tape. Do you plan or have you did any other drops with them?

Shock G - I last saw Eli of Moblife at a 2Pac birthday/Mutulu Shakur benefit
concert in Manhatten that was put on by Mopreme Shakur & inwhich we
performed with Dead Prez and some of Thug Life. He gave me that mix CD and
told me he wants to get me on the next one Jah willing.
So we''ll see, I hope so.

Robert - Are you going to be on Mopreme Shakur's upcoming album over there?

Shock G - I hope so. Mo's been doing shows with me & Slapbak, the eightpiece
live-band I''ve been collaborating with this year for the live shows. If he
needs me, I''m there. And thanx fo'' pullin me in to the Wakeup Show in LA
that day Mo!

Robert - How did you get all these dudes to commit to the album? Did ya just
put a call out or did a lot of them shout out that they wanted to do it?

Shock G - A little of both. And I got all the writers info divied-up & filed
with our accountants, so everyone who contributed let's keep our fingers
crossed for good sales and usages; there will be checks for everyone.

Robert - Do you find that dropping collaborations is easier for you , with
your show schedule than doing full blown album projects?

Shock - Yes, and thanx for asking that, you just helped me understand it. To
stay home and put everything else on hold while focusing on one album
requires not just a budget but a budget that can keep us all afloat during
the process. Otherwise I gotta continue to squeeze in a song here, a song
there, while we keep our large network of artists & entertainers afloat.
That's why it took over 3 years for me to write, record, mix, and package my
own solo album, because it was subject to the same process.

Robert - When will we see ''Lost Files'' available again?

Shock G - Lost Files can be downloaded for free right now from the MP3 page
@shockg.com. We don''t charge for that one cause it's mostly just out-takes &
experiments that didn''t make the albums.

Robert - The new Digital album I have been told will be '' D-Flow Project''.
When is it expected to drop?

Shock G - We switched the artist name from "D-Flow Project" to simply
"ShockG" but it still features most of the crew and will hit stores
nationwide October 12th as "Fear of a Mixed Planet". Another ''D-Flow'' album
is the soundtrack to "Sex and the Studio/Volume 2" which will hit stores by

Robert - With the heavy show schedule you have, how do you find time for all
the rest? I mean this album is not just a fast drop, you can tell that by
just one listen.

Shock G - I''d been writing this album in my spare time since may 2000, the
year & month I walked away from ecstacy. I had a bad drug scare that year
and documented it in the song "Baby You Okay?".  It was the first lyric
written towards this album. But I didn''t began actually recording the album
''till fall 2002 and didn''t finally call it finished till this last spring,
when I began getting the art ready during the Def Jux tour. (..inbetween
digital tours I went out with Murs as his music conductor from march to may
2004, states & canada.)
       So as you see, there wasn''t much rest, BUT I did refuse to let it be
rushed and there was no label or management rushing me on this one either.
So for those cooperate heads who feel it turned out better than any previous
work, perhaps the lesson is; if you want good product, you can''t rush the
artist. (..unless it's a 2Pac type which is definitely not me. I wish I
could work that fast, but it don''t work that way for me. Not only am I in my
forties, I''m also a virgo and virgos strive for perfection and will tinker
away at a project for damn near fuckin ever.)
       It was a free day here, a free half-a-week there. Anytime it finally
slowed down to no tour, no travel, no outside studio session, no family
visit, "YES! ..my chance to finish that one song with Yuk", or whatever it
was. But yes, I refused to let it be rushed, and didn''t care when I finished
it, I just wanted it to sound right.
       Thanks for recognizing that in one listen.

Robert - Have you been asked to produce any tracks on the upcoming Tupac

Shock G - No but even better, they asked Deon Evans (formally Big-D the
Impossible from Pacs'' Underground Railroad) to do a gang of tracks for it
and God knows my dog needed that work right now to help with his family &
medical bills. He just got a liver transplant and his body is accepting it,
Jah blessed!! Luv you D!

Robert - Well with this drop over and out, what is next for Shock G?

Shock G - An eightpiece live band made up of me on keys & others playing all
the stuff I ever produced, alive & accurately. So if you got songs wit us
and/or just wanna rime over some d.u. production, come "get up in the show,
& help us get it crunk son!"

Robert - Well ''Fear Of A Mixed Planet'' is truly a fresh concept and
something that I hope you have a lot of luck with.

Shock G - Thanx sir.

Robert - Are there any shout outs or things I missed that need to be said?

Shock G - Young people DOOWUTCHYALIKE! As in follow your heart and what you
know is right. But never feel like you have to follow in the footsteps of
others and do what's popular or trendy. Start your own style.
Think, it ain''t illegal yet.

Robert - Well I appreciate your time and good luck with the album. I know
there are a lot of people who where looking forward to this and I know they
will not be disappointed. And I know we will be hearing many more drops from
you in the future.
It is really good to see ya shinning


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Interviews An Interview With Shock G

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