Yo Man..your person # that has picked the lyrical loogie from my nose!
"I haven't done an interview in a long time, " Shock G admitted. "I blame myself really. I didn't want to do interviews anymore until I had a little bit more control. I used to be a little too [out of control] and say all sorts of things and hurt people with what I said. So, I've not done an interview in a real long time." The front man of Digital Underground, having been released from Tommy Boy Records took time out of his busy recording schedule(DU is finishing it's fourth album) and gave Roots an exclusive interview. Shock G who controls his alter ego, Humpty Hump, was candid and open on many things. He spoke of his undying love of the Bay Area.
"I've lived a lot of places and been a lot of places. But the Bay Area is the only place I've lived for as long as I have. Right now I'm living in New York. I've never really lived in one place too long. There are a lot of reasons to love the Bay Area, but one of the most impressive is it's rise in dominance in the music industry. Shock G appreciates that influence. "The Bay Area influence is very heavy now on the music industry. For a long time the Bay Area had no influence on the music industry, but that's changed. Now you can hear the Bay Area sound in a lot of music, with those GA, making that sound. But the Bay owes [the musical sound] [Too] $hort. He used all those dry, unprocessed keyboards first. He was just to busy doing other things to worry about the fattest of sounds. Short made it possible for Spice 1, E-40, and E-A-Ski to do what they do."
The Bay Area constantly pay homage to Too $hort, but the Underground have always given.
"The name of the new Digital Underground album is "Bringing the Groceries". It's musical gumbo," the keyboardist and drummer said. "There's a lot of people on it. It's a Digital album, but the only person I think of as being in Digital is Money B. I lean on Money heavily. The sound is very Digital. We came at this album simply. We wanted to make gumbo. There's a Duke Ellington feeling on this album, along with a Method Man feeling and Snoop Dogg feeling, and Adagio, Contralto feeling to this album.
"There's the Luniz on this album, Dellthe funky Homo Sapien], Black Spooks, who are a cross between E-40, Sir Mix A Lot, and Bones Thugs 'N Harmony, Money B, Eric Baker, this balladeer who did some work with some people here in Oakland, who has transformed and is doing some grittier funk, Tyranni, my brother, who is from Oakland, via LA and New York, and PAC.''
2PAC did a song for the album. "PAC has spread his wings and left the nest. He's so big right now that giving him a little verse here wouldn't do him justice."
The future of hip hop seems bright though categorized, according to Shock G. "What I see happening in the future, musically is this, and it's already happening in some places. There are going to be places that only play certain artists. What I'm saying is that you'll have radio stations that play that E-40', Coolio, Dogg Pound sound. Then you'll have radio stations that will only play that NWA, Eazy-E type of sound. Then you'll have ; stations that'll , play only Biggie and Mobb Deep. There may be a few stations that will play that hybrid rap form, like Bones Thugs