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Young Hump Talks Shock G's Early Impact On Tupac, Before Death Row Records

Tupac and Digital Underground's Shock G aka Humpty Hump

Young Hump of Digital Underground joins ItzYourzRadio's Donni-Oh! and discusses the impact Shock G had in the early years of Tupac's music career.

Before checking out the video, lets begin digging a little deeper and set the time table. When Digital Underground released "Same Song" in 1990, it was in the midst of Hip-Hop's conscious era. Fresh off the militant, revolutionary feel of Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" in the summer of 1989, the culture was feeling a revitalization of black pride and unity. With groups/artists like Jungle Brothers and the Native Tongue, Lakim Shabaaz, Public Enemy, BDP, Gang Starr, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Poor Righteous Teachers, X-Clan, Brand Nubian, King Sun, Ice Cube and others, the climate was ripe for the "pro-black" look, lyricism and action that Tupac delivered in "Same Song".

The time was also ripe for the debut of 2Pac's conscious, November 1991 debut release, "2Pacalypse Now" to add on, or so we thought. However, what began to happen was a shift in the culture.... and the hip-hop industry.

Boyz N the Hood was released in the summer of 1991. The movie, coupled with the soundtrack, began the shift of so-called "gangsta rap" bubbling from the underground and becoming mainstream. Mainstream to the point where Hollywood began to fund multiple violent, "hood" movies such as New Jack City late in 1991, Juice in 1992, Menace II Society in 1993, as well as South Central, Straight Out Of Brooklyn, just to name a few.

Those "hood' films, are coupled with music soundtracks, which influenced the record labels to follow suit with its every growing popular sound.

Meanwhile, in black neighborhoods throughout the country, they were seeing a sharp rise in crack use and distribution, which came hand in hand with crime and murders. So much so, that Los Angeles was seeing murders well above 1,000 per year in 1990 and 1991. In New York City, the murders were double, with over 2,000 murders per year in 1990 and 1991.

It was a combination of art imitating life and life imitating art. Tupac was caught in the shift as well, as his second album, "Strictly 4 My Niggaz" released in 1993, had a more "street edge" compared to his more "conscious" debut album, "2Pacalypse Now". His entire career and life, became a battle between his conscious foundation that was built through his mother, Afeni Shakur (a black panther) and the environment(s) he was raised in, Brooklyn, Baltimore and Oakland.

Although in the mid 1980's, East Coast's Just-Ice and Schoolly D were widely credited for being the first well-known "gangsta rappers" on "record", it was West Coast hip-hop, as a whole, that popularized the so-called "gangsta rap" genre with artists like Too Short, Ice-T, NWA, Compton's Most Wanted, Above The Law and Spice 1, just to name a few.

By 1993, the East Coast had taken notice of the ever growing genre and the strangle hold West Coast artists had begun to take hold within hip-hop. With the release of Dr. Dre's "The Chronic", in December of 1992, so-called "gangsta rap" had solidified itself mainstream and there was no turning back.

So the East Coast artists begin trading in it's African medallions, dashikis, red black and green flags and conscious lyrics, in exchange for guns, murder, hustling and the street life. A life in which many were already living.

By 1993, East Coast artists like Naught By Nature, Onyx, Mobb Deep, The Beatnuts, M.O.P, The Notorious BIG, Wu-Tang,The Hit Squad, Fat Joe, Jay Z, Nas, and many others had already began to tell street tales of their reality. Even LL Cool J dropped a very hardcore, street-edged, "14 Shots To The Dome" album in 1993.

Check out Young Hump chronicling Shock G's influence in Tupac's early music career, before Death Row Records:

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