Vibe.com is doing an incredible job with their “Full Clip” series, in which they ask hip-hop’s greats to talk about their careers and works. We all thought Redman’s installment was pretty great, but mark my word: I don’t think a single interview this year of any rapper or hip hop producer tops Shock G’s installment of “Full Clip.” The genius behind Digital Underground talks about everything and anything, from growing up in NYC during hip hop’s infancy and moving to the Tampa Bay Area and discovering Parliament-Funkadelic, to Tupac’s early days as a roadie, to the development of the concept behind Sex Packets,Â to doing bumps of coke with George Clinton in the studio. If the excerpts quoted after the jump do not convince you to read the entire piece, you just aren’t ready for it.
But it was mainly based on my uncle Tony Red. He really talks like Humpty. He didnâ€™t know how to dress, but he was the coolest nigga in the world. He would walk up to girls and say the most stupid shit [laughs]. They would look at him crazy, but he would be like, [in the Humpty Hump voice], â€˜There must be something wrong with yâ€™all, manâ€¦Iâ€™m Tony Red.â€™ It wasnâ€™t until the day we shot the video and we were picking up party supplies that the whole idea for Humptyâ€™s nose came about. This store in Berkley had some bargain bin noses that were 99 cents each. One was a sharp nose, one was a pig nose and the others were some odd, brown Groucho Marx noses. I put it on and it was just so fucking hilarious to me. That was the birth of Humpy Hump.
We started studying the properties of ecstasy and LSD and what all the jargon was. We created a story where there was a professor at Stanford University who designed sex packets for astronaut travel so they could be sexually satisfied. The name of it was GSRA which stood for Genetic Suppression Release Antidote. We created this story that a powerful drug leaked into the streets of San Francisco and it was called sex packets on the street. Then on top of that, we went to Kinkoâ€™s and made a serious looking pamphlet on how to use sex packets because it was dangerous and fucking people up [laughs]. We made thousands of those pamphlets and left them on the back of buses and at hospitals. After all that, it was Tommy Boyâ€™s idea to name the entire album after the â€˜Sex Packetsâ€™ song.
At first I didnâ€™t want to disrespect him because I knew Pac was a serious MC. I didnâ€™t want to ask him to dance or be our roadie. I thought it was beneath him, but 2Pac calls me back and heâ€™s like, â€˜Hell yeah, niggaâ€¦Iâ€™ll do that!â€™ He never acted like he was a member of Digital Underground. We all felt like D.U. was a humorist band and Pacâ€™s message was very serious. But we had already been around the world with Pac on tour and he was ripping up the after parties when we passed the mic around. So we asked him to be on â€˜Same Song.â€™ Even my mother saw that there was something special inside Pac. She walked over to me during the â€˜Same Songâ€™ video shoot and asked, â€˜Gregory, who is that right there?â€™ She hadnâ€™t even heard of Pac yet. Iâ€™m like, â€˜Oh, thatâ€™s 2Pac.â€™ And she said, â€˜Watch himâ€¦he has that quality. I donâ€™t know what he sounds like. But he looks like heâ€™s a star.â€™
We go to meet him in Detroitâ€¦this is our God, our guru. George Clinton walks in the studio in the middle of the summer looking like a vagrant homeless person that crawled out from under a bridge [laughs]. His fatigues looked like they had been balled up and pulled out of the laundry; his shirt was dirty. And he smelled like he had been in those clothes for two or three days. And his hairâ€¦it was coming out of his ears, his nose; his beard was lopsidedâ€¦it was all over the place. He had coke boogers in his beard!
Props to Vibe for making this happen and ’nuff respect to Shock G. and Digital Underground. — Thun