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Digital Underground Biography

Home > Music > D > Digital Underground > Biography

Birth Place: Oakland, California
Years Active: 1987-2008
Genres: Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop, Funk

Digital Underground was an alternative hip-hop group from Oakland, California. Despite numerous line-up changes over the years the group remained successful and maintained a strong following. The band began when Greg “Shock G” Jacobs, who spent most of his childhood growing up in Tampa, Florida and New York City, hooked-up with Jimi “Chopmaster J” Dright from Berkeley, California, and hip-hop radio deejay Kenneth “Kenny-K” Waters in 1987. The trio was heavily influenced by the funk bands of the 1970s, which they incorporated into their sound – a sound that became a trademark of West Coast rap.

The trio released their debut single, “Doowutchyalike” in 1989 and gained some attention, however, the their popularity was catapulted by the release of their song “The Humpty Dance” in 1990. “The Humpty Dance” peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles chart, at #7 on the R&B chart and at #1 on the Rap Singles chart. The band's debut album “Sex Packets” arrived in 1990 and a tour followed. Digital Underground spent the next twenty years consistantly touring, which created a strong international following for the band. Numerous artists featured and collaborated with the trio on various albums over the years with only Shock G and Money-B appearing on every album. David “DJ Fuze” Elliot, and DJ/producer Jeremy “J-Beats” Jackson, were regular collaborators.

The group's third album “Sons Of the P” arrived in 1991 and spawned the hit singles, “No Nose Job” and “Kiss You Back.” For their next offering, 1993’s “The Body-Hat Syndrome,” the band's old friend Tupac Shakur was featured on an anti-racism track, “Wussup Wit the Luv.” This would be Shakur's last appearance on a Digital Underground release as his own career was taking flight. Lead rappers Saafir and Clee were added to the band's line-up at this point.

Two more albums followed before the band's last studio album, “Cuz A d.u. Party Don't Stop!,” appeared in 2008. While Shock G announced that the band disbanding in 2008 and members were going their separate ways to pursue solo projects, 2010 saw “The Greenlight EP” released, featuring previously unreleased Digital Underground tracks.