The musician, born Gregory Jacobs, was found dead in a Florida hotel on Thursday

By Gabrielle Chung and Adam Carlson
April 22, 2021 11:23 PM
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shock g
Shock G
| Credit: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Shock G, the co-founder of the iconic hip-hop group Digital Underground, has died. He was 57.

The rapper, born Gregory Jacobs, was found dead on Thursday.

"Our son, brother and friend, Gregory Jacobs, also known as Shock G, suddenly passed away today," his family said in a statement provided to PEOPLE. "The cause of death is currently unknown. We truly, truly appreciate all the out-pouring of love and concern. Please keep us in your prayers at this very difficult time."

Jacobs' father, Edward Racker, told TMZ that his son was discovered in a hotel room in Tampa, saying authorities will conduct an autopsy to determine his cause of death.

Digital Underground's Chopmaster J also confirmed Jacob's death in an Instagram tribute to the artist.

"34 years ago almost to the day we had a wild idea we can be a hip hop band and take on the world," he wrote, "through it all the dream became a reality and the reality became a nightmare for some. And now he's awaken from the fame long live shock G Aka Humpty Hump and Rest In Peace my Brotha Greg Jacobs!!!"

Jacobs started Digital Underground with Chopmaster J and the late Kenny-K in the 1987 after relocating from the East Coast to Oakland, California.

Shock G
Shock G
| Credit: Leon Bennett/WireImage

The group's early singles included "Underwater Rimes" and "Doowutchyalike," which featured the first appearance of Jacobs' alter persona, Humpty Hump.

In 1990, Digital Underground released their debut studio album, Sex Packets.

The album's second single, "The Humpty Dance," found huge commercial success, reaching No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song's music video also featured a young Tupac Shakur, who would go on to make his recording debut on Digital Underground's 1991 single "Same Song."

In addition to his work as a rapper, Jacobs was also a gifted music producer. He was most known for his work on Shakur's breakthrough single "I Get Around," on which he also appears as a featured artist.

In his career, Jacobs also produced Shakur's 1995 single "So Many Tears" off the music legend's third studio album, Me Against the World.

As a producer, he had also worked with Bobby Brown, Dr. Dre and Prince.

In the wake of Jacobs' death, tributes have poured in on social media.

M.C. Hammer wrote on Twitter, "🙏🏿 🕊 R.I.P. #ShockG 🕊❤️🙏🏿 The Underground lit up The Game 🔥 Super Talent 👑 Beautiful Musician Incredible Vision 🔥Tupac 👑 Money B. 👑 Bay Area 👑 Town 🕊🕊🕊🕊

"Shock G gone to soon 💔 you did so much for the bay once u created Digital Underground," Sheila E tweeted. "We honor u and we will miss u 🌹 praying for ur love ones."

The official Twitter account for Shakur also released a statement with an old quote from the late rapper, reading, "I look back [on my times with Shock G] with the greatest fondness. Those were like some of the best times of my life…" - Tupac 1995 RIP Shock G."