When it was Mr. Shakur’s turn, he quickly released a thoughtful verse about the dangers of success: “Get some fame, people change.”
Mr. Shakur had auditioned for Shock G and was hired as a member of the group’s street crew. He ended up performing and recording with Digital Underground. He appeared in the groups “This Is an EP Release” (Tommy Boy) and “Sons of the P” (Tommy Boy), which were nominated for a Grammy Award.
In 1991, Mr. Shakur started a solo career with the album “2Pacalypse Now” (Interscope), which sold half a million times. It included two humble hits, “Trapped” and “Brenda’s Got a Baby,” a song about the plight of an unmarried teenage mother. Before the album was released, he also began a career as a film actor, playing the violent, unpredictable bishop in the Ernest Dickerson film “Juice”.
Until 1993, Mr. Shakur was a rising star. Shock G and another member of the Digital Underground, Money B, appeared on Mr. Shakur’s album and helped create his first big hit, “I Get Around,” a poolside hymn with a relaxed beat. But now it was Shock G in an afro t-shirt and an oversized purple t-shirt that said, “Now you can tell by my everyday seizures that I’m not rich man caught in the mix / Tryna makes a dollar 15 cents. “
Shock G was born in Brooklyn on August 25, 1963, and his musical instincts were shaped by a childhood spent moving around the country. His mother, Shirley Kraft, was a television producer; his father, Edward Racker, was a senior executive in computer administration. After the couple divorced, “I spent most of my time in Tampa, but I also lived in New York, Philly, and California,” Shock G told the Times. “I was always interested in music and played in bands when I was 10 or 11 years old.”
His grandmother, Gloria Ali, was a pianist and cabaret singer in Harlem in the 1950s. She taught him how to play Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” on the piano. When hip-hop gained momentum in New York in the late 1970s, Shock G, who lived there at the time, recalled: “All my friends and I sold our instruments to buy mixers and turntables.”
Shock G is survived by his parents; his sister Elizabeth Racker; and his brother Kent Racker.
Shock G saw music as expansive, inclusive, and experimental. “Funk can be rock, funk can be jazz and funk can be soul,” he told the Times. “Most people have a checklist of what makes a good pop song: It has to be three minutes long, have a repeatable chorus, and have a catchy catch. That makes music stale. We say, “Do what feels good.” If you like it for three minutes, you will love it for 30 minutes. “
Christina Morales and Jesus Jiménez contributed to the coverage.