Was Shock G forced into drugs? Rapper said 'f**k the studio' as it sparked addiction, made him 'work for free'
In his retirement letter, Shock G said the studio 'depresses' him and that Tupac Shakur's mom Afeni said writing was his 'true calling'
Rap legend Shock G, whose real name was Gregory Jacobs, died on Thursday, April 22. With his death, the hip hop music industry has lost another legend in the span of one month after DMX and Black Rob. 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.
Jacobs retired from music in 2005. In his retirement letter, he talked about how he was "retiring from all forms of studio work and song writing". He also blamed the music industry for driving him to do drugs and cited depression, among other things that made him take his decision. Four years before his death, the rapper was arrested in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, on June 13, 2017, on suspicion of drug paraphernalia possession. Here's what's to know about the rapper's battle with drugs.
'It depresses me'
In a seven-point numbered rant that has since been posted on numerous hip hop message boards and reported on Couch Sessions, Jacobs makes it clear that he hates recording and producing. "I get no satisfaction or fulfillment from it anymore," he says in his rant.
"It doesn't make me happy. On the contrary, it depresses me." He adds, "Normally I'm not depressed, it's only surrounding the studio. I'm happy when I'm away from the studio." "Every man has the right to the pursuit of happiness and should first try a job that he might gain happiness & fullfillment from," he said. "This doesn't make me happy anymore, it makes me miserable and a drug addict."
The letter came on the heels of some questionable behavior during the 2005 BET Awards. Jacobs performed with Digital Underground and funk legend George Clinton as a surprise guest. He and George hid in a room after the performance and were not seen for many days, according to a message board. The rapper was thus absent from the group's appearance on Hollywood Boulevard for a taping of BET's Rap City. Fans couldn't get a hold of him.
'Can't make a living'
He also cited financial concerns. "Can't make a living at it. 90% of the studio work I've done in the last 6 years has all been either for free or for peanuts, and hasn't generated any income since," he said. As per Celebrity Net Worth, Shock G's net worth is $3M. Among his many achievements, he produced Tupac's 1993 breakthrough platinum single, 'I Get Around'.
Jacobs added that he was willing to do digital tours instead. "Cause it PAYS and people don't expect me & Mon (grown men) to work for free, like all the studio requests. I'm 42 and have wants/needs/bills/responsibilities," he wrote.
'I hate being in the studio'
The rapper added that his work has forced him into drug addiction. "It drives me to do drugs, cause I HATE BEING IN THE STUDIO." He added that there was "too much pressure & expectation for [him] to make/save/spark someone elses [sic] career or project." "I quit the studio. F**k the studio," he said.
Jacobs further described his situation, saying he "can't win in the studio", "It's pointless, it's a "catch 22" for me," he said. Explaining his point, the rapper said, "If what I do sucks, it tarnishes the legacy, hurts the family, and even lowers the price, and also leaves the artists & involved-companies unhappy". "But," he added, "If what I do shines, it generates more studio work for the future, and furthur traps me in the music business, a business I have no intention of slaving to the rest of my life." He said he gave it 20 years. "I'm done."
Tupac's mom said writing was his 'true calling'
With a 'whew!', Jacobs said that it "already feels great already just to say it" out loud. he added that he will most likely try his hand at writing, acting, stage performing, regular jobs in service "like clubs, hotels, TV show bands or staff, restaurants, who knows?" and digital tours. He said that political activist Afeni Shakur, mother of his friend and rapper Tupac Shakur, assured him that writing was his "true calling". "Afeni assures me this is my true calling every time she sees me. Maybe she's right?" he said.
Specifying what kind of stage performances he intends to pick up, Jacobs said, "meaning accepting tours or positions in other bands doing keys & background vocals", adding "IF it's real and if the money's good." He said he would not do any amateur or "free stuff" anymore.
"I'm Shock G, the one who put the satin on your panties..."— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) April 23, 2021
RIP to the legend. pic.twitter.com/67g8iAqyzk
'Spread the word, I quit'
"So there it is, spread the word, I quit," Jacobs wrote. "I don't make beats, I don't do vocals, I don't write vocals, NONE OF IT." He added that those who are his friends, will be happy for him. "Happy that I shook something that was making me miserable."
He added: "Those of you who had plans to "use" or manipulate me at the expense of my own health & happiness, will be upset about this. All I can say to those would be, you're free to do whatever you wish, and so am I." "I choose to QUIT. there it is. Thanx everybody, spread the word", he concluded.
Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction? Please contact the National Drug Helpline's Alcohol and drug hotline on (844) 289-0879 to get help and advice.