The year was 1993 and Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” looked to be a strong contender for song of the summer (at least where I was, in Philadelphia). Along with “Nuthin’ But A “G” Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, “Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)” by Digable Planets, and of course Ice Cube‘s “Today Was A Good Day“.
On June 10, 1993, 2Pac released a BOMB. On the heels of his politically charged first single “Holler If You Hear Me” (Released that February), Pac dropped “I Get Around” featuring Shock G and Money-B of Digital Underground. The former is a Public Enemy sampling, message-driven “for the people” record, while the latter is a house party/cookout ANTHEM!
No diss to everything 2Pac had done up until that point (“Brenda’s Got A Baby“, “Trapped” etc.), but this is the moment TUPAC arrived. Foreshadowing T.I‘s “What You Know“/ATL movie moment, Pac saw “I Get Around” buzz, then blow up simultaneous to the release of ‘Poetic Justice‘. A movie where he starred opposite,, and can be seen having “TV sex” with JANET JACKSON.
The icing on his summer’s cake was what made the moment special, Shock G. Shock G was responsible for putting 2Pac “on“. He “paid his dues” as a roadie and dancer for Digital Underground, a group Shock G founded and headed. Tupac Shakur as 2Pac would eventually make his rap debut on “Same Song“, a single from Digital Undergound’s ‘This Is An EP Release‘, in 1991.
Coming full circle, it was great for Hip-Hop fans to see Tupac sharing his “moment” with the man responsible for his success. Shock G feels different, however, stating “It’s a lucky thing in the other direction. Pac discovered us, man, we didn’t discover his ass. No way.” in a 2017 Rolling Stone article.
Shock G was best known for his alter ego “Humpty” and his biggest record “The Humpty Dance“. All well prior to Pac dropping “I Get Around”. So, it may have been shocked some casual fans when Shock approached this song like an Oakland Snoop Dogg. His smooth delivery set him apart on this track, and was a scene-stealing moment.
Money-B also did his thing on “I Get Around”. His line “You heard that I was bangin’ ya homegirl you went to school wit’/ That’s cool, but did she tell you bout ya sister and ya cousin?/ Thought I wasn’t?“. 2Pac came through with some bars. “I don’t want it if it’s that easy” and “If I couldn’t have it, (silly rabbit), why you sweatin’ me?“. Shock G comes holding the big guns here, though:
Now you can tell from my everyday fits I ain’t rich
So cease and desist with them tricks (tricks)
I’m just another black man caught up in the mix (mix)
Tryin’ to make a dollar out of 15 cents (A dime and a nickel)
Just ’cause I’m a freak don’t mean that we could hit the sheets
Baby, I can see that you don’t recognize me
I’m Shock G: the one who put the satin on your panties
Never knew a hooker that could share me; I get around
Saying you put the satin in your listeners panties is the smoothest playa sh*t you’ll ever hear, EVER.
The song was fun. The fun was fun. The summer was fun. “I Get Around” is forever etched in our minds on 90° days. It will forever live at the block parties. Shock G and his mentee, Tupac Shakur will forever get around.
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