Shock G

Some history on one of my favorite Tupac songs, ‘I Get Around’. Part of a possible book on 2Pac that Shock G is supposed to be working on. A long time ago Shock G upset his fans by saying he was quitting the music side of things and I remember he listed writing as a possible new venture. I’m sure he’s got plenty of stories. Link (via Cocaine Blunts & Hip-Hop Tapes)

“The ‘I Get Around’ Story”
by shockg

The deep 808 kick-drum, the screeching percussion turntable part, the “step-up” (james brown?) voice sample, and the triplet-snare pick-up are all part of 1 sample; “Step into the Arena” by Gang Starr. I think that was the title, but all I know for sure is that it was Gangstarr and that it was a song from one of their first 2 albums.

The main kick, snare, & hats where all individual drum samples from old james brown records, on an MPC disc full of drum sounds that Fuze tailor made & truncated himself and then passed it on to me: “Shock, your drums are gettin stale. You make good tracks, your beats swing, but I’m gettin tired of those same ol’ drum sounds; here try some of these.”

Get Around was the first beat I made after Fuze slid me that disc at a rehearsal. The drum pattern, the bassline, both piano tracks, the chord change from those piano tracks, and the ultra-low tuning of the hats where all original and were my doing. The layered cry-baby vocal samples; “I been arounnnnn’ ooh oo-oo-oooh” (..yeah, it isn’t even saying “get” around), and “you knoww I..” were both lifted from Rogers’ “Computer Love” and I ran them through a DJ mixer and transformed them as I sampled ’em. That’s what chopped it all up like that.

Pac heard the track for the 1st time almost five months after it was made. It just missed becoming the theme music to an “Oz” type TV series called “Angel Street”, but the networks never picked it up after the 3 pilot shows aired. After that, it was a popular 4-track cassette instrumental that I used to carry around, and it served as a backbeat to many freestyle sessions and rocked many parties. At one outdoor picknic/video shoot (for the song “Spirit” by Force One Network), repeated plays of that 4-track cassette I Get Around instrumental slowly pulled 30 to 40 people (almost half the people there) away from the set and over to the parking lot 200 yards away where we were bumping it out of a friends droptop camaro. The crowd kept insisting we play it again & again, over & over & over. It sounded SO fresh & exciting that summer, a year before it came out. After Angel Street got rejected by the networks, we decided to record it as a d.u. song. But before we even began work on it, a call came in that the director john singelton wanted a song with Pac & d.u. together for the Poetic Justice soundtrack and that shock should make the beat. So I mailed Pac a tape with 3 beats on it, the Get Around beat first, and 2 other tracks I had made in case he didn’t like that one. I was concerned that it was too pretty for Pac and he might not of liked it. The Angel Street producers were concerned it wasn’t tough enough for their street series, and another rap crew we used to run with called “the Dungeon Squad” rejected it all together. (I never told them the picnic story though, I felt the artist should always be able to hear the magic themselves.)

Anyway, when I sent it to Pacs’ cabin or trailer or whatever they had him in on the “..Justice” set, he paused the tape after the first 2 bars of Get Around went by and left me this phone message: “YES! YES NIGGA! BEAT ONE! I HAVEN’T EVEN LISTENED TO MORE THAN A FEW SECONDS SO FAR, BUT YES, BEAT ONE! Okay, I’ma press play now and listen to the rest of the tape.”

About a week or 2 later, we did the version as it is now.