LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — When Digital Underground co-founder and drummer Jimi «Chopmaster J» Dright learned that the City of Oakland would honor his former band and recently deceased front man and co-founder Greg «Shock G/Humpty Hump» Jacobs with a proclamation to recognize the group’s civic and artistic contribution, he was initially elated. However, upon learning he was not welcome at the City of Oakland’s Digital Underground Day proclamation ceremonies and he was stricken from the band’s historical record, he was disheartened by the snub. In short, it was Chopmaster J who initially visioned the making of Digital Underground as well as introduced Tupac to their ranks, before departing years later to sign another of his creations, Force One Network, to Quincy Jones at Warner Bros. Records. A true creative genius, Chopmaster J remains undaunted, announcing the release of his son’s, SOTU, new group, D.U.Nx.G. (D.U. Next Generation) and their new album, single and video, «Evolution,» dropping on August 25, 2020, Digital Underground Day in Oakland, CA.
«I had been informed by the group’s former manager that my presence is not required, nor wanted at the festivities honoring my former partner and friend Shock G and his ingenious musical contributions to the Hip-Hop firmament,» Dright laments. «This proclamation is a recognition of the group that Shock G and I founded, together. To add insult to injury, my name was removed from a citation that was awarded to the group on Digital Underground Day. This act seems especially mean-spirited and anathema to fairness and the historical record. This appears to be an act meant to erase and cancel my contribution to the group and to Oakland’s Hip-Hop history as the only surviving co-founder of Digital Underground,» Dright adds. «I am, however, particularly grateful to the Office of the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Shereda Nosakhare and Director of Education, David Silver who are both working to rectify the affront.»
Dright spent years writing, rehearsing, producing, performing and touring with Digital Underground. He recalls, «We recorded ‘Underwater Rhymes’ and ‘Ya’ Life’s a Cartoon’ and put it on vinyl thanks largely to a $10,000 loan from my father, a well-established Oakland business owner.» Later, Chopmaster J recruited DJ Fuze and Money B into the group and eventually signed to Tommy Boy Records. «From there, our star rose rapidly,» says Dright. In addition to being the group’s drummer and sampling programmer/performer, Dright was the executive producer, and acted as de facto radio promotions manager, band manager, and contractor, often sleeping in his car, while pitching airplay and record deals in Los Angeles for the group. «I was sort of a P.T. Barnum, only the circus didn’t bear my name,» recalls Dright.
D.U.Nx.G., headed by Dright’s son, M.C, producer and songwriter, S.O.T.U. (Sun of The Underground) and bandmate MEGA, is a continuation of that legacy, as a second-generation hip hop super group birthing from and paying homage to the original multi-platinum selling, Digital Underground. Bringing a new, yet familiar wave led by S.O.T.U., alongside counter-part DJ/producer Mega, D.U.Nx.G. relights the torch and continues with a funky and futuristic inheritance. Crystalizing their DNA with colorful rhymes, amazing production, crazy performances, storytelling and more, D.U.Nx.G. merges the past, present and future into a ‘now’ galactic musical journey. «Evolution» the group’s new single, is a cosmic, as opposed to digital, ascension of sound and visuals that embrace the planet’s new landscape of otherworldly advancements. Dright conceived and produced the group, but S.O.T.U. and Mega are the driving components who are joined by a revolving door of musicians, singers and creatives.
«For me, the disrespect being thrown at my dad just drives me to propel D.U.Nx.G. to another level,» adds S.O.T.U. «His genius is in my bones and blood. Our musical legacy will never be cancelled. The essence of the D.U. sound resonates in my beingness and D.U.Nx.G. serves as proof of his innovation, vision and genius.»
The Chopmaster adds, «Tupac used to say ‘You either evolve or become irrelevant’ – thus, the name of D.U.Nx.G.’s debut release is Evolution.».
Dright says he wants his name to be included in the Oakland proclamation, so that Digital Underground’s historical origins are properly recorded for posterity as he is the legitimate co-founder of the group. He now presents D.U.Nx.G. as the sonic amplification of a next generation that can’t be denied.
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