LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- While the world is celebrating Tupac Shakur as a 2017 nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one man in particular is impacted by the musical icon on a deeply personal level. Digital Underground (D.U.) co-founder, Jimi Dright aka Chopmaster J, a legendary figure in the annals of rap music, is credited with actually 'discovering' Tupac back in 1989. It was Chopmaster J who gave the 18-year Shakur his start in the music business as a roadie, dancer and emcee for the zany, chart breaking pop group.
Chopmaster J has kept relatively quiet for decades about his memories and recollection of hip hop's biggest hero, but is now ready to release vintage memorabilia from his vault of prized artifacts. In addition to upcoming releases of original Tupac tracks, new D.U. music and a Digital Underground/Tupac documentary, Chopmaster J has re-released his 1999 book classic, "Static: My Tupac Story" in digital format and a remix of "Static," an early Tupac recording original. The book is available now on Amazon.com at http://tinyurl.com/MyTupacStory.
"Static" is Chopmaster J's first hand account of his experience with Tupac during the impressionable, controversial and often turbulent early years. The book is stocked with not only anecdotes about their Digital Underground tour, backstage, and hotel antics, but also photos from those glorious times. The single, "Static," accompanies the book as a soundtrack as well. The single remix features J's son, S.O.T.U and his group Digital Underground Next Generation.
Recognized as one of hip hop's first bands, Digital Underground was from the Bay Area and included Chopmaster J, Shock G, Money B, DJ Fuze and a very young Tupac Amaru Shakur. The group's meteoric rise to fame in the early '90's was accentuated with chart topping hits like "The Humpty Dance," "Doowutchyalike," "Freaks of the Industry," "Same Song" and "Kiss You Back." The band made waves with their colorful and costumed attire, animated stage antics and innovative dance styling and moves.
Unbeknownst to many, Chopmaster J has been paying residuals to the estate of Tupac for the past 15 years and he has all legal rights and ownership to his vast collection stemming from the late 1980's. A lawsuit filed in 2000 was settled between Chopmaster J and the estate over the album, "Tupac Shakur: The Lost Tapes." J produced the 10-track album in 1989 and it is Shakur's earliest known recordings.
Chopmaster J's early entanglement with Tupac runs deeper than most realize. For instance, back in 1991, it was Chopmaster J who imported R&B balladeer David Hollister, from Chicago to the Bay Area, to not only become a member of his new group Force One Network, but to also collaborate with Pac. Under Chopmaster J's orchestration, Hollister sang the hooks to Tupac anthems "Brenda's Got A Baby" and "Keep Ya Head Up."
"My group, Digital Underground burst on the hop hop scene like a psychedelic explosion. But where our musical chapter faded like a mellow drug high, Tupac went on to soar to unimaginable heights," recalls Chopmaster J. "None of us, not even Tupac, could have imagined what was in store for us all. Like everyone else, the 20th anniversary of his death makes me nostalgic. Unlike everyone else though, I've got some pretty spectacular memories from those early hip hop days and I'm ready to share them and celebrate the birth of his career. I'm an older cat now and I feel like it would be selfish to just keep them to myself. The world loves Tupac and I'm excited to finally add my chapter to his legend."
In addition to the eBook and single re-release of "Static," Chopmaster J is planning to drop a music video for "Static" and his documentary, "Same Song Adventures In Digital Underground," directed by filmmaker Abdul Malik Abbott. Chopmaster J will also release for the first time exclusive, early recordings from the late Tupac Shakur. He plans to unleash the "Sex Packets II" music project, featuring new versions of D.U. classics written and produced by his son, S.O.T.U. (Sun Of The Underground) featuring an all new D.U. lineup, and the "D.U. Days'" soundtrack which features Chopmaster J's archive music collection. J's music vault also contains unreleased recordings of performances featuring Hollister, George Clinton, El De Barge and J's solo reincarnation, Big Brutha Soul.
Tupac lovers can revisit the past with the tour bus, backstage, and hotel room stories in "Static: My Tupac Story" and check out the single, "Static" as well as stay abreast of upcoming vault releases at www.ChopmasterJ.com.
Check out the book trailer for "Static" at https://vimeo.com/182190837 .
"Static: My Tupac Story" book cover:
Chopmaster J image: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/640x480q90/924/xFrtM5.jpg
Tupac "Static" single cover: http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/640x480q90/923/5B7KdV.jpg
SOURCE Chopmaster J