Shifty Shellshock Has Died Aged 49

Shifty Shellshock Dead: The Crazy Town singer has tragically died at age 49.
Credit: Alamy

Shifty Shellshock has tragically died aged 49. 

Shellshock was an American rapper and singer-songwriter, whose real name was Seth Brooks Binzer.

He was best known for co-founding and fronting the rap rock band Crazy Town, known for their hit song ‘Butterfly.’

Fans have been devastated by the saddening news of Binzer’s passing.

Shifty Shellshock
Tributes are pouring in for Crazy Town singer Shifty Shellshock. Credit: Alamy

Tributes have been pouring in on X, formerly Twitter, with one fan penning: “Had the pleasure of seeing Shifty at an intimate gig, he had so much time for everyone there, a great frontman.”

Another adds: “Sad to see you go. Fly high, my friend.”

“Not Shifty Shellshock of Crazy Town. Dang, gone too soon. I can still hear ‘Butterfly’ playing on those midnight music ads,” comments a third.

Somebody else writes: “Rest in Peace Shifty Shellshock, frontman of Crazy Town, you’ll be missed!”

Crazy Town
Crazy Town found major success with the single ‘Butterfly.’ Credit: Alamy

Binzer grew up around the music business, inspired to make rap music after discovering the Beastie Boys’ ‘Licensed to Ill’ album.

He formed Crazy Town after meeting Bret ‘Epic’ Mazur in the early 1990s. Variety reports they began making music under Brimstone Sluggers before eventually becoming Crazy Town.

Although they had a vision, the band didn’t immediately find success.

The first two singles from their debut album ‘The Gift of Game’ failed to chart. However, the album also contained ‘Butterfly,’ a love song that sampled a riff from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ instrumental, ‘Pretty Little Ditty.’

The track gained mainstream popularity after being physically released in 2001.

Shifty Shellshock
Shifty Shellshock found moderate success as a solo artist. Credit: Alamy

While the band was finally gaining the recognition it deserved, the group was concerned the single would define them.

Binzer said: “A song like ‘Butterfly’ is a no-brainer. Everyone seems to love that [one], no matter how hard they are.

“It’s very radio-friendly, the female audience loves it and at the same time I think we kept our integrity with it.”

The band’s concern would turn out to be correct – they failed to match the success of ‘Butterfly’ and in 2002, Crazy Town split following the lackluster sales of their second album, ‘Darkhorse.’

Binzer would find moderate success in Europe as a solo artist with the album release ‘Happy Love Sick.’

Shifty Shellshock mugshot.
Shifty Shellshock was candid about his drug and alcohol problems. Credit: Myrtle Beach Police Department

Throughout his life, Binzer would be candid about his drug and alcohol problems, even appearing on the reality TV shows Celebrity Rehab and Sober House.

The musician was reportedly hospitalized in 2012 after losing consciousness and falling into a coma before recovering.

In the same year, Binzer was arrested on charges of battery and drug possession, as reported by TMZ at the time.

He was also arrested in 2022 on DUI charges and in 2023, he got into an altercation with Crazy Town guitarist Bobby Reeves, as per TMZ.

Before his shock passing, Binzer shared messages online about being ‘sober’ and a ‘black sheep.’

In an Instagram post from April 28, the singer openly talked about needing love, writing: “I’m a lover than a fighter… but the one I need to love more instead of fight with is myself… mr shifty true love # sober alive and grateful.”

The image was a nighttime shot of a graffiti design on the ground that in black and pink ink read: “True Love,” while “Long Beach” and a heart were also included.

In another post from the same day, Binzer referenced those who feel like ‘loners.’

He penned: “The black sheep, the odd ducks, the rejects, the eccentrics, the loners, the lost and forgotten. More often than not, these people have the most beautiful souls.”

Shifty Shellshock
Shifty Shellshock died at his home in Los Angeles. Credit: @therealcrazytown/Instagram

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner has confirmed that Binzer died at his Los Angeles home on Monday, June 24.

An investigation is underway to determine the singer’s cause of death.

TMZ reports that cops are looking into the possibility of a fatal overdose. An autopsy has reportedly been completed but the cause of death has been ‘deferred,’ indicating nothing can be determined until the results from the toxicology report come back.

Binzer’s former bandmate Mazur tells TMZ that his late friend appeared in good spirits before his passing.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-4357 in the U.S.A.

In the U.K., you can contact FRANK at 0300 123 6600 or for confidential advice and information about drugs, their effects, and the law.

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.